Lee Child, author of the incredibly popular Jack Reacher series, was interviewed in a Q and A at the Brisbane Town Hall yesterday. Last night, the best selling author made a momentous announcement that drew rapturous applause from his fans. Tom Cruise would no longer play Jack Reacher.
Child has sold a staggering 100 million plus copies of his books but there was a huge outcry when Tom Cruise was originally touted to play Reacher in a series of films, commencing in 2012 with "Jack Reacher". When the announcement was made, the reaction from Lee Child's readers ranged from incredulity to anger.
The commonly asked question was how could the 5'7" Tom Cruise possibly play a character who was a rugged 6'6" and 250lbs. The answers from the studio were generally that Tom Cruise was an amazing actor who could pull off any role. The result was a couple of underwhelming films with readers unwilling to accept Tom Cruise as Reacher.
Lee Child explained, with a hint of sarcasm "Reader's were not entirely convinced by Tom Cruise. He's a great actor and a lovely person but my loyalty is to my readers and I got the message loud and clear. Believe me, I really did." he said with a wry smile.
He went on to say that "In the movie contract there was a clause that said after two movies I had a right to veto over whether there were any more movies so, almost 2 weeks ago, I said there will be no more movies, no more Tom Cruise. Take it to television with a completely different actor."
Despite dropping Tom Cruise from the franchise Lee Child was full of praise "I've got nothing bad to say about Tom Cruise. Everything you read about him is a falsehood. We were together for many, many days and he never ever said anything about Scientology or anything else. He's just a really, really good guy but unfortunately he's just not a really big good guy."
Lee Child said that "In 2005, when we did that movie deal, feature films seemed to be the place to go"
He went on to say "The world is changed completely now, culture is altered so television is the obvious place to go with a different actor." With tongue firmly in his cheek he said "I'm going to somehow get you all to participate in choosing a new actor. If you don't like him this time it's going to be your fault".
Lee firmly acknowledged that with Tom Cruise "there was a definite mismatch" but moving on "Excuse my language but the (current) discussions revolved around getting the biggest mother***** you have ever seen"
Lee Child hinted that the new actor to portray Jack Reacher might be someone less well known to audiences. It seems that whoever plays Reacher will need to be able to fill the expectations of readers.
Over 1000 people attended the Q and A last night with Lee Child and that is an indication of his incredible popularity of his novels. The latest instalment in the Reacher series l is "Past Tense".
Who do you think should play the next Jack Reacher? Send your comments below.