‘Jack Reacher’ Author Lee Child Says Tom Cruise Is ‘Too Old’ for Action Movies at 57

Jack Reacher Tom Cruise too old action movies
Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back in 2016 Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

Mission impossible? Tom Cruise’s action movie-making days could be numbered, at least according to Jack Reacher author Lee Child.

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“Cruise was reluctant. He had his own investments in it, he was going to argue against it,” Child told The Times on November 23, about exercising his option as an author to end the film franchise after two installments. “It sounds extremely patronizing, but I think it’s good for him. He’s too old for this stuff.”

He added: “He’s 57, he needs to move on, transition to being a character actor. He could get another 20 years out of it. He is talented. He’s a terrific guy, very considerate, good fun.”

Cruise starred in two Jack Reacher films adapted from Child’s novels, 2012’s Jack Reacher and 2016’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. In 2018, the author announced that the film franchise was ending and instead he was shifting to a TV reboot based on the title character.

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When Cruise was initially cast as Reacher, many fans of the books commented on the fact that he is several inches shorter than the fictional character, who Child described as 6’5”.

Child discussed the Top Gun star’s height with The Times. “I’ve never seen him in bare feet,” he admitted. “He wears Timberland boots with a decent sole on them. [But] he is absolutely average height. About 5ft 8in. All actors are small.”

“There’s something about the camera that favors smaller people,” he added. “Daniel Craig! He’s about 5ft 7in. He’s a tiny guy. I was on a plane with him once. The camera loves certain things. Small people with large heads. Anne Hathaway’s eyes. Julia Roberts’ mouth.”

The writer also referenced Cruise’s height last year when he announced the TV adaptation.

“I really enjoyed working with Cruise,” Child told BBC Radio Manchester in November 2018. “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. So, what I’ve decided to do is – there won’t be any more movies with Tom Cruise. Instead we’re going to take it to Netflix or something like that. Long-form streaming television, with a completely new actor.”

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For his part, the Oscar-nominated actor hasn’t let Child’s criticism stop him from being a mega action film star. He has appeared in three action movies since the Jack Reacher franchise ended, 2017’s The Mummy and American Made and 2018’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout. He is also set to reprise his role as Maverick in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick film due out next year and is working on Mission: Impossible 7, which is set for a 2021 release.

The Jerry Maguire star still does his own stunts as well. While filming Mission: Impossible – Fallout in 2017, he suffered a broken ankle after performing a stunt when he jumped from scaffolding to a nearby building. His accident caused a hiatus in filming, but it didn’t stop him from doing stunts moving forward.

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