Hollywood loves putting square pegs in round holes. Over the years, we've seen actors cast under the banner of so-called "stunt-acting" where studios and film-makers believe that casting unexpectedly and getting unexpectedly brilliant performances makes them look more like geniuses.
Unfortunatlely, that has led to some simply stunning miscastings (though even some movies with good intentions fall into that same trap) and on reflection, even the ones that work can look completely absurd from the outside. There are some examples that make you wonder exactly what Hollywood was smoking that day...
15. Tom Cruise - Jack Reacher (2012)
In the books, action hero Jack Reacher is described in the following hulking terms: 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall, weighing 210–250 pounds (95–113 kg) and having a 50-inch (130 cm) chest. In other words, he's the size and shape of a WWE star and not the size and shape of diminutive movie star Tom Cruise.
Nevertheless, he was cast mostly because of his previous form as Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible movies. Fans reacted as you'd expect, prompting creator Lee Child to say Reacher is a metaphor anyway so it's fine. Even as a metaphor, casting Cruise was absurd.
Did It Work?
Well, it didn't ENTIRELY suck at least. Cruise is as charismatic and as watchable as he usually is, but there's the obvious caveat that anyone who was a fan of the books rather than a fan of Cruise (surely the only two audiences who saw this) would have had the character's original image in their head.
It's a fairly unmemorable film all told and won't go down as one of Cruise's best. And when it's rebooted for a TV show, that'll be even more the case.