Dwayne Johnson has revealed that he was turned down for the role of private investigator Jack Reacher in the highly successful film series, in favour of Tom Cruise.
The casting of 5’7 Cruise as the 6’5, 220+ pounds, former US Army Major resulted in an uproar shortly before the release of the first film, Jack Reacher, in 2012. A Facebook page titled “Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher” was even set up, in which devoted fans mocked the strange casting choice.
Johnson’s announcement came in the form of a tweet responding to a fan, who declared Johnson would have been the perfect choice to portray Reacher.
“Yup, luv the character.” Johnson wrote. “Bout 10yrs ago I went after the role, but Cruise got it. Was great motivation for me to always stay hungry.”
This revelation by Johnson, who stands on par with Reacher at 6’5 and weighs an impressive 260 pounds, will undoubtedly leave fans of the book series questioning the reasoning behind the choice to cast Cruise; Johnson does, on paper at least, appear to be made for the role.
Even Lee Childs, author of the novel ‘One Shot’ upon which Jack Reacher is based, has in the past been forced to address the decision. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Childs said “With another actor you might get 100% of the height but only 90% of Reacher. With Tom, you’ll get 100% of Reacher with 90% of the height,”.
It’s an interesting way of looking at it. Perhaps if Childs had seen the promotional posters for the upcoming Baywatch movie, starring Johnson, he’d have changed his mind.
Needless to say, Johnson appears to have recovered from the snub all those years ago – he’s since become the world’s highest paid actor in 2016 and stars in the highly-anticipated Fast and Furious 8, released April 12th.