The ‘Jack Reacher’ franchise is being shopped as a TV series, and the author says Tom Cruise is too short to continue as the star

Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. Paramount
  • The author of the “Jack Reacher” book series, Lee Child, said Tom Cruise is not big enough in physical stature to play his character anymore.
  • Child told BBC Radio that the franchise was moving from the big screen to a TV series, likely on a streaming service – and he doesn’t want Cruise to play the character going forward.
  • A source close to the deal confirmed to Business Insider that the franchise is being shopped around, however, Cruise, who is also a producer on the franchise, is still involved.

The author behind the Jack Reacher book series, Lee Child, isn’t shy to give his thoughts about why Tom Cruise isn’t the right choice to play the character anymore.

In a recent interview with BBC Radio, Child said that although he has enjoyed working with Cruise on the two theatrical releases focused on his famous character, 2012’s “Jack Reacher” and 2016’s “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” the global superstar just isn’t imposing enough to play Reacher, a former major in the military police who’s now a civilian helping people dealing with bad guys.

“Ultimately the readers are right,” Child said. “The size of Reacher is really, really important and it’s a big component of who he is.”

Throughout Cruise’s career his height (listed on his Wikipedia page as 5-foot-7) has always been a topic the tabloids love to write about (his ex-wife Nicole Kidman joked she could wear high heels after they split). But it hasn’t stopped him from being the biggest action star in the world for decades.

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Still, despite Cruise’s worldwide box-office draw, Lee is making it publicly known he believes there’s someone better out there to play the character.

“The idea is that when Reacher walks into a room, you’re all a little nervous just for that first minute. And Cruise, for all his talent, didn’t have that physicality,” said Lee, who in his books describes Reacher as over 6 feet in height and hands the size of dinner plates.

“So what I’ve decided to do is – there won’t be any more movies with Tom Cruise. Instead we’re going to take it to Netflix or something like that. Long form streaming television, with a completely new actor.”

Business Insider confirmed with a source close to the deal that the franchise is being shopped for TV or streaming. All parties that were involved in the films – Paramount, Skydance Media, and yes, Tom Cruise (who is also a producer on the franchise) – are all still involved.

Clearly Lee’s tactic here is to get Cruise out, but it’s dangerous to call out one of the most powerful people in Hollywood.