Those familiar with airport books stores may recognize the name Lee Child. Child is the author of the Jack Reacher novels. No, they’re not gay porn. Rather, the Jack Reacher novels are your standard Tough Guy Crime Stories. Child’s hero, however, is one of the more interesting tough guys to emerge from genre fiction. Reacher is a former Army officer, a highly decorated military policeman who’s a cross between Sherlock Holmes, Rambo, and The Hulk. Child describes him as 6’5″, weighing about 250, with blond hair and blue eyes. I read the first novel in the series a few months ago and immediately thought of Chris Hemsworth:
You’re welcome, ladies (and possibly a few gentlemen as well). Reacher is a scary dude who uses his physical size and strength to intimidate and frequently beat the shit out of bad guys. Chris Hemsworth could do that quite effectively on the big screen, I reckon. Here is a picture of Tom Cruise, who will be playing Jack Reacher in the movie of the same name:
Huh. Well. Here’s Tom Cruise in the trailer for Jack Reacher:
Now, if you’re like me and you’ve read any of the Jack Reacher novels, you probably have a few questions/concerns. “Did Hollywood reboot Drive already?” No, but I could see why you’d think that. “What’s with the emphasis on the car?” Good question. One of Jack Reacher’s defining and interesting traits is that he is, quite literally, a drifter who walks from town to town in a Jules Pitt-like manner (you know – roaming the earth, having adventures). Reacher spent his childhood and much of his adult life outside of the U.S., and after leaving the Army, he chose to roam this great land of ours on foot, to get in touch with an America that he no longer knows, or some such. I’m not sure what the deal is with the car. It makes loud noises, which is appealing to a certain segment of filmgoers. “Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher is certainly a sharp dresser, with a penchant for fancy leather motorcycle jackets.” Yes, Movie Jack Reacher has a fine sense of style – clean shaven, nattily dressed, neatly coiffed hair. Novel Jack Reacher is, as we’ve established, a hobo. In the books, Reacher usually has just enough money to eat at a greasy spoon or rent cheap motel rooms, and typically finds his clothes at thrift stores, in the bottom of dumpsters, or on the bad guys he beats up utilizing his 6’5″ 250 poundedness. (Did I mention that Tom Cruise is 5′ 7″?) ”Has Tom Cruise always had that sorta mousy voice?” Yes. Which, you know, if you’re going to go against the author’s original vision for the character and re-imagine him as a diminutive pretty boy, you might want to rethink using his teeny voice in the trailer. “You know, prior to reading this post, I’d never heard of Lee Child or Jack Reacher. So why should I care if Tom Cruise plays him in the movie?”
That question deserves a paragraph of its own. Look, I’m not a Tom Cruise hater. Far from it. Yes, he’s a kook, but he knows his way around an action movie. Lee Child’s Reacher novels ain’t Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, but Jack Reacher is a unique and compelling character, and that’s why Child’s books always find their way to the top of the NY Times bestseller list. Naturally, Tom Cruise is one of the film’s producers, so of course he’s going to cast himself in the lead. It must be a bittersweet feeling for Lee Child to see his books make it to the big screen, only to lose the essential ingredient that got them there in the first place. Maybe he should give Anne Rice a call.