Thursday, December 06, 2012

Tom Cruise plays Jack Reacher

I have grizzled about this massive miscasting blunder before but today it has raised it's ugly head again with the New Zealand Herald running a story by Philip Sherwell  from The Daily Telegraph on the subject.

Here is an extract :

For devotees of Jack Reacher, the hulking anti-hero created by bestselling British writer Lee Child, his big screen debut this month played by a Hollywood superstar would seem to be a cause for celebration.
But many "Reacher creatures", as his ardent fans refer to themselves, are seething because they believe the actor cast to fill the tough guy's size 13 boots does not measure up to the part.
The fictional character is an unkempt giant of a man, 6ft 5in tall and tipping the scales at more than 15 stone (220lbs), with a 50in chest, ice-blue eyes and messy blond hair, who deploys his size to advantage in his frequent fights.
In the eponymous new film, however, the ex-US military policeman is portrayed by Tom Cruise, a clean-cut heart-throb who is 5ft 7in and is widely reported to have worn hidden shoe platforms for photographs alongside his former wives and leading ladies.
Aficionados of the series of 17 novels, which have sold 60 million copies worldwide, are venting their dismay in caustic comments about the actor's stature, immaculate locks and well-groomed looks ahead of the world premier of Jack Reacher in London next week

But Cruise has an ardent defender in the shape of the writer who introduced the looming proportions of Reacher to the world in his first book 15 years ago.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Child made clear that Cruise should not be sold short for his performance in the film, which opens at cinemas later this month.
"It is puzzling and a little disappointing to me that people are attacking Tom Cruise when they have not seen the movie," said Child, who had no input on the casting and no formal role in the adaptation of his 2005 novel One Shot.
"Jack Reacher is physically specific to the books," he said. "The fact is that there are no actors who are 6'5" giants out there so he was never going to be played by an actor that size.
"I have seen the film and Cruise is terrific, he really nails Reacher. They should give it a chance. When they watch the movie, they might find it odd for the first few moments, but then they'll be sucked in."
Yet back in 2000, when there was earlier talk of making a film, Child mused that the role might be played by a traditional celluloid hard-man such as Russell Crowe or even an American footballer who shared Reacher's physical dimensions. "Definitely not Tom Cruise," he noted at the time. "He's too short."

I guess Lee Child (left-photo Sigrid Estrada) has no option now but to be supportive but really his comment :  "The fact is that there are no actors who are 6'5" giants out there so he was never going to be played by an actor that size." is clearly nonsense. Of course there are actors of that size, many of them. What he really means is there are no famous actors of that size (apart from two obvious guys who are now too old) because you can bet your bottom dollar that the studio responsible for making the film will have insisted on a famous name to play the part. That is Hollywood for you.
What a shame, and the saddest thing of all is that having now cast Tom Cruise in the role if more films follow then he will continue to get the part. Thus forever movie-goers who do not know the books will have entirely the wrong image of Jack Reacher.. 

Bah humbug. I am not going to see the movie even though I am a huge fan of Jack Reacher and his creator. If they can make a casting error as fundamental as this what else might they have done to Lee Child's wonderful character and story?

Read the full story at The Telegraph or in the Time Out section of today's NZ Herald.

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