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Mission Possible: Tom Cruise Brings 'Jack Reacher' To the Big Screen

Updated on November 14, 2012

'Jack Reacher' is based on 'One Shot'

Jack Reacher's literary Father, Lee Child

Child is tall like Jack Reacher.  Child's wife gave him the Reacher name one day at the super market, when he had reached an item off the top shelf for a short older lady.  His wife said, if the writing thing doesn't work out, you can be a 'Reacher'.
Child is tall like Jack Reacher. Child's wife gave him the Reacher name one day at the super market, when he had reached an item off the top shelf for a short older lady. His wife said, if the writing thing doesn't work out, you can be a 'Reacher'.

He’s six foot five inches tall and weighs about 250 pounds.

He was trained by the United States Army to be a one man demolition team

He’s Jack Reacher, the star of 16 best selling thriller novels by Lee Child.

Until now, Reacher has been known only to Child’s readers. Although that number is well into the millions, Reacher soon will be known to hundreds of millions throughout the world.

Child’s novel ‘One Shot’ has been made into a major motion picture that will be released around Christmas time. Instead of being titled after the name of the book, the producers are calling the film “Jack Reacher” because they expect the name will become a recognizable franchise much like Batman or James Bond.

Jack Reacher shot to fame in Lee Child’s first work, “The Killing Floor”.

We learn early on in the book that Reacher was an elite army cop for over a dozen years. Some shadowy situation resulted in him leaving the service to begin the life of a drifter wandering the 48 connected states.

He owns no clothing other than what he wears and carries nothing with him but a folding toothbrush and a wad of cash that he replenishes as he needs to from a stash in a far off bank.

After three or four days, maybe a week, he buys a new shirt, pants, socks and underwear and puts them on, throwing away the old set.

“It’s cheaper than owning a house, car, suitcase and such,” he explains to the many women who are attracted to him.

Reacher sets out for a small town in Georgia, because he heard from his brother that Blind Blake once lived there. Reacher likes the “Blues” and has an extensive music collection that he keeps in his head. He can select a cut and listen to it in the same way normal people listen on their radios or I pods.

Reacher also keeps a clock in his head, which is always accurate to the second. He has the ability to set it just like an alarm clock.

Reacher enters the small town on the day a citizen was murdered. Being the only stranger in town, he’s jailed. This sets off a blazing chain of events that involves several more murders and a huge counterfeiting operation that Reacher has to single-handedly try to destroy.

Along the way, Reacher finds the identity of the first murder victim - it’s his only brother.

In the forthcoming movie “Jack Reacher” (One Shot): a lone gunman enters a parking garage in a small Indiana city and begins firing into a crowded public plaza, killing five people with six shots.

The gunman makes an unfettered escape, but copious evidence leads police to arrest James Barr, a former infantry sniper. Barr’s prints were on a shell case.

Barr will say only ten words to the police.

“You’ve got the wrong guy! Get Jack Reacher for me!”

Reacher is 1500 miles away living his nomadic wandering life, but sees a news report on television about Barr.” He immediately decides to go to Indiana - not to help Barr, but to make sure he is found guilty.

When Reacher was a Major and an MP, he investigated a case in which Barr had murdered four people in a killing spree in Kuwait City. Complicated military politics and a technicality resulted in Barr being released.

Reacher is convinced Barr is guilty but when he arrives in Indiana things don’t add up. One tiny clue ends up opening a whole new line of investigation. It was ‘one shot‘. The killer fired six times but killed only five people. Reacher tracked down records of Barr’s shooting scores for the army. . Barr never missed his targets! It began to look as though he was set up.

This puts the one man army, Jack Reacher, in motion to tackle a worldwide criminal organization.

Paramount bought the rights to ‘One Shot’ and began a long search for an actor to play Jack Reacher. They were unable to find anyone six foot five inches tall who could play the part to their satisfaction, so they decided to cast Tom Cruise.

Cruise, who headed the successful ‘Mission Impossible’ films, is 5’8” tall - almost a foot shorter than Jack Reacher.

Reacher’s creator, Lee Child, spoke about the issue. He said that Jack Reacher is written as an unstoppable force and Tom Cruise can bring that feeling to the part. Child said that a taller actor might have 100 per cent of the height, but only 90 per cent of Reacher.

“Tom Cruise has 90 per cent of the height and 100 per cent of Jack Reacher,” said Child.

Others in the cast include Rosamund Pike as Barr’s lawyer. Robert Duvall is a former marine who owns the shooting range where Barr regularly practiced his marksmanship.

If Jack Reacher (One Shot) succeeds as Paramount believes it will, you can expect one new Jack Reacher film a year for at least the next 16 years - 16 is the number of Reacher novels published so far.

Trailer #1 for Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher - Second Trailer


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    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thankyou for reading Monis Mas. I liked Tom when he broke in, back in the 80s. He has an impressive track record, but Reacher could turn out to be a game changer for him. If the movie is half as good as Lee Child's book, then this franchise will rival even the Star Wars series. I just don't know if Cruise can pull it off. Reacher is not only large in height, he's larger than life. My gut feeling is that the series will be fairly successful with Cruise, and then skyrocket in the fourth entry when they will have found an actor who is a better fit for the part.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      I've been wanting to see this movie, now I will HAVE TO see it! I grew to like Tom Cruise, I think he can bring it! Voted up and interesting!

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thanks shiningirisheyes.

      Many Jack Reacher fans are saying that they wish someone else had been chosen. The author, Lee Child, says he understands the fans being upset; but feels that everybody will be uncomfortable only for the first five minutes and then, they will accept Tom and love the movie.

      Lee Child said in a web chat, that Cruise is signed for about three or four Jack Reacher movies and then, like the James Bond series, another actor will get a chance to try the part. Discussions are already underway about which books to pick for the second and third films.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Although this sounds like an excellent view, I wish someone else had been chosen for the role. Tom Cruise is my least favorite ....although I will still watch it! LOL

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thanks for reading and for the comment.

    • EBlank90 profile image

      EBlank90 5 years ago from MIchigan


    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 5 years ago from Cape Cod

      Reacher's creator, Lee Child, is on board. If he can buy Tom Cruise as Jack Reacer, I guess I can too. Thanks, Richie, for the comment. I am hoping it will be a great movie and that all of the novels will find their way to the movie houses.

    • RichieMogwai profile image

      Richie Mogwai 5 years ago from Vancouver

      Thanks for sharing your hub about the Jack Reacher movie. It was fabulous, what can I say. My only problem is with Tom Cruise's height, he is like 5' 7" and Reacher is like 6' 5". That is quite a disparity. Although I guess they can conceal this very easily in the movie. After all, there are many ways of making a short man look tall, so it's possible. I just thought I'd mention it. Thanks once again for your amazing hub.