Why Dwayne Johnson Would Have Made A Much Better Jack Reacher Than Tom Cruise

It was revealed this week that Dwayne Johnson lost out on the role of Jack Reacher to Tom Cruise and he would have been a much better choice for the role.

When I heard that Dwayne Johnson was turned down for the role of Jack Reacher, I couldn’t get the idea of him as the character out of my head.

I’m an unapologetic fan of the Lee Child Jack Reacher novels.

I remember thinking Tom Cruise was very wrong for the role when I heard he had been cast.

The first thing that came to mind is that Jack Reacher in the books is always described as a blond, 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) tall, 250-pound man.

Tom Cruise is only 5 ft 7 in tall and brunette. He’s completely wrong for the part.

Now, I get that Reacher is white in the novels, but he’s been described by the author as looking a lot like a rugby player.

He’s said in the past that he’s always imagined him looking a bit like former England rugby team captain Lawrence Dallaglio.

Dwayne Johnson is a much more physical presence than Tom Cruise


Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in Hobbs & Shaw – Credit: Universal Pictures

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I know that Dallaglio is white, but there’s no one better in Hollywood to play a role like Reacher than Johnson.

He looks like a rugby player. He would look very much at home part of the New Zealand, Tonga or Samoan rugby teams.

Johnson has always reminded me of Jonah Lomu, and he fits the other aspects of the character from the books.

Child has said that “Reacher’s size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force”.

That’s exactly what Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is all about.

Every character he plays is an unstoppable force. I really do think that Jack Reacher was the role tailor made for Johnson.

After hearing Johnson reveal he was up for the role back in 2012, I can’t believe they didn’t give it to him.

I love Tom Cruise, but he ain’t no Jack Reacher

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Credit: Paramount Pictures)

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Johnson in a Facebook Live stated: “In Hollywood, actors are kind of like in-a-box. There are actors that can vie for a particular role because it allows for them to have a certain look, skin color, size, etc.”

He continued: “Fortunately, for me, there aren’t a lot of guys at all who look like me. So, all of my roles, from the beginning of my career, I’ve been a lucky son of a bitch that they’ve been created and designed for me — except Jack Reacher,” said Dwayne Johnson

Johnson then went on to explain: “Now, this was ten years ago, and I was in a much different place, I recognise that Tom was the biggest movie star in the world, and I was not.”

“I got the call saying ‘Hey, you didn’t get the role’ Look, I didn’t even know if I had a shot for it, but the people around me at that time made me think that I did. I felt like I did, I felt like ‘Why not me?'” he continued in his Facebook video.

I love Tom Cruise. He’s excellent in the Mission: Impossible movies.

I also think he’s good in the two Jack Reacher movies he’s made.

However, he’s not Jack Reacher. Dwayne Johnson is.

There’s no one else in Hollywood who could play him as far as I’m concerned.

Maybe John Cena, but I think Johnson actually fits the role better than even his former WWE colleague.

Dwayne Johnson is the living embodiment of Jack Reacher

Dwayne Johnson in Fast and Furious 8

Dwayne Johnson in Fast and Furious 8 – Credit: Universal Pictures

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Jason Statham could have been a possibility, however, Jack Reacher is American in the books.

I’ve heard Statham try an American accent and it’s not pretty.

I also don’t think he’s big enough for the role.

Anyway, we’ve since had two Jack Reacher movies,

The first Jack Reacher movie was directed by Christopher McQuarrie and it started his working partnership with Cruise.

We’ve since seen the two of them work together on Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

They are two of the very best Mission: Impossible movies.

I would argue that Fallout is one of the best action movies ever made.

That’s the best thing to come out of Tom Cruise having been cast as Jack Reacher.

What do you make of this article?

Do you think – like me – that Dwayne Johnson would have made a much better Jack Reacher than Tom Cruise?

Let me know in the comments below.

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There are 10 comments

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  1. Anonymous

    Dwayne Johnson is Totally Wrong.then an Now . Reacher in all the Books is not 1% Full of him self . DJ gives you IM THE SHIT ON AN OFF CAMPUS

  2. Jim

    First, while Cruise doesn’t physically match the character, he did a reasonable job in the movies. Your article is from 2020, with the release of the series – Alan Ritchson nailed it. He has the size & speed, and as an actor he fit the image I had in my mind behaviorally to a T having read many of the books.

    Now I don’t dismiss Dwayne Johnson, unlike a comment above I think he is a decent actor, not just a meat hunk. He does though have a consistency in his personality that comes thru in his roles which is not really in line with the storybook Jack Reacher, and it’s also an image in most people’s minds. He is a sunnier personality than Jack Reacher. Best way to explain this is Will Smith in “After Earth” playing a role as a taciturn commander & father that clearly fit Lawrence Fishburne. Will is a good actor, but the dour mannerisms stretched his credibility and image. Fishburne’s many portrayals would have had him slide that role like a glove.

    That’s the issue between Johnson and Ritchson today, back in 2012, Johnson had the physicality but Cruise was closer to the personality. Neither in totality achieve what Ritchson has, the role was written for him, or he fit himself to role, without prior expectations of the actor he was a clean slate.

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