For years now, author Lee Child has had to field questions about Paramount’s adaptations of his popular Jack Reacher novels, and, specifically, why anyone thought that wee little Hollywood action man Tom Cruise was a good fit for the hulking, physically imposing former military policeman described in the bestselling books. Now, Child has admitted that, yeah, said critics might actually have a point, announcing that he’s working on a new TV adaptation of the series that’ll require fewer Hobbit-style forced perspective shots in order to make its protagonist loom over his opponents.
For context, please enjoy this quick excerpt from one of Child’s books describing his signature character, and then imagine how teensy a chair you would have to make for Tom Cruise to fit the part:
He was one of the largest men she had ever seen outside the NFL. He was extremely tall, and extremely broad, and long-armed, and long-legged. The lawn chair was regular size, but it looked tiny under him.
“I really enjoyed working with Cruise. He’s a really, really nice guy. We had a lot of fun,” Child told BBC Radio Manchester recently. “But ultimately the readers are right. The size of Reacher is really, really important and it’s a big component of who he is.” And so, this new Jack Reacher show—which, we have to stress, is not the Jack Ryan TV show, even though no one would blame you for confusing the two—will have to seek out a new leading man, one who doesn’t have to step on his tippy-toes in order to headbutt Werner Herzog. (Werner Herzog played the bad guy in the first Jack Reacher movie. We have now exhausted our entire supply of fun Jack Reacher facts.)
Child mentioned that he might shop the series around to someone like Netflix; it’s not clear who he’d be producing it with, but given that the 23 Reacher books have sold ludicrous numbers of copies over the last 20 years, we doubt it’ll be too hard to line up a partner somewhere.