For many fans of Lee Childs‘”Jack Reach” books the new Amazon series is a second chance at casting success. The series has already been adapted into two films starring Tom Cruise as the main character, 2012’s “Jack Reacher” and its 2016 sequel “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back”. Although these films were moderately successful, critics felt that Cruise’s casting ignored one of the most important aspects of the books.
Jack Reacher is known to be a physically imposing figure, described in one book as “extremely tall, extremely broad, with long arms and long legs” with “hands the size of dinner plates”. No matter how well Tom Cruise played the role, the 5’8″ actor was never going to be the right fit for some fans.
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Amazon’s new series, “Reacher,” seeks to remedy that by casting the much taller Alan Ritchson in the role. Talk to Metro.co.ukLee Childs, who also serves as an executive producer on the series, addressed fan issues with Cruise.
“There was criticism from fans of the book because they had built a very clear picture of what Reacher should look like,” Childs said. While fans of the books who approached the film with a pre-existing mental image of Reacher may have objected to Cruise, he said newer fans really enjoyed Cruise’s performance. So when it came time to launch the series, he wanted to balance the interests of both groups.
“It just became a different proposition and I guess the opportunity to think, ‘Okay, we can have a much bigger guy for the fans of the book to be happy,'” he said. “But we also focus on non-book readers. What do they need? They just need a good entertainment, they don’t have the reference yet and so they also had to be satisfied.
While Childs said he’s a fan of both actors and praised Cruise for devoting himself to the role, he now understands why some fans have been giving him trouble. “I think size is important for certain parts of the narrative,” he said. “Reacher needs to scare people, and you can do that a lot easier with a look at this huge animal rather than a full-sized actor.”
Season 1 of “Reacher” is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
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