Tom Cruise is no stranger to casting controversies. Back in the early ‘90s, fans of Anne Rice’s vampire novels were outraged when the toothy actor landed the role of Lestat in Interview with the Vampire. The issue wasn’t that people didn’t love Tom Cruise (who was still years away from telling Matt Lauer he was glib or jumping on couches), but that Cruise didn’t fit the Lestat described in the novels.
History may be about to repeat itself, as Cruise is negotiating with Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions to star in a screen adaptation of Lee Child’s One Shot.
Cruise is up for the part of Jack Reacher, a former military MP turned drifter who centers 15 of Child’s novels. In the books, Reacher travels about the country with little more than his toothbrush and a passport – while finding himself embroiled in countless violent adventures. The issue is that the Reacher of the novels is 6’5” tall and weighs in at 250 lbs. He’s a brutal force of nature. Cruise, meanwhile, is lucky to hit 5’7” with a good pair of lifts in his shoes.
In the actor’s defense, his stature didn’t stop him from being intimidating in Collateral – it’s not always about size, and Cruise can channel a serious intensity that could help make him convincing should he take the role. Plus, unlike the Lestat debacle, this time the actor actually has the support of the author who created the character. Child says “Reacher's size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way."
One Shot finds Reacher investigating a case wherein a sniper kills five people before being apprehended. Naturally, the character soon learns that things aren’t as clear cut as they first appear – and he starts to unravel the conspiracy of what’s really going on.
Should Cruise agree to take the part – which seems likely given that he’s had an interest in the series for years and originally optioned it back in 2006 – he’ll be reunited with Valkyrie director Christopher McQuarrie. The deal will have to come together quickly, because Cruise’s schedule is full for the first part of 2012 – when the actor will shoot Oblivion. Because of this potential scheduling issue, Paramount is looking to shoot One Shot this fall, reportedly in Pittsburgh.
What do you guys think? Cruise may not physically embody the Jack Reacher of Child’s novels, but he does have an intensity that can be intimidating. Can you see him in this role or is this a huge potential mis-casting? Chime in below.