A ‘Jack Reacher’ Series Is Coming to Amazon, But It Definitely Won’t Star Tom Cruise

Jack is back, but he’ll look a little different this time around. Amazon Studios has greenlit a new series based on Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels, it revealed at the Television Critics Association press tour on Jan. 14. 

The character has already been the subject of two films starring Tom Cruise, 2012’s Jack Reacher and 2016’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. But the action star won’t be reprising the role for the upcoming series. 

Author Lee Child says the character is in ‘perfect hands’ at Amazon

The first season of the new series will be based on Killing Floor, the first of nearly two dozen Jack Reacher books. The book series, which began in 1997, focuses on the exploits of Reacher, an ex-military policeman and drifter who travels around the United States getting caught up in investigating various crimes. 

The new show will be produced by Amazon, Skydance Television, and Paramount Television Studios. Child says he believes they’ll do right by his character. 

“It’s been great so far, but really, the fun starts here. By now I know these guys, and Reacher is in the perfect hands, believe me,” he said at the TCA event, Deadline reported.

We don’t know who will play Jack Reacher in the new series, but it won’t be Tom Cruise 

Tom Cruise attends the premiere of 'Jack Reacher'
Tom Cruise | Fotonoticias/WireImage

After the lukewarm response some fans had to the Jack Reacher films, the pressure is on to find the right lead actor for the TV series. Cruise’s casting was widely criticized by book readers since he did not resemble the character described in Child’s novels. In the books, Reacher is said to be 6-feet, 5-inches tall and weigh about 250 pounds. Cruise is reportedly 5-feet, 7-inches tall.  

While no decision has yet been made about who will play Reacher in the Amazon series, whoever gets the part will be a better physical match with the character, Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said at TCA. 

“We really are determined to find someone to embody that character,” she said, according to Entertainment Tonight. “So you may see us take our time to truly find that person, whether they exist in our purview or they are a new discovery.”

Child’s website also reassured fans that they’d get the casting right. 

“We can’t wait to see who’s in the cast, especially who will play our favorite big guy,” read the update. “Lee and the producers are committed to hiring a size-appropriate actor so expect to see someone in the 30-55 age range (don’t forget, Reacher is 36 in Killing Floor and there are the prequel novels to consider), BIG and muscular … with hands like frozen supermarket chickens).”

Fans never warmed to Cruise as Jack Reacher

On his website, Child praised Cruise for his hard work at bringing the character to life in the Jack Reacher films. But it was time to move in a different direction, he said. In a November 2019 interview with The Times, Child said that Cruise was “too old” for action movies.  

“I loved working with him, and he’s a terrific guy, and I loved what he did in both movies, but the fans never quite accepted the physicality aspect, so we’re making a change,” Child said in a statement on his website. “But I’ll miss him and won’t hear a word against him.”