Dwayne Johnson lost Jack Reacher role to Tom Cruise

Ben Bussey
·UK Movies Writer
Could The Rock have been Jack Reacher instead of Tom Cruise? (Credit: Universal/Paramount)
Could The Rock have been Jack Reacher instead of Tom Cruise? (Credit: Universal/Paramount)

Ever since Tom Cruise was cast in the title role of ‘Jack Reacher,’ many fans of Lee Child’s novels have complained that the famously diminutive leading man was completely wrong for the character, described in the books as 6 ft 5 inches tall with a 50 inch chest and weighing in around 250 pounds.

Well, it seems one movie star who would be a considerably closer fit for Reacher physically put himself forward for the role early on: none other than Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

The matter came to light when a Twitter follower of the wrestler-turned-actor remarked what a great fit Johnson would have been for the role, prompting Johnson to admit he had indeed been interested.

There’s no denying Johnson could have been a good match for Reacher’s stature, given he’s 6 ft 4 inches tall and weighs somewhere in the region of 250 pounds. Cruise, by contrast, is only 5 ft 7 and weighs around 150 pounds.

Still, it’s fair to say Johnson didn’t carry as much weight (figuratively speaking of course) as Cruise did back when the first ‘Jack Reacher’ movie hit screens back in 2012. Cruise also produced the movie for Paramount Pictures, a studio with whom he has long and close relationship; it’s also home to the ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise.

Poster art for 2012's 'Jack Reacher' (credit: Paramount)
Poster art for 2012’s ‘Jack Reacher’ (credit: Paramount)

Despite fan complaints, Reacher creator Lee Childs openly praised Cruise’s casting, insisting at the time there were “no 6ft 5in giants out there [suitable for the role]… With another actor you might get 100% of the height but only 90% of Reacher. With Tom, you’ll get 100% of Reacher with 90% of the height.”

Some might complain that Johnson was unfairly overlooked – but it’s not as if he doesn’t have a great deal on his plate as it stands.

Cruise reprised the role in 2016 sequel ‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.’

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