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Tom Cruise Talks Jack Reacher Casting
Exclusive: 'I'm very sensitive to it.'

25 October 2011  |  Written by Phil de Semlyen  

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Tom Cruise Talks Jack Reacher Casting

There are casting calls so controversial that they look likely to reduce the internet to a smoking wasteland of charred avatars and ashen memes. Michael Keaton as Batman, Daniel Craig as Bond, The Last Airbender... that kind of thing. It's fair to say that the choice of Tom Cruise to play Lee Child's towering do-gooder Jack Reacher in One Shot has smoke pouring out of the web again.

With the movie currently filming in Pittsburgh, Empire tracked the man down to ask about the farrago. "Firstly, I'm very sensitive to it," Cruise explained, revealing that Child came to watch his readings. "This is Lee's book and Lee's character. Him giving me his blessing is what made me do it. If he hadn't then I wouldn't have done it."

And what of the discrepancy in height, Cruise giving away more than a few inches to the clock-brained legend? "Lee told me that the reason he wrote him that size (6' 5") is because that was just one element to his character, and that opened the door to me playing him."

As Cruise himself is quick to point out, he's no stranger to controversial casting. His pick to play Lestat in Neil Jordan's Interview With The Vampire may have been pre-trolling, but it still caused a stink with fans of Anne Rice's novel - and, briefly, with the writer herself.

No-one should doubt the actor's commitment to the role, though. "Reacher is such a great character," he enthused. "He doesn't have a cell phone, he doesn't have email. He's off the grid. He pays for things in cash. People look at things through the prism of the colours of their life, but Jack Reacher does things the way we want to sometimes. In that sense he's sort of a Dirty Harry, a James Bond, a Josey Wales."

Pick up a copy of Empire's December issue from Thursday for more from Cruise on One Shot and its mythical, head-punching protagonist. 


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Your Comments

The bigger they are...
...the bigger the actor? In terms of physicality, yes, not fame. But then how much say did Childs really have? I've loved virtually all the Reacher books and will probably continue to do so. Would be surprised if I loved the film though... Yes, I've seen some terrific Cruise performances, but as already stated Reacher's size is a huge part of the dynamic for the character. More

Posted by mclh at 10:44 on 01 November 2011 | Report This Post

I have much respect for the Cruiser BUT...
I also have a love for Reacher and the novels in general, and for me the size of the character is the most crucial aspect for the key dynamics of the stories; the fight scenes shape up like the "Burly Brawl" in The Matrix but are over within seconds, with the pure joy taken from them being generated by Reacher's bulk. One headbutt from this guy ENDS things, sometimes permanently, and this piece of casting is surely going to make One Shot just another Bourne-esque action flick? Not nece More

Posted by Juan Dolio at 15:08 on 28 October 2011 | Report This Post

I MIGHT ADD
I just told my mother about this, she is 73 and has read every book, and she laughed for a minute straight when I told her, she put the phone down for a second. Laughed out loud, and her best friend is going to be crushed by this, they love Reacher BECAUSE he is a big tough dude who can crack heads. GET IT TOM? What a farce. FARCE. More

Posted by CRUISEISAJOKE at 05:16 on 28 October 2011 | Report This Post

What a complete an utter joke this is
Hope you bank enough Lee Child because you sure sold out your fans with this ridiculous farce. It's not a Jack Reacher movie, its a Tom Cruise movie and he uses the name. He has a friggin' spiky hair cut for CRYING OUT LOUD, and he's TINY and NOT INTIMIDATING and the farthest from stoic as you can get. An insult to the franchise and fans. Enjoy that check Mr Child. More

Posted by CRUISEISAJOKE at 05:13 on 28 October 2011 | Report This Post

Nonsense!
I don't care what bullshit lee child comes out with to justify the casting of cruise, it's just total nonsense. As others have mentioned, Reachers size is a main factor in the novels, especially when he is using his bulk and size to beat the crap out of the bad guys! Now come on, the average guy on the street could kick cruises arse! You know I was hoping that one day a movie would be made based on John Connollys Charlie Parker books, but maybe it's best they don't, they would probably cast Jami More

Posted by archie119 at 21:02 on 27 October 2011 | Report This Post

Wrong wrong wrong...
It seems to me that Child will be looking for more readers rather than making a film for his existing fans with the casting of the egotistical midget. Yes his physicality is only one part of the character, but, as anyone who has studied acting even at GCSE level knows that physicality plays a huge roll in how a character relates to the world around them and given Reacher's history and the reaction he receives from other characters just because of his physical presence, it seems to me that Cruis More

Posted by garethturtle at 15:56 on 27 October 2011 | Report This Post

Stop whining.
Personally i dont care if they cast Dakota Fanning as Reacher, i just want to see the film. Picking an actor strictly for his physical resemblance to a character is a dumb idea. Stop chatting bollocks, whinging gets. More

Posted by Varkko Stush at 21:14 on 25 October 2011 | Report This Post

totally agree with jensenjet.this flick is aimed at the average movie goer "hey look,a new tom cruise movie" "is it any good?" "i dont know,but its got tom cruise in it.i know him from celebrity gossip.lets watch" ah hollywood.its all downhill from here people More

Posted by Lur at 20:33 on 25 October 2011 | Report This Post

sigh!
sigh! what's there to say, its a done deal however the fans ruminate,protest or complain. the film will do well but itll be down to TC's fanbase not, i dare say, Lee Childs. in the end itll be just another action flick - like TCs last one Knight and Day. its sad but thats Hollywood. next up - arnold swcharczeneggar as Gandhi . woohooo! More

Posted by miorandmior at 19:34 on 25 October 2011 | Report This Post

sigh!
sigh! what's there to say, its a done deal however the fans ruminate,protest or complain. the film will do well but itll be down to TC's fanbase not, i dare say, Lee Childs. in the end itll be just another action flick - like TCs last one Knight and Day. its sad but thats Hollywood. next up - arnold swcharczeneggar as Gandhi . woohooo! More

Posted by miorandmior at 17:38 on 25 October 2011 | Report This Post

Unforgiveable
Huge fan of the book series and the casting of someone so completely against how the character is described will definately make me give this movie a miss. Jack Reacher's height and build are not just a description, they are a huge (no pun intended) part of his character. Things happen to him BECAUSE of how he looks and interacts. Never been a Cruise fan (highly overrated) and this just made me walk away from the series as well. How much money does Lee Childs need that he is willing to sacrifice More

Posted by Dhaid at 17:05 on 25 October 2011 | Report This Post

yawn
They can try and justify it anyway they like, but its a shocker in casting terms! Why not have jackie chan as superman or George clooney as batman, oh wait they did that already!! Predictable Hollywood, ruining great books/stories with bad casting just to draw in some money... More

Posted by oz_p at 15:52 on 25 October 2011 | Report This Post

If he casts Vern Troyer and Peter Dinkledge, it'll make him look like the Reacher of the books! More

Posted by LSJShez at 15:17 on 25 October 2011 | Report This Post

Had Cruise not been involved...
...I bet the budget would have dropped massively, and a less accompolished director hired. If comic book movies have taught us anything it's that the original core fans are near worthless compared to appealing to the average cinema goer! From what I know of the Reacher character and his escapades this film could easily have been a typical B-rate and utterly forgettable action flick. Cruise may not be the world's best actor, but like Harrison Ford he's a better action-man than the usual choices f More

Posted by JensonJet at 14:55 on 25 October 2011 | Report This Post

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