Jack Reacher franchise drops Tom Cruise

NEW YORK - Tom Cruise will no longer star in Jack Reacher movies after fans of the character say they cannot accept his portrayal of the "big, ugly guy" in two films so far.

The character, created by author Lee Child, is described in the novels as nearly 2m tall, with "hands the size of dinner plates" and weighing up to 113kg. Cruise, 56, is 1.7m tall and far less beefy at 67kg.

While Child can accept Cruise's casting, he also understands why fans are upset. "Jack Reacher is like a lock forward from some rugby team. A big, ugly guy," he is cited as saying by ABC News.

"And Tom is not ugly and he's not big. So, here's the big news: There won't be any more movies with Tom Cruise."

Instead, Child, who has just released his 23rd book in the series about the exploits of a former United States Army major who hands out vigilante justice, is plotting a television series.

It will be a gamble, given that the two films - Jack Reacher (2012) and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) - have already built a following, netting US$380 million (S$522 million) worldwide.

Another hurdle in starting a television series comes from finding another actor, with Child preferring a relative unknown.

 

"Actors are good-looking and I see Reacher as a kind, battered, rather plain guy," he said.

"So, we're going to have to find a difficult thing, which is a huge actor and an ugly actor. And there aren't that many of them."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2018, with the headline 'Jack Reacher franchise drops Tom Cruise'. Print Edition | Subscribe