Image Credit: Screenshot, "Jack Reacher" / Paramount Pictures / JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

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Tom Cruise Is Out as Jack Reacher Because He’s Too Short

'Top Gun' and 'Mission Impossible' star made two movies based on the popular Lee Child books, but now there are other plans afoot

After years of fan complaints that he was too small for the role, actor Tom Cruise (pictured above left) is reportedly out as the character of Jack Reacher.

Reacher is currently one of literature’s most popular protagonists.

An ex-military policeman, he wanders his way through the pages of the immensely popular thriller novels by Lee Child (above right) and brings justice to the world wherever he can.

Cruise starred as Reacher in two films.

The first movie, 2012’s “Jack Reacher,” earned over $80 million domestically and over $200 million worldwide against a production budget of $60 million.

Despite complaints about Cruise in the lead role, critics and audience members received the film fairly well.

The sequel, 2016’s “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” did not match the original’s success. On a $60 million production budget, the movie earned just $58.7 million domestically and well under $200 million worldwide.

Lee Child is now saying the Tom Cruise movie franchise is over. Reacher is moving into the world of television and a new actor will be recruited for the role.

The biggest complaint about Cruise is that he was too small for the role of Reacher, whose size and physicality often play big roles in Child’s novels.

Reacher is described in the books as six foot five inches — with hands the size of dinner plates. Cruise, on the other hand, stands at five foot seven inches.

“Cruise, for all his talent, didn’t have that physicality,” author Child told BBC Radio in a recent interview.

He revealed that he’d signed a deal last week to have his Reacher character turned into a television series, likely to go to a streaming service sometime in the near future.

Although Cruise being replaced, Child said he enjoyed working with the actor and producer.

“I really enjoyed working with Cruise. He’s a really, really nice guy. We had a lot of fun,” he said.

Fans, however, were right that the actor was too small for the role, he said. “The size of Reacher is really, really important and it’s a big component of who he is. The idea is that when Reacher walks into a room, you’re all a little nervous just for that first minute,” Child said.

He continued, “So what I’ve decided to do is — there won’t be any more movies with Tom Cruise. Instead, we’re going to take it to Netflix or something like that. Long form streaming television, with a completely new actor.”

The novelist said that this time, he and the others who choose the actor to play Reacher will listen to the fans more.

“And I want all those readers who were upset about Tom Cruise to help me out — participate in choosing the right actor for the TV series. We’re rebooting and starting over and we’re going to try and find the perfect guy,” he said.

Fans online are already celebrating Child’s decision:

Despite losing the gig, Cruise likely won’t lose any sleep.

The actor is headlining two popular action franchises right now. The sixth installment in the “Mission Impossible” franchise was released over the summer to rave reviews and a worldwide box office tally of nearly $800 million.

Plus, Cruise will soon be reprising his most famous role from “Top Gun” in a sequel titled, “Top Gun: Maverick.”

For more on author Lee Child, check out the video below:

meet the author

PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at [email protected].