Jack Reacher

After weeks of speculation, Paramount has finally fired the shot that someone, somewhere might actually care about – their adaptation of Lee Child‘s novel “One Shot” will not be called One Shot, but just Jack Reacher, after the character it chronicles. Tom Cruise stars in the film, directed by Christopher McQuarrie, which centers on a badass ex-military cop named, uh, Jack Reacher, who is the star of sixteen of Child’s thrilling and popular novels. Cruise has come under fire for his casting, particularly because Reacher’s big build is a large part of his identity – in the books, he’s described as being a hulking 6’5″ beast – but the actor has repeatedly sounded off about the role and his take onit. However, previews of some of the film’s footage have played quite well, so it’s possible that Cruise has made the role his own and will dash any misgivings when it hits screens later this year, on December 21st.

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Jack Reacher is a recurring character in the thriller novels of Lee Child, and he’s described again and again as a physically imposing figure. Standing 6’5″ and weighing roughly 220 lbs, he’s “built like a house” and has hands “like giant battered mitts that bunched into fists the size of footballs.” A bullet fired from a .38 snubnose revolver fifteen feet away gets lodged in his massively thick pectoral muscles instead of penetrating his organs. Half the guys he comes across who would have started a fight with anyone else think wiser of it when facing him. He’s a big, scary guy. And in the currently filming adaptation One Shot, he’s being portrayed by Tom Cruise. Denizens of the internet who’ve read Child’s books have been fairly vocal about this casting choice since it was first announced a few months ago, and there’s no sign the complaining will end any time soon. The fans have a point as Cruise’s 5’7″ frame is almost a foot shorter than Reacher’s, but is that physical difference a make or break factor? The author’s official website has been fully supportive of Cruise’s involvement stating that Child “understands better than most that changes [from page to screen] are necessary and inevitable. And like Reacher he doesn’t favor half-measures…if we’re going to have a movie, then let’s have a movie star in it!” And now Cruise is speaking up too.

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Christopher McQuarrie’s upcoming adaptation of the Lee Child novel “One Shot” continues to make curious casting decisions. First it cast Tom Cruise, the diminutive head of the militant wing of the Church of Scientology, as the hulking, brute of a protagonist Jack Reacher. And now it has cast a German man in the role of The Zec, a Russian ex-POW who acts as the story’s antagonist. And not just any German man, the most German man in the world: Werner Herzog. To the public at large, that name might not mean much, but for those of us reading a film site, it’s kind of a big deal. Herzog is one of the most respected directors of film on the planet, his narrative works include things like Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre: The Wrath of God and his documentary work includes titles like Grizzly Man and the upcoming Into the Abyss. We’re used to hearing his voice narrating his docs, and he’s even showed up in features with small roles before (my favorite being his turn as the creepy father in Julien Donkey-Boy), but this will be the first time he ever gets a meaty role in a mainstream Hollywood film. Is it now only a matter of time before the entire country falls in love with Herzog’s rich, comforting grandfather voice? Is it only a matter of time before we see bumper stickers and novelty Ts carrying catchphrases about trees being in misery and birds screaming in pain? Is this the beginning […]

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Oh, movie magic. Is there anything better? Because of movie magic, a character that is a hulking mass of manly, American muscle (who’s really great at driving) can be played by Tom Cruise. According to Deadline Brentwood, Cruise has been cast for One Shot – the adaptation of the popular Jack Reacher novel from Lee Child (the pen name of Jim Grant) – and you’d have to assume that they’d make him gain 90 pounds and a foot in height for the role. Or maybe they’d just do it with practical effects make-up. Or CGI. Or maybe Jack Reacher will just be the name of a short guy with nice teeth. But all hope isn’t lost. The author himself was excited about the casting, claiming that Reacher’s physical appearance is a symbol of unstoppable force and that Cruise has got that sensibility in his own (non-physical) way. Still, Reacher’s bulk is part of what makes him unique. So does his almost aggravating refusal to speak when spoken to. With Cruise on board, it seems likely that the character will have moved from a quiet, giant badass to a talkative little man who can outrun bombs exploding. Which raises the question – how many elements of a character can you change or remove before the character ceases to be who he is?

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Director of the upcoming film One Shot, Christopher McQuarrie, is a name that’s been around Hollywood for quite a while, though he’s not yet household. Primarily he has worked as a screenwriter on things like The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie, but he also directed the 2000 film The Way of the Gun. This new project he’s working on will be an adaptation of a pretty popular novel by Lee Child of the same name. Child’s official website describes the book by saying, “There’s deadly trouble in the corn country of Nebraska … and Jack Reacher walks right into it. First he falls foul of a local clan that has terrified an entire county into submission. But it’s the unsolved case of a missing child, already decades-old, that Reacher can’t let go.” While it’s not known who might play the role of Reacher, Deadline Brookfield is reporting that Tom Cruise is in negotiations to play a small role as the Reacher character’s driver. Okay, no, that was a lie. Cruise is in negotiations for the starring role. Duh. I haven’t read these books myself, but word on the street is that a lot of fans of the Jack Reacher character are probably going to be up in arms about the possible Cruise casting, because Reacher is known for his gigantic size. Dude is like 6’5” and 250 lbs. It doesn’t really make much sense that they’d cast the world’s most handsome midget in the role. Despite the physical disparity, however, Child […]

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