Culture

Lee Child and Christopher McQuarrie Take Aim at Cruise Haters and "One Shot" Detractors

"One Shot" haters: You've been served. The creative team behind Christopher McQuarrie's adaptation of Lee Child's terse and tense crime series has launched a canny campaign to wrest the reigns of perception about the project from the disgruntled digital peanut gallery decrying the decision to cast Tom Cruise as the mammoth ex-military cop, Jack Reacher. Today's news that newcomer (and certified vealcake) Jai Courtney would play the sniper pursuing Reacher appeared to be McQuarrie's coup de grace, capping a series of strategically placed supporting cast announcements which were instantly trumpeted in the press. Then, as if to snuff out any doubt that the production would continue to silently absorb body blows from the book's legions of irate fans, this morning excerpts surfaced from a recent Empire interview in which Child delivered his second strongly worded Cruise endorsement.

"Obviously, Tom Cruise doesn't match the physical description of Reacher in the books ... but the movie is not going to match the book anyway," Child told the British film magazine." If you look at what McQuarrie [the screenwriter of "One Shot," whose previous work includes "The Usual Suspects" and "Valkyrie"] and Cruise have done before, I think this Reacher will be more clinical  the scalpel rather than the sledgehammer. What people forget is that Tom Cruise is quite possibly the best actor of his generation."

Sean Penn might dispute that last statement. But let's not split cross-hairs. Given that Child is already working the stump on Cruise's behalf before the film has even started shooting means that "One Shot's" war room is now up and running, complete with backlit strategy maps and over-caffeinated staffers plotting the next PR salvo.

Meanwhile McQuarrie has spent the past two months back-loading the cast with unassailable talent. He made up a lot of ground with the skeptics by casting Rosamund Pike -- the brainy ex-Bond girl who stole scenes as Paul Giamatti's shiksa goddess wife in "Barney's Version" -- as a tenacious defense attorney who comes to rely on Reacher to help prove her client has been framed. Then, in a masterstroke of timing, the writer-director ratcheted up the project's creative clout when he tapped David Oyelowo for a role as the local detective, on the heels of his back-to-back standout performances in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and "The Help." In the same week, McQuarrie scored another direct hit enlisting the vast talents of Richard Jenkins -- the always-great journeyman actor who scored an Oscar nom for "The Visitor" -- to play the blood-lusty D.A. Then, as if to gild the Smith & Wesson, earlier this week Robart Duval -- a man who can legitimately stake a claim on being the best actor of his generation -- boarded the project in a small but pivotal role.

Talk about a stellar supporting cast. Could this have anything to do with a certain "One Shot" big shot with a history of  fending off negative publicity surrounding his association with a controversial religious organization with his industrial-strength charm and highly combustible legal team? In all likelihood, the answer is: Yes. And though we're still unconvinced Cruise's outsized persona will compensate for his physical inconsistencies with the character as written, McQuarrie has yet to make an uninteresting film. We're talking about the man who created Keyser Soze. So, for the time being, we're placing our faith in McQuarrie.

Has anyone else been convinced or converted by the strong supporting cast or Lee Child's entreaties to reserve judgement? Are there any "One Shot" diehards bold enough to come out in support of Cruise? Finally, does anyone disagree with our assessment that these supporting characters add heft and credibility where it may have been lacking?

  • John ferebee

    The supporting cast doesn't make Cruise ant taller.

    • Declan O’Hare

      I agree. And Lee, if as you say, no actor could physically match the Reacher in the books and the film will not be consistent with the book "One Shot" then it's a nonsense to portray this film as a Jack Reacher movie. "Ethan Hunt" would be a more believe able title!

      • Abantika

        Well said Declan O'Hare.

  • Carole

    I will continue to buy Lee Child books, added The Affair today to a collection of all his books and particularly enjoy Reacher. I will not pay to see the movie however. All the supporting starpower will not compensate for the choice for the lead character.

    • Tammy

      I am completely with you on this one. Watching the new teaser makes me sick to my stomach...and then I start laughing when I see Tiny Tom surrounded by a bunch of taller people - one of which is a woman.

    • Laura

      Just watched the trailer & agree: all the back-up star power in Hollywood cannot compensate for the wrong leading man. Tom Cruise is not Reacher. Besides being too small and anti-intellectual, too smooth and pretty, Cruise’s voice is a several of octaves too high. His tenor does not sound like sex, masculine power, testoserone. Reacher is a bass … think James Earl Jones … the little he says coming from deep in his soul. By comparison, Tom Cruise is a giddy girl in pigtails. I'm sticking with the books.

  • http://www.wordandfilm.com Sandy

    I love the Reacher books and admire Tom Cruise, this should be a great movie! You have to give it a chance to shine.

    • Boyce G (Las Vegas)

      I disagree with Mr. Childs statement that no actor today can meet Jack Reacher's stature. How about that Stephenson guy that starred in "Kill the Irishman"? He is at least 6'5, fairhaired, can act and is certainly intimidating. My first choice all along and I have read them all. Mr.Childs, you took the low road and went for the bucks. Why? Don't you have enough already?
      "Give the movie a chance"? That's hack speak for "BUY A TICKET STUPID!". I will definitley see the movie. When it is on TV! Cruise & actor should never be used in the same sentence. He plays T.Cruise in EVERY movie. He is a personality, NOT an actor. It's an insult to ask me to see a movie based on the supporting cast. Other than Duval, who has anybody ever heard of? I could go on but what would be the point? The movie is alre3ady in the can. Next stop, the toilet!

  • http://www.femagination.com Ellen Appleby Keim

    Cruise is not my favorite actor. He is definitely not the best actor of his generation. But I'll give this movie a chance because I love Lee Child and Jack Reacher. Here's hoping that McQuarrie is up to the challenge. If this film bombs, it will be hard to get another Jack Reacher novel made and that would be a shame.

  • marjorie

    Why would anyone think Tom Cruise can be Jack Reacher? Unbelievable!!

  • http://wordandfilm Leo

    Tom Cruise is Jack Reacher, you have to be kidding me.

  • http://clanrossconcepts.blogspot.com Jon

    Lee Child's Reacher novels have thrilled me since I got the first one years ago. I can honestly state that the storyline and characters deserve more than Tom Cruise, his controversial views and mismatch to the lead character. I can think of many actors more suited in charisma, acting skill and stature: Thomas Jane (Marvel's Punisher), Christopher Valley (Fringe and Moving Target), Karl Urban (Star Trek, RED, Judge Dredd) or even the uncomparable Jason Statham (with some accent work) .. no effort thinking of those .. color me disappointed Lee, sorry.

    • Ann

      I agree with all of the above, have the loved the Reacher books and have them all, Russel Crowe could make a Reacher, even though he's a little short, but the vocie fits and the ruggerness. Jason Statham too, I'll see the movie just to see if my veiws are right however I wasn't impressed with the trailer.

  • Stevesmid

    I picture a guy like Jacko from the Eveready battery commercials for Jack Reacher.

    And Reacher is known for remaining silent at crucial moments, not easily provoked.

    Reacher books ask a question--what would happen if a man without fear, physically dangerous, with the mind of an investigator is put in the middle of a complicated criminal situation? His physicallity is always key to the plot.

    With Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, you lose the physicallity--Cruise is too small to seriously injure with a single punch.

    Cruise usually plays the charming type. Reacher does not rely on verbal skills.

    I will give the movie a chance--everyone involved is top shelf, including Cruise.

  • Cal Bill

    Cruise plainly is not the Jack Reacher we have come to know and love. There are several guys who could do this part much better. I see them every day on cable movies. Jack Reacher is not good looking and is physically intimidating to folks around him. Cruise fails on both of those, though I'm not sure about the good looking part.
    This is like the early movies of James Bond (David Niven) and Matt Helm (Dean Martin). Played for laughs and over the top farce. Too bad.
    Will I see the movie? Not sure at this point. It could be a good movie, but it won't be Jack Reacher.

  • Fifi

    I have read many of the Jack Reacher books and am absolutely gutted about Mr Cruise being cast in that role. Yes Tom is a rich, successful, influential person and in many roles is a terrific actor but the big tough Reacher he is not. This is a monumentally stupid choice. I remember being so disappointed when Cruise did this same exact thing when he took on the Vampire Lestat and ruined the Anne Rice novels.

  • Lynne

    It matters not who the supporting cast is....and now Mr. Child says it won't follow the book either....why bother? The bigger than life character the has lived in the books for years is being transformed into a total stranger.....just to fit the self agrandizing personality of Tom Cruise. You can't make a Jack Reacher out of a self imposed demi-god......period. The End.

  • Ray

    So.....what was Liam Neeson doing? Honestly I'll go see it. Tom is fine, I just wouldn't have put him in the role. I have all of the Reacher novels, absolutely love them. Named my 145 lb Alaskan malamute "Reacher". Now thinking I should have gotten a terrier. Good luck Lee, would love to see all of the books on the big screen.

    • Tammy

      We named our 140 lb Labrador Jack Reacher. Even he is bigger than Tom Cruise and could be more convincing in the role.

  • LesleyS

    Tom Cruise managed to turn Klaus Maria Schenk into a weasel. Valkyrie is horrible example to use in defense of this casting tragedy.

  • AnnieD

    you asked, "Has anyone else been convinced or converted by the strong supporting cast or Lee Child’s entreaties to reserve judgement? Are there any “One Shot” diehards bold enough to come out in support of Cruise? Finally, does anyone disagree with our assessment that these supporting characters add heft and credibility where it may have been lacking?"

    I say no, no and yes.

  • Gordon

    Total sell out!!

    Cruise as Reacher is possibly the biggest mis-cast of all time.

    He's a decent actor, true enough, but its all about 'him' not the character, best of his generation? not even close.

    Very disappointed in Lee Child, his book buying public have catpulted him from unemployment to the top of the best seller lists, all on the back of Jack none Reacher, and this is how he repays us?

    Very disappointing, and quite sad too.

    On the plus side, Hollywood will be due to do a re-make in 2013, as they do with everything else nowadays!

    David Morse as Jack, anyone?

  • Gail

    A great supporting cast will not prop up Cruise and his physical shortcomings. If the movie is not going to match the book-we all know books made to movies never match the book totally but you can still stay true to the character when his physicality is so much a part of him. McQuarrie may be a great screenwriter but big car crashes will not grasp the essence of Reacher. Love the Reacher books but will not see the movie. Tom Cruise is not the greatest actor of his generation. Oscars?

  • http://www.thrivingafter40.blogspot.ccom Judy

    Peanut gallery? Why is it so wrong for people who love a book character to expect the movie adaptation be true to the story?. Would Rowling's fans have stood by quietly if Harry Potter had been blond? I am not convinced that this movie will be any good because I think Tom Cruise sucks as a an actor and looks NOTHING like Jack Reacher. Your insults of a whole group of book fans does nothing for your case.

  • Helen

    I am very disappointed that Lee Child would insult his loyal readers and defend Tom Cruise.
    So much of the Reacher character is built around his size, in fact his imposing size, that it concerns me that Lee is happy for the very essence of his much loved character to be discarded.
    "The scalpel rather than the sledgehammer" he is quoted as saying. Well I think if Jack Reacher heard of this casting joke he would take some 'firm' sledgehammer-like action to his creator! Here is a wrong to be righted Reacher!
    Its like casting Danny DeVito as the new James Bond.

    • Michelle

      I so agree, nothing in the book bears any similarity to this movie. Why call it "Jack Reacher" then? Why doesn't Lee child write a new book/series with a different character specifically for Tom? Then reacher and Cruise fans would be happy. He wants one of his books made into a movie, I can understand that, I would too! Just not this character/actor combination.Surely that is a reasonable point of view?

  • Lesley

    The only people would could think that Cruise is the "Best actor of his generation" are Cruise himself, his agent and his publicist. He is TOTALLY wrong for Reacher. This is just so obvious if that awful trailer is anything to go by. A trailer is supposed to encourage people to see the movie - sorry boys, didn't do it for me!!

  • Sola

    I love Jack Reacher and because of that I won't be watching the movie. It'll just ruin future books for me and the trailor has just made me believe I've made the right choice. Should have given Vinny Jones (Gone in 60 seconds, Lock stock and smoking barrels) a call! Now there's a guy who doesn't need words and lets his hands do the talking!

  • Eleanor Buckle

    Chapter Two of Second Son (Jack Reacher Short Story) describes a 13 year old Jack Reacher as having a "huge bony frame like the scaffolding around a major construction project." Maybe Tom Cruise could have played an 8 year old Reacher. I am still shaking my head about this casting. I won't be seeing any Reacher films with Tom Cruise as the lead. To describe him as the best actor of his generation is really overstating it. He was good in "Rainman", perfect for the role of the self-centred disinherited son, but the rest of his movies - blah!

  • Dave

    Here is what I wrote to my brother who brought Cruise as Reacher to my attention.

    "You just freak'in ruined my day!!! I'm trying to figure out how I can start a boycott. I'm also looking up Lee Child's e-mail address to call him a sellout, he must be trying to protect his % in the movie.

    GRRRRRHHHHHH! AAAAHHHHHHH!! Anyone but that 5'8" pipsqueak Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise playing tom Cruise in another movie. When was the last time anyone bought him as a Character; anyone remember Mitch McDeere? This is worst than Mark Walberg playing Bob Lee Swagger! What's next Ben Affleck as Mitch Rapp.

    My bothers and I have agree that this is a movie we will pass on.

  • David Davies

    I have nothing against Tom Cruise, but Jack Reacher he is not and could not ever be. Lee Child says that he will be a different kind of Jack Reacher, but excuse me, I want the Jack Reacher I've come to really appreciate in all the novels to date. But I must thank you for one thing, you've saved me the cost of a movie ticket as I just won't waste my time.

  • Max

    Eric Bana would have been good. He played Chopper so well. Being over 6" as well.

  • Janet

    I have only read 6 of the Jack Reacher books so far, and I intend to read the remaing books. Naturally I will not be watching the movie, as I fear the sight of Tom Cruise playing the part will ruin all the other books for me. It is possible that our collective vision of Reacher may be strong enough to overcome this travesty, but I am not taking any chances, and I am quite certain that no Reacher fan will watch this movie.

    • Domino milligan

      Won't see the movie hope they recast a different actor maybe the Rock if they do another Reacher film.

  • Brian

    Come on Tom Cruise as Reacher? Cannot think of a worse choice. Too small. Just plays Tom Cruise in every role he's in. Tom's best movies are those that he can use hit wit and sly humor (Top Gun, Jerry McGuire, A Few Good Men) and that is not Reacher. What about Jim Caviezel who essentially plays a Reacher type role on TV? As a huge fan of this series I am so disappointed to see such a blatant sell-out. Why would I want to pay to see "a different kind of Jack Reacher." I want to see the real Jack Reacher on screen and Tom Cruise is as far from that as can be.

    • Abantika

      yes,what's the point of watching “a different kind of Jack Reacher” ?

  • Frank

    Still haven't sold me. I'll probably see the movie when it comes out on DVD and can get it in the $5 discount rack. Cruise has had some decent roles, but like so many others have said in one way or another, this is one case where "size does matter." And the trailer? I don't remember all the details of the book, but I know Reacher didn't drive much and probably wouldn't ever have pulled any of those moves.

  • kelly kitman

    Not based on any book
    Scapel rather than sledgehammer
    5'7" rather than 6'5'.
    150 pounds rather than 250
    Dark hair not blonde
    Black leather jacket not shirt and pants
    Drives fast car not hitching a ride or riding a bus

    Again, how is this Jack Reacher? Joe Reacher maybe?
    Did they just use the name to suck in the readers?
    Why not Mission Impossibe VI
    Meryl Streep has also been hailed the greatest actor of this generation. Was she not available?

    I feel like Lee Child is warring against those people who made him famous.

    With the cast you named no doubt it will be a good movie, just not a Jack Reacher movie.

    • Abantika

      well written,if the character is so unlike Jack Reacher,why give the name Jack Reacher?

  • Ted

    Obviously LC has chosen to pursue the Cruise fans at the expense of the people that have fed him for years. Good luck with this Lee.

  • Arthurly

    You can try and justify it much as you like but it's a classic, abominable bit of miscasting.

  • Abantika

    Tom Cruise's personality is absolutely different from Jack Reacher's.To be Jack Reacher he has to mould and change himself a lot.If he does that,he's okay.Hope he does that.

  • Domino milligan

    I have all the Jack Reacher novels. If Little and I do mean little Tom Cruise is such an outstanding actor that he can convince me that all 147 lbs of him can me believe he's Reacher he desires an Oscar. If he's the best actor of this generation shouldn't be have an Oscar or two. Anglina Jolie would have made a better Reacher.

  • Courtney Hall

    Lee Child: A Jack Reacher movie is impossible without the
    closest possible actor for your amazingly incredible character Jack Reacher. Tom Cruise is a mismatch. Not even close to the real Reacher character you have built so well. Cruise is a wimp and small. Reacher is beyond macho and BIG.

    Reacher's character would be better served with Harrison Ford or Denzel Washington....real men with grit. And credibility. Cruise cannot compare.... Very wrong choice for Jack Reacher. AWFUL.

  • http://wordandfilm.com Mary Morgan

    There is only one actor who looks the part. Jim Caviezel.

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