Months after it was announced that Lee Child was bringing his Jack Reacher character to television, the series is officially in development at Amazon, with Scorpion creator Nick Santora on board as executive producer and showrunner. The news that the title character of Child’s series of novels would no longer be played by Tom Cruise in feature films was delivered last year, with the author stating he had regained the rights to his work and would be shopping it around to various networks and streaming services, in an effort to deliver an ongoing series with an actor who more closely resembled the character as he was depicted on page.
It’s an interesting step for the author to take, as although both films, Jack Reacher and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, were only modest hits (they roughly grossed a combined $400 million worldwide), they benefitted greatly from the name of their star, as well as the presence of Mission: Impossible writer-director Christopher McQuarrie. Nevertheless, Child has been adamant that the character of Reacher should be someone well over six feet tall and, as described in the books, has “hands the size of dinner plates.” Though the casting search is presumably on, it would seem the Jack Reacher series will have the full weight of Amazon Prime Video, as well as Skydance and Paramount Television, behind it.
As reported by Variety, the series will make for a one-two punch of testosterone-driven action fare, featuring dudes named Jack, as Reacher will be well positioned alongside the recently rebooted Jack Ryan series, starring John Krasinski. That series is also produced by Paramount and Skydance, making the acquisition of Reacher something of a no-brainer and a solid addition to the streamer’s growing lineup of action-oriented original programming.
The question now becomes what sort of series Jack Reacher will be under the stewardship of Santora and Child, who also comes on board the project as an executive producer. Because Child was so invested in recasting the character to fit his description in the books, it stands to reason that he’ll be angling for the series itself to hew closer to the kind of storytelling seen in the novels as well. How that will differentiate the series from the Tom Cruise films remains to be seen, but an obvious angle might be for the show to push the envelope further than the PG-13 rated movies with regard to its content.
As for now, the process of finding the new Jack Reacher will likely take precedence for Santora and Child, as the new series will likely be marketed at least partially on the chosen actor’s physical resemblance to the wandering hero. Until then, it looks like it’ll be a good time to speculate as to who best can walk in Reacher’s shoes.
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Jack Reacher does not yet have a premiere date on Amazon Prime Video.