The first photos of Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher have been released, and fans of author Lee Child's iconic, recurring protagonist are up in arms, saying the actor is nothing like the character portrayed in Child's best-selling thrillers. Check out two different pics here and here.
Of course, readers of popular novels often get testy when their favorite literary characters get translated to the screen. They understandably feel protective of these imaginary people they've grown attached to like old friends, so they don't want to be disappointed when a flesh-and-blood actor doesn't live up to the person they've envisioned in their minds while reading.
But apparently Child's creation, a former military cop who's become a kind of vigilante detective, has inspired some pretty hardcore devotees, to whom the casting of Cruise as their hero is practically sacrilege. One of them even went so far as to create a Facebook page last year called "Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher" to boycott the film and even influence the studio's decision. The page currently has 4,000 "likes" and has generated a lot of heated anti-Cruise comments by fellow Reacher lovers.
All to no avail, since the movie, adapted from the novel One Shot, is made and set to be released December 21st. So what's the big deal -- why are fans so angry with the choice of Tom Cruise as Reacher?
After all, Cruise is a proven action star. In the photos Cruise looks like simply another version of one of the hard-charging guys he's played in so many of his thrillers.
One problem, readers will tell you, is that Reacher is described as an imposing man, 6'5" tall and at least 220 lbs. Tom Cruise, as most people know, is much shorter: only 5'7". Fans also take issue with Cruise's charisma and personality, which conflict with Reacher's darker, more stoic temperament. Maybe they just don't like that a megastar like Cruise is imposing his celebrity wattage on their beloved character.
At least one person is on Cruise's side: Lee Child. The actor said at a press conference in April that the writer approved of his casting:
"For those of you who know the books, I'm obviously not 6-foot-5, like Jack Reacher," Cruise said. "But Lee felt that I was the right guy to drive fast cars and kick the s-t out of people onscreen."
Enough said. What do you think? Have you read the books, and are you excited to see Tom Cruise play this character?