Amazon Still Searching For ‘Jack Reacher’ TV Series Lead; Season 1 to Adapt First Book

Last year we reported that a Jack Reacher series was in development at Amazon. Well, we now have some updates.

Casting Reacher

Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, talked about the casting process that is going into finding someone that fits the description of Reacher from the books. Specifically the 6’5″, 210-250 pounds part:

“We really are determined to find somebody who an embody that character for Lee and for all of us. You may see us take our time really making sure we find that person, whether they exist in our purview or they are new discoveries from somewhere. We are going to do an extensive exploration of who can fit into those shoes.”

Apparently fans of the books weren’t too happy when Tom Cruise was cast as Reacher for the 2012 film. However, I have to argue in Cruise’s defense that his star power is what led to me watching the film in theaters. In turn, that led me to read the first book in the series which then turned me into a fan of Child’s series.

So whether you hated Cruise’s casting or not, he introduced a lot of new people to the world of Jack Reacher. But I’ll admit that Cruise does not look like the Reacher of the novels, so I’m all for Amazon finding a closer fit for it’s series.

Names like Dave Bautista and Dwayne Johnson have been thrown around, but I’d rather they find an unknown for the role. I can’t picture Bautista and Johnson as Reacher. I always envisioned Reacher while reading the books as Tom Cruise, only taller, bigger, and a bit more beaten up.

Season 1 Will Adapt The Killing Floor

2012’s Jack Reacher adapted the novel One Shot while 2016’s sequel adapted Never Go Back. Those novels were chosen because at the time of each film’s development that was the most recently released novel in the series.

I’ve always found that method ridiculous because by the time the movie hits theaters there will be one or two (or in Jack Reacher‘s case, six or seven) new books released. Thankfully, writer/showrunner Nick Santora has stated this will be starting with the first novel:

“Lee Child has created an incredible character and world; it will be the goal of every writer, producer, actor, executive and crew member to capture the essence of Mr. Child’s books – and luckily Lee has been there, and will continue to be there, to help guide us along the way in this series. He is the pulse of Reacher.”

I like this method. Each book builds off of what has come before. I’m not entirely sure that each novel needs it’s own season though. I have always thought that a Jack Reacher series should follow the format BBC’s Sherlock took. Three hour-and-a-half episodes that each adapt a book. Now a standard Jack Reacher novel is pretty meaty, so I could see Amazon do 3 hour-long episodes per novel instead. I just don’t want to see them pad out the TV series to reach an episode count.

Movie Producers Are Still Involved

Jack Reacher director Christopher McQuarrie remains involved as an executive producer. He is joined by Scott Sullivan, and Skydance’s Don Granger, Dana Goldberg, David Ellison and Marcy Ross.

Author Lee Child is also an executive producer. In a press release, he seemed pretty excited about the new adaptation:

“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.”

Skydance also producers Jack Ryan for the service, and Salke is counting on the two shows to have a similar fanbase:

“Lee, along with Nick Santora, Don Granger, Sullivan and Chirs McQuarrie all promise an action-packed series featuring the beloved badass. We know our massive Jack Ryan fans will love this show.”

I’m really looking forward to this series. Lee Child will make sure they adapt his novels correctly, and hopefully McQuarrie will help elevate the action scenes. Jack Reacher is a character that could easily go toe-to-toe with the likes of Jason Bourne or Batman. That’s a bet I’m willing to take.

What did you think of the Tom Cruise Jack Reacher films? Have you read any of the novels by Child? Are you excited for the series?

Author: Marmaduke Karlston

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute Doc, uh, are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"