Jack Reacher author Lee Child agrees with fans of his books: Tom Cruise is too short for the movie role. So the character’s creator says a new deal is in place to adapt the property as a television series with a fresh face.
BBC Radio Manchester host Mike Sweeney broached the subject of Cruise’s stature in the Jack Reacher films on his program Wednesday (beginning at the 1:23:22 mark). Sweeney noted how some fans didn’t think the Mission: Impossible star filled out the role quite right, and Child responded with a “world exclusive.”
“I really enjoyed working with Cruise,” Child clarified. “He’s a really, really nice guy. We had a lot of fun and he works really hard and he takes it really seriously. On your downtime you do crazy things with him, but ultimately the readers are right: the size of Reacher is really, really important and it’s a big component of who he is.”
“The idea,” he continued, “is that when Reacher walks into a room, you’re all a little bit nervous just for that first minute. And Cruise, for all his talent, didn’t have that physicality.”
Cruise first starred as the titular Jack Reacher, a brutal ex-army investigator, in the 2012 film, directed by his M:I helmer Christopher McQuarrie. The actor reprised the role for 2016’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, that time with director Edward Zwick.
“It’s only a very new deal, we only did it last week,” Child said, “there won’t be any more movies with Tom Cruise. Instead we’re gonna take it to Netflix or something like that — long-form streaming television — with a completely new actor. And I want all those readers who were upset about Tom Cruise to help me out. Participate in choosing the right actor for the TV series. We’re rebooting and starting over and we’re going to try and find the perfect guy.”
It’s not like Cruise is lacking for work, anyway. After the success of Mission: Impossible — Fallout, he’s back to work on the Top Gun sequel with future plans to reunite with his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman for sci-fi project Luna Park.
Reps for Cruise and Paramount (which distributed the Jack Reacher films) did not immediately respond to EW’s requests for comment.