Mike Fleming

Tom Cruise Jack ReacherInstead of calling it One Shot, after one of the Lee Child novels about ex-military policeman-turned-benevolent drifter Jack Reacher, Paramount Pictures has retitled its Christopher McQuarrie-directed Tom Cruise-starrer Jack Reacher. That should resonate with fans of the bestselling series about the hulking loner who hitchhikes from town to town, always finding himself smack in a situation where a helpless person needs someone who can put the clues together, and lay an ass whupping on anybody who gets in his way. Those book fans will need to adjust to Cruise as the hero, who in the novels goes about 6’5″ and 250 pounds, towers over opponents and beats the bad guys to a pulp. Cruise isn’t of that stature, but when I interviewed him recently for Playboy Magazine and asked what he’d be bringing to the table to compensate, he said “Everything but the height.” He indicated that there are all the obligatory brawls and that the author himself endorsed the choice of Cruise. The title change indicates that Cruise and the studio look at this as more than a “one shot” deal, and that Cruise might well have two franchises at the studio after Cruise stood tall in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, which grossed $693 million worldwide. Jack Reacher hits theaters December 21.

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