Jack Reacher author Lee Child says Tom Cruise is out for new planned TV series

Author of the Jack Reacher novels Lee Child says Tom Cruise will no longer play the anti-hero, and has revealed the series will soon play out in a new television series.

Child, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, has just released his twenty-third novel in the series - Past Tense - and will visit New Zealand in a couple of weeks to promote the book.

"Past Tense starts out with Reacher doing what Reacher does best, which is nothing at all - he's got nowhere particular to go and all the time in the world to get there," the author explained.

"He passes by a road sign with the name of a town which he recognises from old family paperwork - it's where his father was born - and so he thinks, 'Oh, I should go and take a look at that place, maybe I'll find the old guy's house.'

"So he goes into town, he asks around, and there is no record whatsoever of anybody called Reacher ever living there - so what is going on?

"Meanwhile we've got a couple from Canada, young people, desperately trying to drive all the way to New York City to sell something of tremendous value but their car breaks down near a lonely motel in the woods.

"They have to stay there the night and it is not the place they think it is going to be."

Jack Reacher was played Tom Cruise in the 2012 and 2016 movies, but fans have since pointed out that Cruise's physical features do not match with the description of Reacher from the books.

Child told Breakfast he had taken that on board, and while he had high praise of working with Cruise, the part would now be given to someone else in an upcoming Netflix-style TV series.

"Cruise is a lovely guy, I've got nothing bad to say about him, we became good friends," Child said. "But he is not 6-foot-5 and 100-plus kilograms.

"I picture Reacher as a second-row forward or a lock forward for the All Blacks, someone of that stature. Not that I would ever say it to their face, but a big, ugly guy."

Child said the idea now was to move forward with a new actor in a television series format, which is more flexible for telling stories.

"The idea would be to do it on something like Netflix or Amazon, a long streaming season, maybe 10 or 12 episodes," he said.

"The other thing that you get out of television is that because it's not so star-driven as the movies you can pick your actor a bit more carefully.

"And you don't have to worry about that awful thing about the rating in the cinema ... Every minute of every day you spend worrying about is it PG13 or is it going to be an R rating, and that makes a big difference. But in television that does not apply, so you have a lot more freedom just to tell the story the way you want to tell it."

Child will be in New Zealand on November 22, 23 and 24 and will appear at events in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin, respectively.

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Child said Tom Cruise is a great guy, but he was not quite right to depict Reacher on the screen. Source: Breakfast