Tom Cruise has a good thing going with the Mission: Impossible series, in which the rapidly aging movie god eagerly and literally nearly kills himself to entertain the masses. Other franchises haven’t fared so well. The Mummy reboot — in which he played a roguish hero who becomes the villain, who’s also sort of a hero? — killed Universal’s “Dark Universe” universe right out of the gate. And after a spectacular first Jack Reacher, which featured no less than Werner Herzog as the baddie, the sequel underperformed and was profoundly unloved.
But Jack Reacher ain’t dead. As per Variety, Amazon has officially green-lit a TV show based on the Army major-turned-mercenary-of-sorts created by Lee Childs and whose 25 books (and counting) have sold over 100 million copies. We’ve known for months that a Jack Reacher reboot was in the works; we’ve also known that Cruise was not coming back, and that has not changed.
Though the first Jack Reacher film was a modest hit and rather well-received — director Christopher McQuarrie even went on to direct the fifth Mission: Impossible, a gig he’ll retain over at least the next two entries — one criticism is that Cruise, at a relatively tiny 5’7” (which isn’t even that short, really), was too short to play the notably tall Reacher.
There’s no word yet on what towering behemoth will take over the role (may we suggest the 6’7″ Stephen Merchant?), though McQuarrie will stay on as an executive producer. When it arrives at an unspecified date, this new Jack Reacher will be Amazon’s second revival of an action film series that was cancelled mid-stride, after Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan went from a big screen bomb, with Chris Pine, to an evidently popular TV show starring John Krasinski. Perhaps they can save Hellboy next.