When I read a Lee Child novel, I have a distinct picture in my mind about what Jack Reacher looks like.
Bigger than life almost . . . or at least 6 feet, 5 inches as Child, left, describes in the books.
Muscular but certainly not muscle bound like one of those pro wrestlers.
And, of course, handsome in a rugged way.
The image of Tom Cruise never comes to mind.
But it appears that is who we will be seeing as the iconic Jack Reacher. Cruise is supposed to start filming in the fall the movie One Shot based on Child's series. And, yes, Cruise has been signed to play Reacher.
So much for icons.
Child has been quoted recently that Reacher's size is a mere metaphor for him being "an unstoppable force."
I certainly understand that, and agree with Child, whose latest Reacher novel The Affair comes out in September.
But Tom Cruise?
Even if you don't count the fact that Cruise is 5-feet, 8-inches, he just doesn't have that "unstoppable force" we want and need from Reacher.
Cruise is an entertaining actor and I have enjoyed his Mission Impossible roles. But Cruise's Ethan Hunt is a master of disguises; a man who works undercover to blend in and integrate himself as a team member. The third movie in this series Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is due out later this year.
But we need our Jack Reachers to be bigger than life. As readers, we want these heroes to save the day, to give us comfort that justice does rule in the end and that "unstoppable forces" do exist.
One Shot will be directed by Christopher McQuarrie, whose writing credits include Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Usual Suspects and The Tourist, as well as several television dramas.
If you do a search on YouTube, you will find several short films with other actors portraying Jack Reacher. These were made as auditions and for fun but these films will give you an idea of how Reacher could have made it to the screen.
I'll try to keep an open mind about Cruise as Jack Reacher but it won't be easy. And in the end, I'll probably prefer Child's novels.