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Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher: See Lee Child's antihero [video]

July 3, 2012 |  4:11 pm

When Tom Cruise was cast as Jack Reacher, fans of the tough-guy character created by Lee Child cried foul. In books like "Killing Floor" and "The Hard Way," Reacher is a 6-foot-5-inch antihero, capable of bone-crushing violence. Cruise was not the Reacher readers had in mind. One Jacket Copy commenter wrote, "Tom Cruise could play Reacher's "mini-me" --- otherwise I can't think of anyone more poorly suited to do Reacher. Okay, Woody Allen, but Tom Cruise is #2 with a bullet."

Now that the first trailer is available online, readers can see for themselves: Can Tom Cruise be a convincing Jack Reacher? Or not?

The film was based on the Jack Reacher novel "One Shot," but that won't be its title when it is released this year. It'll be called -- wait for it -- "Jack Reacher."

When the deal was announced, Lee Child spoke to Deadline Hollywood. "Reacher's size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way," he said.

Kenneth Turan wrote about the Jack Reacher novel "Gone Tomorrow" in our pages.

One of the great conceits of the Reacher novels, however, is ... the tendency of the folks he deals with to consistently underestimate him. Unlike Sherlock Holmes or Paul Temple, Reacher is not known to the criminal world, and the bad guys are always telling him, "Stay away from this," "You're out of your depth" and the ever-popular "You got lucky." You want to scream at them, "This is Jack Reacher for pity's sake, he'll eat you for breakfast!" He will, you know, and that's why we keep coming back for more.

So far, readers have; Child has published 13 Jack Reacher novels, which have sold more than 40 million copies. Will fans be as enthusiastic about the film?


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