Tom Cruise Might Be Jack Reacher In Paramount's New Bourne-esque Franchise

I love pulp novels that become pulp movies, especially when Hollywood's elite become attached to them. Deadline reports that Tom Cruise is in talks to play the ex-military cop turned nomad drifted Jack Reacher in the first of a hopeful Paramount and Skydance film franchise, based on Lee Child's popular character. Cruise's new favourite screenwriter Chris McQuarrie who wrote his vehicles Valkyrie, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (financed by Paramount and Skydance) and the in-development Top Gun sequel, has adapted One Shot, the ninth book in Child's best-selling 15 novel series. McQuarrie will also direct. Filming will happen this fall in Pittsburgh and despite Reacher being written as a blonde Daniel Craig-esque imposing 6'5" and 250 pounds, Cruise at 5'7" seems an unlikely and potentially Child-fan alienating choice but for us films fans, we know Cruise can do this kind of thing in his sleep. One Shot thrusts Reacher into the case of a military sniper who is accused of committing five murders and as our lead delves deeper into the investigation, he finds corruption and cover-ups are at every corner. There's little doubt in these quarters that Cruise is fine for a Jason Bourne style walking military weapon that Reacher is and from his precisely mechanical killing machine turns in Knight & Day and Collateral, we know exactly what the Cruise-meister can do with this kind of a material. Ok so he isn't the physical presence who will turn heads when he walks into a room but his Reacher will be about power through intensity and movement. This isn't the first time a popular literary character has been given the make-over for Hollywood star and we are sure it won't be the last. In fact, Cruise fans will probably remember the outrage author Anne Rice and her fans had at pretty boy Cruise's casting as Lestat the Vampire in Interview With The Vampire in the mid 90's but they all came around when they saw exactly what the actor did with the role. Rice famously did a complete U-turn and said he was magnificent. Cruise is already one up this time having the backing of the author already on his side;
"Reacher's size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way,"
Can't argue with that. Deadline describe the character as thus;
Child's prose is very spare and blunt and Reacher is a no-frills guy. He drifts around the country, carrying nothing more than a toothbrush, the clothes on his back, his passport and access to his military pension. He finds his way into all kinds of misadventures but usually winds up using his brawn and his brains from years of military experience to solve conspiracies for underdogs
Cruise has had a long interest in the Reacher series and he and former producing partner Paula Wagner did initially the option the novel five years ago with Paramount. So if talks go well, a quick thriller that Cruise can fit in with the mega-talented McQuarrie (if you are doubting his directorial talents, seek out The Way of the Gun) that could become a post-Mission: Impossible franchise for the actor, before moving on to make Oblivion with Joseph Kosinski at Universal in January. Though we are being warned if the film doesn't come together this year, McQuarrie will wait until Cruise is ready next year. How long has it been since Cruise has attached himself to projects as cool as these?

Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.