Name: Jack Reacher (no middle name)
Born: 29th October
Height: 6 foot5 inches, 1.95metres
Weight: 220-250 lbs/100-113 kg
Size: 50-inch/127cm chest, 3XLT Coat, 37-inch/95cm Inside leg
Distinguishing Marks: Scar on Corner of left eye, scar on upper lip
Education: US Army base schools in Europe and the Far East; West Point Military Academy
Service: US Military Police, thirteen years: first CO of the 110th Division: demoted from Major to Captain after six years, mustered out with rank of Major after seven
Service Awards: Top Row; Silver Star, Defence Superior Service Medal, Legion Of Merit. Middle Row: Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star, Purple Heart Bottom Row: ‘Junk Awards’
Last Known Address: Unknown
Family: Mother Josephine Moutier Reacher, deceased, French national; Farther, Career US Marine, deceased, served in Korea and Vietnam; Brother, Joe, deceased, five years in US Military Intelligence, Treasury Dept.
Special Skills: Small arms expert, outstanding on all man-portable weaponry and hand-to-hand combat
Languages: Fluent in English and French, and Passable in Spanish
What he doesn’t have: Drivers Licence: Credit Cards: Federal benefits: tax returns: dependents
So says the preface to the Jack Reacher novels.
I don’t claim to be an expert on Lee Child’s creation Jack Reacher. In fact I have only read one of the many (16 with a 17th later this year I believe) novels, and that was only a few weeks ago. I was only vaguely aware of the character when I was given a copy of book Worth Dying For (2010) and that was mainly because of the chatter about the film version. I actually enjoyed the book, in a disposable pulp way and will probably read a few more of them in time.
The knives have been out for Tom Cruise ever since it was announced last July that would play Reacher. Most of the issues surround Cruise’s height. Is it a problem with Cruise personally or just his height, I remember similar complaints when it was announced that he would play Lestat in Interview with the Vampire but not a word was said when the 6′ 2½” Hugh Jackman was cast as 5’2″ Wolverine. I suggest people give the guy a break and wait and see how the movie turns out.
Its worth remembering that movies and books are two different mediums and stories that work on paper don’t always translate well to the screen. This is why many movies differ greatly from their source novel. Take the Bourne trilogy, one of the best action movie series ever made. The movies are hugely different from the original Robert Ludlum novels and as such Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne is very different from the one in the books. Another interesting example is James Bond. The early bond films starring Sean Connery where relatively faithful to the original Ian Fleming novels but with a very different Bond in the shape of Sean Connery. Then quarter of a century later Timothy Dalton took over and gave us a character more like the one intended by Fleming, unfortunately all the good source material was used up. We then had to wait another twenty years for the Daniel Craig reboot before we saw it again.
Lets not forget Tom Cruise is a credible action star, just look at Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. If the movie works, go with it, ultimately it will probably be rebooted within a decade! I’m certainly prepared to give it a go.