If there’s one thing Jack Reacher isn’t, it’s reliable. Since 1997, the character has featured in a new novel from British author Lee Child every year, with two literary outings in 2010, for a total of 26 novels to date, the most recent of which is 2021’s Better off Dead, and more than 100 million book sales.
Reacher, a former US military police officer turned itinerant defender of truth and justice, has also appeared in nearly 20 short stories and novellas by Child and two of the full-length novels, 2005’s One-Shot and 2013’s Never Go Back, have been adapted into feature films starring Tom Cruise (2012’s Jack Reacher and 2016’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back).
There’s no reason to believe that Reacher’s visits will become less regular in the coming days. Child, now 67, said in 2020 that he and his younger brother Andrew would be co-authoring the next few novels, beginning with The Sentinel in 2020, and eventually, Lee would retire and Andrew, who was already a renowned author, would carry the Reacher name forward.
Reacher’s adventures will be available in a whole new medium this week when the character makes his small-screen debut in the eight-part Amazon Prime series Reacher.
When will ‘Reacher’ be released?
All eight episodes of the first season will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime from Friday.
Who is part of the cast?
In addition to the feature films, the new program brings together some major behind-the-scenes players from the world of Jack Reacher, as well as an entirely new cast. Child and Christopher McQuarrie, who co-wrote and directed the 2012 film and produced the 2016 sequel with Child, are executive producers.
McQuarrie is also recognized for his many collaborations with Cruise, having worked with him on films such as the Mission Impossible franchise, Top Gun: Maverick, and The Mummy as a writer, director, or producer, or a combination of the three. The cruise will not be on board this time, in part due to fan dissatisfaction with the casting of the 5’7″ actor “In the films, he plays the 6’5” Reacher.
When the new series was announced in 2018, Child told Deadline: “I had a great time working with Cruise. But, in the end, the readers are right. Reacher’s size is really significant to him, and it’s a big part of who he is… As a result, there will be no more Tom Cruise films. Instead, we’ll stream it on Netflix or something like that. Long-form streaming television starring a brand-new character.
We’re starting over and rebooting, and we’re going to find the perfect guy.” Alan Ritchson, whose 6’2″ frame is at least similar to the hulking Reacher, will be the perfect guy for Child and McQuarrie. Ritchson is most recognized for his role as Aquaman/Arthur Curry in Smallville, a Superman spin-off on The CW.
Willa Fitzgerald, as Emma Duval from MTV’s Scream spin-off series, as detective Roscoe Conklin, and former Miss Denmark Universe Maria Sten as Reacher’s army pal Frances Neagley is also among the new cast members. Nick Santora, who has written and/or produced for shows such as The Sopranos, Law, and Order, and Prison Break, will be in control of writing and showrunning.
What is the show about?
After being released from the US Military Police as part of a downsizing, Jack Reacher embarks on a nomadic life as a drifter, aiding the helpless, battling injustice, and restoring harmony to areas where there was once chaos (albeit usually dispensing a fair degree of chaos to get there).
After becoming caught up in a criminal conspiracy, Reacher is arrested for murder and spends time in prison, and now the authorities need his help to solve a string of murders in the remote Georgia town of Margrave. Reacher has been compared to an “avenging angel” and a “knight-errant,” a romantic medieval hero who traveled the land in search of adventures to prove his chivalry.
Given Reacher’s distinctly modern context, a one-man unit akin to The A-Team or a particularly tall, noticeably scruffier, non-domiciled The Equalizer could be a good fit.