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Jack Reacher? The Rock, Dwayne Johnson

December 19th, 2012 · 7 Comments · Abu Dhabi, UAE

I have read all 17 of the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child, and I have been waiting for the franchise to shift to the big screen.

And I was one of the, oh, 99 percent of Reacher fans who was … what is the best word for this? … horrified by the choice of Tom Cruise to play the laconic, straight-shooting brute.

Cruise supporters suggest: “No one else could make this happen; no big guy has the kind of gravitas of Tom.”

“Bollocks!” I say. I know exactly who could have played Reacher. And been great at it.

Well, the headline was a bit of a spoiler, wasn’t it.

A perfect Reacher?

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Anyone who has read a Reacher books know that the character is big. Before anything else. “With fists like hams.” People are creeped out when he enters a room. The man is strong without trying. Tom Cruise brings none of that. The Rock has that in spades.

Yes, he would have to give up the silly eyebrow-raising to play Reacher. But he wouldn’t have to try to fake menace-just-by-appearing that the 5-foot-6 Tom Cruise will certainly fail at.

Reacher is described as 6-5, 240 (or 250, in later books).

The Rock? 6-5, 250.

Reacher is 40-ish for most of his run. The Rock is 40. Tom Cruise is 50.

The Rock has a physical presence that Tom Cruise will never have.

I am not the first to complain about Cruise as Reacher. Others have come before me, making a case for a variety of guys, including Ray Stevenson, who played Volstagg in the movie “Thor”.

Child, the author, allegedly said, in support of Cruise: “With another actor you might get 100 percent of the height but only 90 percent of Reacher.” But at other times Child has been quoted as saying he was willing to give up control of the character once he got paid.

Reacher, the movie, comes out on Friday in the U.S., and over here in the UAE, too. I probably will see it. It is getting mixed reviews, some of them from people who appear never to have read the books and complain about the dialogue. Hey, remember, as often as not, “Reacher said nothing.”

Maybe somewhere down the line we can get a second Reacher, like they have with James Bond. Younger guys, following after Sean Connery.

Connery left some big shoes to fill; Tom Cruise’s shoes are not big at all.


7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 mhskibum // May 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    I totally agree. The Rock would “be” Jack Reacher and could easily have a run as that character for 10-15 years. He would be amazing in the role. What were they thinking about picking Tom Cruise. The fact One Shot disappeared from theatres quickly proves he doesn’t have the “stature” for the role. It’s Reacher’s size that makes him different from all the other action stars. Would Cruise have made an effective Terminator in the original film? I think not, Same for the Reacher series.

  • 2 robert // May 22, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    I have been telling all Reacher fans for 3-5 yrs that the Rock is Reacher. I will not watch Tom Cruise’s version for fear it will ruin any future books for me. Not too late to make one with the Rock I hope. Think Jack Ryan. Alec Baldwin, then Harrison Ford.

  • 3 James // Oct 12, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Good, but I think Kevin Durand would be better.

  • 4 Marc1 // Dec 4, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    Still irks me that “Tommy Boy” played Jack Reacher. Yes, I read the novels, and yes, I know the character Reacher is a white, blue eyed hulk of a man. So what! Mr. Johnson would have been perfect in that role! He is outstanding in action roles, is a versatile actor, and has the physical appearance to match Mr. Child’s character, Reacher. Supposedly Mr. Child had support for “Tommy Boy” in the role. Shame on him.

  • 5 Tony // Nov 20, 2015 at 3:39 PM

    Couldn’t agree more with The Rock as Reacher. Reacher has a great sense of humor and I think the characters The Rock plays shows The Rock has too!
    They should definitely remake the movie with The Rock!

  • 6 Rick // Aug 9, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Absolutely! The Rock = Jack Reacher. Hope for the remake.

  • 7 T Frampton // Oct 20, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    Before I read any of the above, I, too, thought Dwayne Johnson was perfect for the part. Who in the Heck did Tom Cruise bribe? To read the books and picture this man as Childs describes him and then see the movie with Tom Cruise??? What a disappointment!

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