Christopher McQuarrie’s old school action thriller Jack Reacher fared pretty well with critics and did a solid turn at the box office back in 2012, but fans of Lee Child’s literary creation could never reconcile with the fact the A-list megastar was almost a foot shorter than the character is depicted on the printed page.
Their discontent wasn’t helped when sequel Never Go Back delivered a vastly inferior follow up, but supporters have been much more receptive to Amazon’s recent episodic reboot Reacher, which cast the hulking Alan Ritchson in the lead role.
Child isn’t above throwing some shade in the direction of Cruise, having previously claimed he was too old to be making action movies long before Mission: Impossible 7 even started shooting, and he’s at it again in a roundabout way after praising Ritchson’s dimensions in an interview with Metro.
“There was criticism from the book fans, because they had built up a very clear image of what Reacher should look like. It just became a different proposition and I guess the opportunity of thinking, ‘Alright, we can get a much bigger guy so the book fans are going to be happy, but we’re also focusing on the non-book readers. What do they need?’.
They need just great entertainment, they don’t have the reference already, and so we also had to satisfy them. I think that the size thing is important to certain parts of the narrative. Reacher has got to scare people and you can do that so much easier with one glance of this huge animal rather than a normal-sized actor.”
There were initially plans in place for a third Reacher starring Cruise, but after Never Go Back earned just $162 million at the box office on a $96 million budget, any ideas were shelved in favor of the rebooted streaming show. Child is no doubt happier as a result, but we’ll just have to wait and see if Ritchson’s interpretation of the former military investigator is brought back for a second season.