Why I Won’t be Watching Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher & Two More Things for my List

If it wasn’t so cold out, I would grab a chair, plant it facing west, and capture all the amazing changes in a pre-sunset winter sky. Swirls and colors and gray and swiftly moving clouds. Thank goodness I have to go to the door to let Scout outside or I would miss scenes like this one.

I can’t believe I left these two things off my Christmas wish list:

15. A dishwasher that works – Our dishwasher has never worked right since the day we moved in. Since it’s just the two of us, we can and do get by handwashing our dishes. But…I must admit a working dishwasher sounds awfully attractive.

16. A new mattress – I just spent another night tossing and turning. Neither Don or I could sleep last night. Not all of it was due to the mattress but a better mattress would sure help. Perhaps I could once again sleep on my right side without my hip hurting.

Okay. End of list.

On another note: I’m reading Lee Child’s newest Jack Reacher mystery, A Wanted Man. As usual, Child has hooked me right from the beginning. I cannot recommend this series highly enough. If you remember, I got hooked on these last year when I was battling my gall bladder problems. I read one – can’t remember which one now – and soon I had ordered all of the other books in the series through my local library. They are suspenseful and extremely well written. Jack Reacher is one of the most fascinating protagonists to come down the pike in a long time.

Let me give you a typical description of Reacher: “Reacher was a big man, six feet five inches tall, heavily built…” Child often writes that Reacher is about 250 pounds with blue eyes and dirty blond hair. Anyone who has read any of these novels could and would describe Reacher as: Very big. Lots of muscle. Really tall. Blond. Child has spent a great deal of time establishing Reacher’s looks and physique and that ‘bigness’ is definitely a part of many plot points. And he’s not handsome by any means.

So why, oh why, would Tom Cruise be playing Jack Reacher in an upcoming adaptation of  One Shot, with the imaginative title, Jack Reacher? Are you friggin’ kidding me? Tom Cruise, who is 5′7″?  Who has dark hair and is handsome in a pretty sort of way? Cripes, I’m taller than Tom Cruise.

Why not someone like Liam Neeson, for example?

I don’t get it.

But this, my friends, is why I mostly avoid movie adaptations of books that I have read and enjoyed.  In this case, the reasons why are obvious – Cruise is the exact opposite of Jack Reacher. He’s clearly been cast because he’s good in this kind of physical action type film and he’s big box office. But I won’t be watching it. I won’t even watch it when it comes out on DVD. I have an image of Jack Reacher that is clear and vivid, courtesy of Mr. Child’s very specific choice of words. I don’t want that messed with. I don’t want Tom Cruise to pop in my head the next time I read one of Child’s novels.

Same thing with oh, so many movies adapted from beloved novels. I have a picture in my head that has been created by the words and descriptions of the author. Too often, Hollywood goes for something different altogether. Or they mess with the plot. They add things. They subtract things. They take a wonderful story and, somehow, they manage to screw it up.

I remember reading Cold Mountain when it first came out. I absolutely loved that novel. The characters were real and vivid and such a part of me that when I saw the casting for the film, though good actors all, I just couldn’t make myself watch the movie. I didn’t want my ‘Cold Mountain World’ turned upside down. I didn’t want the images of the actors in the movie adaptation to supersede those fully realized characters that have been created in my head by reading the novel.

Reading is such a wonderful exercise. Whole worlds are created in our heads, just by reading some words on a page. And every one of us will ‘see’ characters differently. I know that. I like to protect my imagined characters and their world. I do.

I do know there have been very successful movie adaptations of books. My favorite book of all time was adapted into a pitch-perfect movie: To Kill a Mockingbird. This was one of those rare book-to-film adaptations that actually enhanced the story, where the casting choices were absolutely right on the money. So I know it can happen.

But it ain’t going to happen with Jack Reacher. For those movie goers who haven’t read the books and want some Cruise-style action adventure, the movie will no doubt be great fun. But for me? It’s a no go.

What about you? Any book to film adaptations that disappointed you? Or that you loved? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Don’t forget Judy’s giveaway. You have until 8:00 pm to leave a comment on that post. Just scroll down two posts. I’ll announce the winner on Friday.

Happy Thursday.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponPrint this page


  1. Isabella says

    Yes, the Accidental Tourist by the inimitable Anne Tyler. That quirky, made-me-laugh-out-loud book could not be translated to the big screen. I saw many nuances of the book in the film, but unless one had actually read the book, they meant nothing to the viewer. That book was cast and played out in my own head, as you wrote, with the characters that I saw. You are so right that these adaptations to the big screen often disappoint!

  2. says

    You forgot to mention a dishwasher and a new mattress, and as soon as I submitted my comment yesterday it dawned on me that ‘if money were truly no object’ why on earth hadn’t I mentioned the trip to Italy I’ve always dreamed about?! I really agree with what you’ve written today, Claudia–it’s so disappointing to see a really good book altered into something that is almost unrecognizable on screen. Good case in point–my mother and I both read Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne novels years ago and enjoyed them. They were taut, exciting and well written. Then the Bourne Identity came out with Matt Damon, and the only recognizable thing in the whole movie was they kept the title the same. Other than that, I kept thinking ‘who are these people’?? It was such a disappointment. Also, The Firm by John Grisham–the second half of the movie was completely different than the book! One of my favorite adaptations of book to movie is Anne of Green Gables, with Megan Fellows, Colleen Dewhurst and Richard Farnsworth. That movie was lovely.

    • Claudia says

      I read all the Bourne books, too, and though I enjoyed the movie, it had no relation to the books at all! Yes, Anne of Green Gables was wonderful. I was fortunate to coach Megan in a show a few years back and the first thing I told her was that I was a fan. She was utterly gracious and said that she hears from Anne fans all the time.

  3. says

    I thought Jack Reacher was based on a graphic novel. Shows what I know. Well, they cast (the also short) Mel Gibson in Braveheart and a few years later my hubby and I were in Scotland where much was made about the size of Braveheart’s actual sword in comparison to the real man’s height versus the actor’s. I wish I could remember exactly what was said as it was funny. :)
    Hollywood isn’t in the business of making faithful adaptations. They’re in it to make money and to tell larger than life stories and if that means that characters get prettier and some plot points are dropped, so be it.
    The thing that trips me up when seeing adaptations is the Regency-era set ones — and someone’s decided to be imaginative with the costuming instead of accurate. *sigh*

    • Claudia says

      I know its a business, of course, my husband is in it. But I wish the powers that be would give the audience more credit than they do. They have very little imagination as to casting.

  4. says

    I always wondered about the author’s thoughts when his or her book was made into a movie. You don’t hear that very often.

    • Claudia says

      I know. Lee Child has been interviewed on the subject and he seems to be okay with the choice. But, of course, he’s spent years as a television writer and producer and understands the rules of the game.

  5. says

    I haven’t read the Jack Reacher books, but they do sound good. As for Tom… I don’t for the life of me understand why anyone would go see a movie with Tom Cruise in it. I just don’t get it. How did such a bad actor get to be such a big box office draw? LOVE Liam Neeson though. My vote goes to him!
    The most recent version of Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightly was awful. The movie Angela’s Ashes left out so much of the story that it didn’t make sense anymore. So many terrible movies from wonderful books!

    • Claudia says

      I’m not a big fan, either. I’m always aware that he is acting. I never quite believe him.

      And I agree, that adaptation was awful! My favorite is still the one that was in several parts on PBS with Colin Firth. Just beautifully done.

  6. says

    I’m a big reader, and have read many books and viewed the movie after. At first I usually believe I will be disappointed because what I have in my head does’nt match the cast… but honestly it’s always turned out that I enjoyed the movie and adapted the “view”. Tom Cruise has never disapointed me in a roll, I think he’ll do a fine job…. it’s what he does best. Ofcourse, it’s just my opinion and many might feel the way you do.

    • Claudia says

      He’ll be fine. He just won’t be Jack Reacher. He’ll be Tom Cruise in yet another action/adventure movie.

      And to be honest, I’m not a real big fan. There are some movies I’ve liked him in – Mission Impossible, for example and A Few Good Men – but I’m always aware that he’s acting. I never quite believe him.

      • says

        Having read all the Jack Reacher books, I had a specific idea of what type should play him. I was aghast when I heard it was Tom Cruise and wondered if he bought the rights to the series. He doesn’t seem to be an actor who can hide his core style or personality and I feel I’m always watching Tim Cruise and not the character. Very disappointed in the choice of Cruise for Reacher but will nevertheless go see it as I’m a huge fan of the Jack Reacher novels and I’m curious.

  7. sharron says

    Liam would be perfect for the movie. Tom is sooo typecast these days and althoughI enjoy some of his movies I
    agree with you let’s keep the book true to the movie! We hardly ever go to the movies anyway just watch them at home wayyyyy after they have come out on DVD etc.
    I love your sunrise photograph. You live in such a pretty part of the country.
    I am right there with you on that mattress needing to be updated! Wish I could play Santa and give you all of thosw wants/needs. How much fun would it be to do that for everyone especially this time of year!?
    Blessingsto you Claudia.
    ((I was watching Law & Order last night thinking Don would be so awesome in that show…a great undercover team liason…))

    • Claudia says

      Don has been on all the Law and Orders many times. But I’d sure like it if he was a permanent cast member!

  8. says

    Ditto here 100%..I always like my image of a character more..and it comes down to box office dollars now.I f it doesn’t blow the box office the first weekend, it is considered a flop so they bring out the big..or in this case..little… guns.

    • Claudia says

      I know! So unrealistic to expect such great box office on the first weekend. No one lets something grow anymore. Same in television. Series are canceled after one airing! So many great series of the past would never have made it given those unrealistic expectations.

  9. GinaE says

    I agree that most movies I’ve seen after reading the novel first don’t live up to the book. I’ve also stopped seeing most movies of a book I’ve read. With that said, I did like Cold Mountain the movie, but I hadn’t seen the book, so
    I know that is the difference. I had seen Kiss the Girls with Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross and then started reading the Patterson books with the Alex Cross character. I still read them with Morgan Freeman’s voice in my head.
    Since I love his voice, it works for me in this case.

  10. says

    The only movie I ever saw that matched my mind’s image was “The Secret Life of Bees.” Every single scene was exactly the way I had envisioned it. Well, except maybe Queen Latifah but she did such a great job I let that one slip.

    • Claudia says

      I’ll have to watch it, Steve. I’ve never read the book, either and I have a copy somewhere. I have to get on this one!

  11. Lori Cassaro says

    You are absolutely right about a movie spoiling your vision after you’ve read a wonderful book. I remember when I read ‘The Bridges of Madison County’. The book was beautiful and heart wrenching, and the characters got in my head. When I saw the movie, which WAS well done, the characters were just not right. Don’t get me wrong, I love Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep…but they weren’t the people in my head. Give Cold Mountain (the movie) a chance…just trust me. They may not be the RIGHT people, but they are all pretty awesome!

  12. Nola says

    Liam Neeson is a wonderful actor, one of my faves. Doesn’t hurt one bit that he’s so handsome either. I don’t care for Hollywood’s version of “handsome”; I like a man who looks like a man! Grrrrr.

    As far as books adaptations and characters, Jeffery Deaver’s character Det Lincoln Rhyme was portrayed wonderfully by Denzel Washington in The Bone Collector. The plot of the movie followed the book fairly well, too.

    J K Rowling’s Harry Potter series made the transition from books to movies pretty well, too. (HP is not just for kids! I loved every minute of every book and every movie). Ditto the characters.

    As you can tell, I love books in a series. Watching the central characters grow and getting to know them makes the books more interesting to me. I don’t mind it do much when the book ends, I know the characters will be back in the next book. They become old friends.

    Changing the subject, I rarely use my dishwasher, except as a drying rack. I enjoy my dishwashing time, it’s very cathartic and relaxing. I use Dawn Hand Renewal with Olay and find it moisturizes my hands, as well. If I did more elaborate cooking or cooked for more than just two, though, I probably would opt for the dishwasher.

    • Claudia says

      Liam Neeson is handsome, but in a craggy, non-traditional way. Besides his height, that’s why he’s closer to Reacher.

  13. Lea says

    I feel exactly the same way about Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher. Did Lee Cilhild not have any say regarding this role ?
    Very disappointed with the casting and have no interest in spending my limited income paying for this movie.

  14. Donnamae says

    I think that the characters we see in our heads, while reading, can realistically, never match up to real life. There are just too many criteria to have a successful (money making), movie…and the star is one of those criteria. Whether it be the Bourne movies, the Jack Ryan movies, or Clive Cussler (Sahara), there are compromises that were made. While the movies are great IMHO, the main characters did not match up…simple as that! ;)

    • Claudia says

      I can deal with it on some movies, if I didn’t get too caught up with the books. But if I have an emotional attachment to the books, and the casting doesn’t match up, I’d rather re-read the book.

  15. says

    I, too get so disappointed when a book is made into a movie and the casting is all wrong, the scenery is all wrong, it’s just so hard for them to get things right these days. I haven’t read the “Reacher” books yet, but would have liked to but now it will be ruined thinking Tom Cruise is the main character. Couldn’t they find anyone who acts?. I’ve also been disappointed by an author that starts out writing fairly well and then just goes to heck in a series of books and you can tell they just aren’t in it anymore. Why do a series if you really don’t care??

    • Claudia says

      I know, Meri. It would be better to start a new series rather than drag another series out until it outlasted its welcome.

  16. Caseymini says

    Claudia, I once saw Tom Cruse in person, unintentionally. He seems even shorter in person! LoL As soon as I heard he was going to play Reacher, I thought it was a joke! My first thought was, he has to be one of the producers furnishing the big bucks… Bought his way into the part.

    As I was looking at the book racks in Walmart the other morning, a paperback caught my eye. It was a Jack Reacher book with the face of Tom Cruse on the cover.. It’s enough to get me to stop reading a series that I have been reading religiously for years. It’s sad what Hollywood does to good stories.

    • Claudia says

      Oh no. Not his picture on the cover! They’ve done the same thing with Tess Gerritsen’s series about Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles. There is now a tv series based on the characters and every time I see one of the books in paperback, there are the actresses on the cover. The books themselves are excellent and memorable and the characters are vivid in my mind and they are NOT those actresses!

  17. Regena Fickes says

    If I hear that a movie is based on the book, I get the book! There are so few movies worth seeing anymore, I only go when I am treating my grandchilren. I am also a great fan of the written word, the book with actual pages and the wonderful feel and smell of an unread book. What adventures await. Guess that is why I love blogland so much. Never have been a Tom Cruise fan, never will be. Too much of a muchness for me. Thanks for this post, as always.

    • Claudia says

      True, Regena. Ultimately, I’d probably rather lose myself in the pages of the book rather than the 2 hour edition of the movie.

  18. Missy says

    I remember seeing the first Harry Potter movie and thinking that it was exactly what my mind had imagined when reading the book.Of course I admit that a lot of that was special effects. My mom always said that Harrison Ford was a great Jack Ryan from the Tom Clancy novel movies.

  19. Sharon Carstens says

    Right on Sister! I was floored when they cast him in the part. My personal favorite for the role would be Jim Caviezal from Persons of Interest. I like the build and the voice.

    On another note concerning your mattress, two words, SLEEP NUMBER. We bought one last year and it has made all of the difference in the world in our sleeping. Ours has the head and foot lift. No more snoring! And, our aches and pains are virtually gone. I know they are pricey, but well worth it.

  20. Noelle says

    OH Claudia, thanks so much for stating that in a post, since the first thing I said to my son when I saw the preview was : “Are they kidding me?” what were they thinking casting Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher? I have read a lot of these novels and have come to love Jack Reacher, but right, there is no way I am going to see that movie, exactly for that reason! Thanks, so glad someone else feels that way. To me Reacher is larger than life, a totally awesome character, love all the books..

    • Claudia says

      Reacher IS larger than life, Noelle. And Child comments on that all the time – how big he is, how his size sort of takes over the room, how despite how big he is, he can move very quickly, etc.

  21. Nancy Brown says

    Ludlum’s Bourne series was very, very good. Matt Damon is a good actor, but certainly not the right person to portray Jason Bourne. Loved the book the “FOUNTAINHEAD” BY Ayn Rand, and even though I loved Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal….. they just didn’t cut it, movie was so disappointing. I’m more of an “old movie” type of gal so I feel pretty much out of the loop with most of today’s stuff. I even have trouble with watching let’s say, World War II movies that have current young actors, and I keep thinking to myself, Where is John Wayne?

    Hope you get most of the things on your wish list…. hopefully the mattress will be the best gift you receive. To me a good night’s sleep makes all the difference in each one of days!

  22. says

    I’ve never heard of the Jack Reacher novels but I will check them out. I’m not a fan of Tom Cruise at all so I wouldn’t be drawn to this movie in the case that I read the book or not. To me it’s extremely rare that a movie is as good as the book, the exception being The Bridges of Madison County. Eastwood and Streep gave the characters a face and a voice and filled in all the areas you couldn’t imagine. So Hollywood, take a lousy book and make it better…leave the great books alone.


  23. says

    I definitely agree that more often than not the books are better. That doesn’t keep me from watching a movie though. I will definitely read the book before I watch the movie, so that I can visualize things myself, but again, when I’m done with the book, and making up my own characters, I don’t mind watching the movie. I already know the move isn’t going to be as good – ha! I feel the same way about remakes of movies. I WILL NOT watch the new Footloose because I know they ruined it. But I did recently see the new Red Dawn and although I really liked the original, the new one was good too. I don’t think they ruined it by redoing it.

  24. says

    I think you are giving Tom an inch or two, 5’7″ I think not, I bet he is a lot shorter and frankly not my fav, he creeps me big time.
    Hugs to you sister,

  25. tracy says

    I’ve read all of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books and my imagination can not envision Tom Cruise as ‘my’ Jack Reacher . If I remember correctly, it was Lee Child who chose Tom for the part. There was a big hullabaloo on Facebook and lots of threats to not watch the movie, but it did not move Lee in the least. I won’t be seeing the movie either. A while back I read the Twilight books and had in my mind’s eye the perfect picture of those characters. When I saw the movie, the entire series was ruined for me as the movie actors in no way filled my minds picture of the characters in the books.

    • Claudia says

      I have a feeling the choice of Cruise is all about box office. How could you invest so many years in writing a character, defining him, describing him and then cast someone totally the opposite? Is all that work so easily thrown out the window?

  26. says

    your sky shot is just lovely ! Where I live…houses and power lines everywhere…if I want a shot I’d have to drive down the road somewhere / envy you :)

    Never had a dishwasher except for myself / no envy there though / just used to it :)

  27. says

    I always like the book better than the movie, always, any book, any movie. If I watch a movie and like it, I will then read the book, and love it. If I read the book first, the movie always disappoints. Case in point, Gone with the Wind. I first read it when I was about fourteen or so, and have read it many times since. I love that I can SEE every scene, every person, every emotion. Maybe not great writing, but I love it. The movie? I have never seen it. I have tried, several times, but I cannot abide the phoney Southern accents. Just can’t stand it. I grew up hearing Southern accents, I lived it, I spoke it. Still do, to a certain extent. No Southerner ever spoke the way they did in that movie! Like nails on a chalkboard. Within the first few minutes, I give up, again. I would love to see the book come to life. Maybe I could watch it with the sound turned off!!!

    • Claudia says

      As a dialect coach, I’ve learned that those who dwell in a certain region of the country rarely think that an actor does that particular regional sound correctly. Everyone will hear something differently. I wonder if the actors in Gone With The Wind even had a dialect coach? DId they do that in those days?

  28. says

    You know I don’t go to movies. And Tom Cruise to me is just not a man that should be in all these action plots. As you said, he’s too short. I don’t visualize a very short man as someone to be feared.

  29. says

    I agree with you! I cannot imagine short Tom Cruise being a Jack Reacher. So you’re probably right on why he got the role. The whole Jack Reacher series is about him being so tall and big and intimidating. I’ll not be going to that movie either but we rarely ever go anyway.

    A novel by Laverle Spencer, whose novels I read many years ago but don’t anymore, was a favorite of mine. Since we didn’t have television at that time I didn’t know that at least one of her books was made into a movie for television. So once when we were traveling and in a motel room and were watching the television since there was nothing much else to do, I saw that the show was on that night. I was so excited to watch it but the ending was the complete opposite of the novel! The novel ending was she married the man, but the movie showed her going off into the sunset without him! It ruined the whole beautiful story but this was the era of early 80s and so the show went with the politically correct ending. What a disappointment it was because the novel ending was unique and beautiful. I never read a novel and see a movie adaptation anymore. Too disappointing.


    • Claudia says

      I just read another section of the new Jack Reacher book, again, talking about his formidable size, he’s as big as a football player, etc. etc. Tom Cruise?

  30. says

    Tom Cruise just doesn’t do it for me for any reason. Liam Neeson does. So does Daniel Day-Lewis who, by the way, was fabulous as Hawkeye in “Last of the Mohicans.” When his love interest asked him in the movie, “What are you looking at, sir?” And he replied, “I’m looking at you,” two of my girlfriends and I who went to see the movie together all screamed outloud. Truth. Thankfully, we went to a matinee, and no one else was there. ;-) And I loved him in “The Age of Innocence.” He raises the bar in everytihing. I want to go see him in “Lincoln.” I studied Lincoln extensively in graduate school, so that movie is on my list to see.

    I like “To Kill A Mockingbird,” “Little Women” starring Winona Ryder (she was so much like what I think Jo was like), the BBC’s version of “Pride and Prejudice” starring Colin Firth and that adorable Jennifer Ehle, and believe it or not, I enjoyed the version of “Jane Eyre” that starred Timothy Dalton as Mr. Rochester. Someone said you knew that he was a really good actor when he could convince you that he was an unhandsome vulcan. My husband particularly enjoyed Timothy Dalton in that role as he did a wonderful job teasing Jane and building the tension. From what I read about it, the role actually made Timothy Dalton and destroyed the career of the stage actress who played Jane for some reason. At the time, she had the following.

    Movies that disappoint? I wouldn’t go see “Midinight in the Garden of Good and Evil” because I knew the movie would destroy the book for me. And in terms of classics, I cannot think of Scarlet O’Hara and not think of Vivian Leigh and Clarke Cable as Rhett Butler and the rest of the cast of “GWTW”. That movie was extremely well cast and cut. Scarlet was a bit more complex than her screen persona would appear, but Vivian Leigh was amazing. The sets and costumes were as well. And what is not to like about Clarke Gable? Talk about handsome and charming! Mammy, Prissy, PittyPat, Melanie, Ashley, Ellen, Gerald, Big Sam, Pork, and that horrible Sue Ellen will always be the actors who played them. Bonnie was the only one I didn’t like. That petulant child was just too whiny. That was the only part that I found cloying. Oh, and Belle Watling was well cast.

    I’m sure I could think of other movies and books, but that’s plenty for now. :)

    • says

      P.S. Vivian Leigh owend the part of Blande DuBois in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The rest of the cast was perfect, too. I find that the only people I like to play Southerners are British. They understand the nuances of the accent and don’t overplay it and make it something it is not. Having studied phonetics and having been a speech major, I have a hard time listening to a really bad Southern accent, and there have been plenty of those in the movies and on TV!

        • says

          I replied to you in an email about the fact that you teach phonetics. Neat!

          But I thought of something else I just remembered and wanted to tell you. I have a friend who is friends with a police officer in Louisiana. You probably know this, but in some towns in Louisiana they still speak French. Anyhow, there were two girls from France who were hitchhiking, and this policeman stopped to tell them they were in a bad area and he wanted to give them a lift to a safer one. Apparently, he would speak to them in French, and they would giggle uproariously at him. Finally, he called someone else from the station who was really French to come intercede. When the girls finally settled down, they apologized and told the other officer that his friend (a Cajun) was speaking perfect old French from centuries before which is what they had been studying in school. I guess the part of Louisiana he is from is so isolated that they all continued to speak like they did when their ancestors arrived in America.

          Also, I heard once that some of the great English actors came to America and went to a part of Appalachia where Middle English had survived. It was an isolated area, and they still spoke like their ancestors. The English actors wanted to use this in something they were about to perform. While I grew up in the Deep South, I really think the Southern accent is most like certain segments in England. The way we drop our ‘r’s” on words llike mother and brother, sster and rather. Other things, too. The way Virginians say about as aboat. And one side of my family spoke Gaelic at home till the patriarch died in 1853. So I assume that played into my father’s voice and probably mine.

    • Claudia says

      My sister and I used to watch Last of the Mohicans and swoon. He was so damn sexy. And he is such a gifted actor – he truly transforms from role to role and believe me, that’s a rarity nowadays.

  31. says

    The worst adaptation I have ever seen was the Knightly/Sutherland version of Pride and Prejudice. I love the BBC version but the later one was completely impossible in Georgian England. The only film version of Anne Of Green Gables that works for me is the Megan Follows one. Don’t get me going on the Clan of the Cave Bear fiasco! I guess some readers just cannot let go of the picture in their heads and are better not seeing the film. Secret Life Of Bees was pretty good, so you should check it out.

    • Claudia says

      I agree – I really disliked that version of Pride and Prejudice. And if I remember correctly, they had a very modern day kissing scene at the end, which, let’s face it, wouldn’t have happened in Austen’s time.

  32. Sheila Mainous says

    I sooo agree with you…when I heard that Tom Cruise was playing Jack Reacher, I was furious. The BEST Reacher would have been a younger Brian Denahy (sp?)…that’s how I picture him when I read the books. Unfortunately Brian is too old for the role now.

    • Claudia says

      I agree, Sheila. I thought of Brian Dennehy, too. But, yes, he’s too old. He has the perfect look and physique and he’s a great actor.

  33. says

    Tom Cruise is creepy enough without even being in movies… Never met him of course, so perhaps I’m being unfair. I see him in magazines occasionally at the hairdresser’s . That’s plenty often enough.
    I seldom go to movies. I did enjoy Beasts of the Southern Wild and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel this year.
    Before that Out of Africa which I read first.

  34. says

    I’ve only read a couple of the Jack Reacher novels Claudia, but the character of Jack is clear in my mind and you have depicted him perfectly.
    Liam Neeson would be my choice too. He is one of the few actors who can get under the skin of a character and bring him alive. I won’t even mention TC in the same breath – he would be a total mismatch.
    How can the casting directors get it so wrong? Maybe we’re in the wrong job!!!!
    Another great thought provoking post thank you Claudia!
    Joyeux Noël
    Shane ♥

  35. says

    Claudia I am with you 100% on this one!! I love the Jack Reacher character and Tom Cruise is not him!!!!! I have read all the books in the series and I WILL NOT see the movie….just can’t do it. Most movies made from books dissappoint me. Sometimes I see a movie I enjoy but have to remove myself from hoping it’s like the book. I do agree that The Secret Life Of Bees was well done and I loved the book. I am not a huge Cruise fan either, he isn’t the best (cough cough) actor and yet he gets this role? Hollywood is crazy. Glad you spoke out about this….it’s a crime I say!

    hugs, Linda

  36. Clara says

    I have read every one of Lee Child’s novels over the years and am very familiar with Jack Reacher. lol I have another librarian friend and we have discussed this at length and with a few customers who have read the Jack Reacher books. Not ONE of us can see Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher! What were they thinking? Unfortunately, it could have been a great movie/series IF they had chosen someone better for the role.
    Sorry, I was a little late to this post, but I wanted to put in my two cents because I love your blog.

  37. says

    Wow, here I was all set to totally agree with you about Tom Cruise as Reacher and I find all these comments. It looks like a lot of us agree that this is totally wrong. I have read each and every one of the Reacher books and love them. I have a picture of Reacher as a big man wearing the scars of years of hard knocks. In my mind, he is a quiet, gentle giant until he finds injustice or is ticked off. He is the kind of man I would want taking care of me should I have a problem. Tom Cruise……eh, don’t care for his acting, never have. So no, I won’t be seeing the movie, either. However, I don’t go watch movies at the theatre and seldom rent them at home.
    How great a series it would have been if someone else, someone tall, craggy, and not cutesy looking was cast in the part? Oh well, that’s the movie industry. Always out for the big bucks.

    Well, that’s my two cents. Have a great day.

  38. says

    One of my favorite film adaptaptions was the 1991 film “Wuthering Heights” with Juliette Binoche as Cathy and Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff. And I have loved all of the Merchant-Ivory adaptations of the E.M. Forster novels: “A Room With a View”, “Where Angels Fear to Tread”, and “Howards End”. They were exquisitely faithful to the books which I’d read years earlier and imagine just as they had!

  39. Marilyn says

    This comment is late to the game, but I have to give my take. I agree with everyone and won’t see the movie. I also think Daniel Craig would be good, or back in the day, Nick Nolte. Since this movie represents the early books, I think Craig would be good. He is closer to my mental image of Reacher.Liam would be good for the newer books. …Just my opinion.

Please check back to follow the conversation!