Let's get something straight up front: Tom Cruise is fucking great as Jack Reacher.
Yes, he's a bit, uh, diminutive in stature - especially compared to the hulking monstrosity author Lee Child describes in his ongoing series of perfect airport fiction - but whatever inches he lacked (vertical or otherwise) the actor made up for in attitude and superstar wattage. The complaints from fans echo similar gripes lobbed at Cruise when he was cast as the immortal Lestat in Anne Rice's Interview With A Vampire, as people couldn't possibly believe that an actor could, you know, act and shit to make up for not exactly matching what the character's creator originally envisioned.
But no amount of understanding how different art forms work is going to stop Lee Child from dissing Cruise and little boy shoes. Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester's Mike Sweeney, Child said:
"Cruise, for all his talent, didn't have that physicality."
Very disrespectful, Lee. Child went on to toss Cruise a backhanded bone, but ultimately sided with his readers' complaints:
"I really enjoyed working with Cruise. He's a really, really nice guy. We had a lot of fun. 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 is that when Reacher walks into a room, you're all a little nervous just for that first minute...so what I've decided to do is - there won't be any more movies with Tom Cruise."
I mean, dude, you did get a muscular Chris McQuarrie-helmed studio action picture (and another sorta limp TBS Sunday special from Ed Zwick*) out of Cruise. So, what do you intended to cinematically do with your creation next?
"Instead we're going to 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."
The author went on to say he signed a deal last week to craft a new streaming series (but didn't specify with which platform). To be honest, that's probably for the best, as the serialized nature of the books would make for great binge-watching. But still, Cruise is the man, and I'm disappointed we won't be getting any more mysteries with him in the lead, especially after Mission: Impossible - Fallout proved he's still at the top of his game when it comes to genre filmmaking.
But now, the big question: who do you get to replace Cruise as Reacher? If I had my way, it'd be Dave Bautista. Our esteemed Russ Fischer tossed up John Cena in BMD Slack just a few moments ago. What about y'all? Sound off in the comments below with your idea of the ideal Jack Reacher replacement in this upcoming show.
*Which this writer still admittedly likes in a half-assed fashion.