Skip to main content

In the new Amazon Prime Video series, Reacher, Alan Ritchson takes Tom Cruise’s mantle as the no-nonsense hero Jack Reacher. And while he towers over the Mission Impossible star, Ritchson insists he’s the “small one” when compared to Cruise. 

Alan Ritchson as Jack Reacher, with his hands behind his head
Alan Ritchson as Jack Reacher in ‘Reacher’ | Keri Anderson/Amazon Studios

Tom Cruise’s height didn’t match the book description for Jack Reacher

Amazon Prime Video’s Reacher series and Cruise’s 2012 and 2016 Jack Reacher movies are based on novels by author Lee Child. And in his books, Child describes Jack Reacher as an intimidating, 6 foot 5 inch-tall military man. 

Cruise, who is 5 feet 7 inches tall, stands nearly a foot shorter than the character. And when his films were released, some book fans were disappointed with the casting. 

“There was criticism from the book fans because they had built up a very clear image of what Reacher should look like,” Child told “I think that the size thing is important to certain parts of the narrative. Reacher has got to scare people, and you can do that so much easier with one glance of this huge animal rather than a normal-sized actor.”

Alan Ritchson’s height may be taller, but the ‘Reacher’ actor insists he’s smaller than Tom Cruise

At a buff 6 feet 4 inches, Ritchson fits into the role of Jack Reacher perfectly. But despite being almost a foot taller than Cruise, the actor acknowledged his contributions to cinema and suggested he’s the smaller one when it comes to their work. 

“What seems unfair is that I would be mentioned in the same sentences as Mr. Cruise,” Ritchson told MovieZine. “His legacy looms so much larger than mine that I’m the small one when we’re mentioned in the same sentence. I grew up watching everything he’s ever done and wanted to be like him.”

“I wished for the same fire and passion that he brings to his characters in my own career,” he added. “He’s a legend, so I don’t think I can ever compare to him. He’s an icon that I think just will always be on a pedestal in my mind.”

Alan Ritchson says ‘Reacher’ stays true to the books

Prime Video’s Reacher is based on Child’s debut novel, Killing Floor. It follows the hero as he arrives in a small Georgia town and becomes the prime suspect in a murder.

In his chat with MovieZine, Ritchson noted the show isn’t a remake of Cruise’s films. And he suggested it is trying to stay true to the books while giving audiences a fun, action-packed series to enjoy. 

“We have an opportunity, not [to} reinvent anything, but just go back to the books and be as authentic as possible,” the former Titans star said. “Everybody wanted to really just start fresh and see if they can honor what’s on the page.”

“I’m lucky to be thought of as Reacher,” Ritchson continued. “I’m glad they gave me a shot. This series, I think, is a very authentic telling, and I think fans of the books will love it — aside from that, it’s just good TV. So if you’ve never read the books, I think you’ll enjoy it just as much. It’s a fun ride.”


Why Dwayne Johnson Is Grateful He Didn’t Get to Play Jack Reacher

Reacher Season 1 is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.