To say that fans of the Jack Reacher novels were divided on the casting of Tom Cruise is something of an understatement — but it seems Cruise himself was in on the joke.
The towering hero of Lee Child’s thriller series is written as a 6ft 5 behemoth, whereas Cruise stands considerably shorter at around 5ft 8.
Child revealed in a recent interview on the Bestsellers podcast that a scene cut from the 2012 film saw Cruise wink at the way his take on Reacher differs from the books.
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"In the first movie, there's a scene where Reacher's in a sports bar and five guys pick a fight with him so he takes them outside,” said Child.
"When we shot that scene, [Cruise] did a sort of spontaneous alternative take where the five guys are around him in a semi-circle and he goes: 'One, two… what? You expected somebody bigger?'
"It shows you that he knew … He knew that physically he was wrong for it."
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Cruise would reprise the role of Reacher in the 2016 sequel Never Go Back, but he will not play the character again in the new TV series for Amazon Prime Video.
Child said: “Tom has decided not to act on television. He never has, and he says he never will. He's a feature film guy."
Alan Ritchson, who plays Hawk in DC series Titans, has been cast to play Reacher for Amazon in the series, which will adapt debut novel The Killing Floor.
Cruise was famously chosen over Dwayne Johnson to play the role on the big screen.
While Ritchson steps into the shoes of Reacher for TV, Cruise is finishing off work on the next two Mission: Impossible movies and then blasting off into orbit to shoot on the International Space Station.
This week, NASA confirmed that Cruise will blast off in October 2021 for the as yet untitled movie, helmed by Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman.