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A Jack Reacher Reboot?

According to Lee Child, Tom Cruise will no longer be playing Jack Reacher. The ex-Military Cop is getting a reboot to the small screen. Cruise played Reacher in two movies; Jack Reacher and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.

Child - who has written 23 novels and 11 short stories about Reacher - told BBC Radio Manchester's Mike Sweeney "The size of Reacher is really important and it's a big component of who he is. The idea is that when Reacher walks into a room, you're a little nervous just for that first minute. And Cruise, for all his talent, didn't have that physicality." As a fan of the books, I thought Cruise did a good job with the role. His height wasn't an issue for me. I was more interested in a good performance, which is what I got. While it is true that fans have complained about Cruise's height since his casting in 2011, the real reason for this new direction will be the disappointing returns that resulted from fan backlash. Jack Reacher grossed $218 million against a $60 million budget, whereas Jack Reacher: Never Go Back only grossed $162 million against a $96 million budget.

But is the star's stature really the only reason for poor performance at the box office? Is it possible that the novels the filmmakers chose to adapt could also be to blame? In the case of Jack Reacher, which is based on "One Shot" (Book 9), I would say no. it's a pretty faithful adaptation that does a good job of establishing the Reacher mythos. However, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back was probably not the right choice. I do think Edward Zwick did a good job with it. But "Never Go Back" (Book 18) marks the culmination of a story that traverses four books, a lot of changes had to be made in the jump from page to screen and something was evidently lost. And there are other books that would better translate to either the big or small screen. "The Enemy" (Book 8), "Bad Luck and Trouble" (Book 11) and "Gone Tomorrow" (Book 13) would all make interesting choices.

Apparently, a deal has already been signed to develop a new streaming show based around the character. Although it's unclear at this point which streaming service will be hosting/producing. The question is; who will they get to play Reacher? I'm guessing it will be someone tall. At least I hope it is, this "he's too short" thing is getting a little old! I think Hugh Jackman would be a good choice. He has the physicality and the acting chops to portray Reacher's complex personality. Not to mention the fact he'd be very convincing as the crack investigator. But would an actor like Jackman be interested in making the move to the small screen? And lets not forget, Jackman has recently retired the signature (big, strong) role of his career. Maybe we should consider a newcomer for the role. What are your thoughts?

What would a Jack Reacher TV show even look like? Reacher's adventures take place in multiple locations, all over the US and elsewhere, where would the show be filmed? There are plenty of books to choose from, and most streaming shows run 8-13 episodes per season. Which provides plenty of time to properly explore most if not all of the story elements in a single book. The showrunners could take a similar approach to shows like Bosch, where writers cherry pick story lines from different books. It's an approach that works well in that the story stays true to the source material without being a carbon copy. Or they could go the way of John Krasinski's Jack Ryan, in which characters from Tom Clancy's novels have been used, but the story is entirely new. Personally, I'd like to see them focus on one book per season. It could get messy if they try to combine Reacher novels, and there is more than enough in one book to fill a 10 episode season. The showrunners could even take a leaf out of the novel series...well book, by occasionally jumping back to Reacher's Army career. One of my favourite books is "The Enemy" - set in 1990, Major Reacher has to investigate the death of a two-star General in a seedy motel just off base.

Not to belittle the Jack Reacher movies, but a reboot to the small screen could actually be a good thing for Reacher. A TV show would allow those behind Jack Reacher to really explore these engrossing stories and bring so much more of them to the screen. Amazon did a great job of adapting Harry Bosch for the small screen, and in a way that's faithful to Michael Connelly's books. As for recasting the man himself, I personally didn't have a problem with Cruise in the role, I thought he did very well. But I'm clearly in the minority and am open to a new actor coming in. At the very least it means fans will be able to enjoy the continuing adventures of their favourite drifter, hopefully long after Lee Child brings his novel series to a close.

What are your thoughts on the decision to reboot Jack Reacher as a TV show? Did you enjoy the movies? What did you think of Tom Cruise in the role, and who would you like to see replace him? Let us know by leaving a comment below or find us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also email us at


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