Tom Cruise defends role as "Jack Reacher"

LONDON Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:25pm EST

U.S. actor Tom Cruise arrives for the world premiere of the film ''Jack Reacher'' in Leicester Square in central London December 10, 2012. REUTERS/Toby Melville

U.S. actor Tom Cruise arrives for the world premiere of the film ''Jack Reacher'' in Leicester Square in central London December 10, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - Tom Cruise has defended his role as Jack Reacher in the first of what could be a new action movie franchise, despite being much slimmer and shorter than the character created by author Lee Child in the original books.

Cruise told Reuters Television at the world premiere in London on Monday of "Jack Reacher" that he would not have taken the part if British thriller writer Child had been unhappy.

Child's version of Reacher - a military sniper - is 6 foot 5 inches tall and weighs over 200 pounds (91 kilograms). Cruise, 50, is just 5 foot 7 inchestall according to the Internet Movie Database, and has a trim physique.

"You know, he (Child) created the character, I had my own opinion that I didn't say to Lee and then he came back and pretty much reflected what I had felt about it. But had he said 'look I'd rather not', I would not have played the character," Cruise said.

Cruise described Reacher's size as a "characteristic" rather than a "character."

"Jack Reacher," to be released later this month, is based on "One Shot" - one of the series of best-selling novels by Child about the eponymous former soldier turned drifter who travels the United States dealing out his own brand of justice.

British actress Rosamund Pike, who plays the female lead, said she hoped there will be many more Reacher movies.

"We hope this is going to be a great big new franchise for Tom and for Paramount and so to be in the first one is always kind of cool ... It's witty, it's fast-moving, the plot is ... puzzling and incisive and quite dark in places. You know the humor and the violence in this film is pretty edgy and I like that about it," Pike said.

Cruise was also a producer on the Paramount Pictures movie, which is due for release in the United States on December 21.

(Reporting by Edward Baran, editing by Jill Serjeant)

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Comments (17)
Spinoza149 wrote:
I am one of the innumerable Lee Child ‘Reacher’ loyal book fans who will refuse to see the Reacher movie. A growing part of the population despise Hollywood’s casting preference of ‘star power’ versus reflecting the story and character. Reacher’s size is an integral part of his character as it is his size in the written stories that specifically affects how he fights, takes a bullet, and how he is interacts with others. How Reacher’s size and strength affects Reacher’s choices and fate consistently and directly is emphasized in each of the books. A short, weak, pretty-boy is the absolute antithesis of reacher’s image and character. Only when Hollywood receives low ticket sales for crappy casting choices along with the clear message why will they learn to cast properly.

Dec 10, 2012 11:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Gerard Butler needs a decent role, and he would be a far better physical fit for Reacher. I have seen trailers for this movie and they look trashy. Most of the books are excellent entertainment, but there is subtlety to them. Cruise is anything but subtle.

Dec 11, 2012 12:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
TSpikeSmith wrote:
Sorry, I just can’t see or even think of Tom Cruise in a role such as this.

Dec 11, 2012 12:10am EST  --  Report as abuse
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