Tom Cruise has been a movie star for nearly forty years (his Instagram bio hilariously explains that he’s been “running in movies since 1981”). And, for the past two decades he has been one of the most popular action stars on the planet thanks to the Mission Impossible and Jack Reacher franchises. But, now that Cruise is 57 years old, Jack Reacher author Lee Child says that the actor is “too old” for action films, and he should move on and transition to being a character actor.
Speaking with The Sunday Times newspaper, Child said that it may sound extremely patronizing, but he thinks a change would be good for Cruise.
“He’s too old for this stuff,” said Child. “He’s 57, he needs to move on, transition to being a character actor.”
Of course, Cruise disagrees with Child’s opinion, and he was reluctant to give up the role of Jack Reacher. Child said that Cruise could get another 20 years out of it because he has the talent and he is a terrific guy who is considerate and “good fun.”
But, fans of the Jack Reacher books were never on board with Cruise’s casting in the first two films because he is nothing like what Child’s described in his books. Cruise is just five-feet seven-inches tall, but Child’s describes Reacher as being six-foot-five. And, his physical appearance is important to the story.
“Cruise, for all his talent, didn’t have that physicality,’ said the 65-year-old author. “I really enjoyed working with Cruise. He’s a really, really nice guy. We had a lot of fun. But ultimately the readers are right. The size of Reacher is really, really important and it’s a big component of who he is.”
Now, Child is asking his fans to help him choose a new actor to play the former US Army officer in the upcoming TV series. He says that they are rebooting and starting over, and they are going to try and find the perfect guy.
As for Tom Cruise, his last action movie Mission: Impossible – Fallout made almost $800 million globally at the box office. And, his upcoming movie Top Gun: Maverick, is one of the most highly-anticipated films of 2020.