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First, let me emphasize that this is not about the highly subjective question whether or not Tom Cruise should play Jack Reacher.

Lee Child's novel One Shot is being turned into a movie. Tom Cruise plays the main character, Jack Reacher. However, people knowing Reacher – a 6'5" giant – will understand why this has been (and is) a matter of fierce debate. But Lee Child approves of it, and, frankly, it's none of our business. So, case closed.

What I'm curious about, though, is whether there have been other serious candidates to play Jack Reacher and why they opted out or were found less suitable than Cruise.

I can read the facts, but this kind of background is interesting but hard to find.

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There's way too much noise on the Internet about this right now for Google to be any help. :( –  Bill the Lizard Dec 31 '11 at 18:49
Yes I know. I was hoping for some article in some magazine. Or someone with inside information. –  Gert Arnold Dec 31 '11 at 20:30
Too bad a younger Clint Eastwood wasn't available –  user4462 Mar 27 '13 at 21:01
this isn't good question in my opinion as its "Unimportant trivia that does not add to the understanding or appreciation of the title. " –  minusSeven May 16 '13 at 17:54
@minusSeven To me it has bearing on the appreciation of the movie. I wanted to avoid the issue, but after having read all Jack Reacher novels, just about the last actor I'd imagine to play this role was Tom Cruise. It would have (slightly) helped me to know that no one else was willing or available. Knowing it was a political game makes me appreciate the movie less. It's not trivial to me, but I don't mind other people having a different opinion. –  Gert Arnold May 17 '13 at 12:18

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

According to the Wall Street Journal there were several candidates to play Jack Reacher: Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Vince Vaughn, Jamie Fox and Will Smith.

In the article Lee Child explains they went through the list of names above even thinking they should 'find the biggest guy possible'. Reading on you can see it's a money thing. Paramount bought the option for the entire Reacher catalog and gave it to Tom Cruise's production company.

Before Tom Cruises production company was involved Lee Child even joked 'Definitely not Tom Cruise.'

Paramount offered a lot more money than Newline and Tom Cruise came along with the deal. There may have been more suitable candidates, but it didn't matter because Tom Cruise already had the in.

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Great! What a story! –  Gert Arnold Feb 14 '12 at 15:40

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