Amazon Prime Video is investing in another best-selling novel adaptation. The streaming giant received the rights to the famous Jack Reacher book series after competitive bidding.
Nick Santora of the Scorpion TV series fame will be joining in adapting the novels to a TV series format. Santora will be the showrunner and will be joined by Child, Don Granger, and Christopher McQuarrie as its executive producers.
The novels written by Lee Child has been popular since the late 1990s. Lee Child is a pseudonym created by James Dover Grant, a British author.
The Jack Reacher book series is about a former major in the United States Army who takes odd jobs and offers investigative services. The book series follows Reacher in parts of America and Europe where his adventures and investigations take place. The first novel was the Killing Floor, which debuted last March 1997. The latest book was released in November 2018 titled Past Tense.
Amazon Studios will be collaborating with Skydance Television and Paramount Television. Both production companies have experience in producing Jack Reacher series with two films released in 2012 and 2016.
Talks of moving the adaptation to a streaming service have been shared by Child, himself, since last year. Talking about the future of the Jack Reacher film franchise, Child said, “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.”
The novel’s first video-format adaptation was made in 2012 starring Tom Cruise under the title Jack Reacher. The movie’s plot was based on Child’s “One Shot” off of the book series. The film was successful with a gross earning of $5.1 million on its opening day in the US and Canada. Cruise acted alongside Rosamund Pike and Werner Herzog with McQuarrie both directing and writing the screenplay.
In 2016, another stand-alone film was released under the title Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. The story follows Reacher as he rescues his friend, Major Susan Turner, from being wrongly accused of treason. Colbie Smulders joined Cruise as Major Turner after her success in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media produced both films.
Cruise-less Jack Reacher
Though no cast has been shared, one question is will Cruise reprise his role as Reacher in the Amazon-led series?
Despite the film series’ success, fans have criticized the films for casting Cruise as Jack Reacher. In the novels, Reacher’s height is six feet and five inches; which is a considerable discrepancy from Cruise’s height of five feet and seven inches.
Fans of the novels did not think that Cruise was towering enough to embody the buff ex-military man that was Reacher. In 2018, Child finally admitted that Cruise might be too short.
“The idea is that when Reacher walks into a room, you’re all a little nervous just for that first minute. And Cruise, for all his talent, didn’t have that physicality,” Child shared.
Lee Child also called on the fans to share their idea of who could portray the lead of the famous novel series. He said, “And I want all those readers who were upset about Tom Cruise to help me out – participate in choosing the right actor for the TV series. We’re rebooting and starting over, and we’re going to try and find the perfect guy.”
Though the series is moving on from Cruise, Child has acknowledged Cruise’s talent in portraying the titular character, and the ease of working with him. “I really enjoyed working with Cruise. He’s a really, really nice guy. We had a lot of fun,” the world-famous novelist recalls.
Other Amazon Novel-to-Series Adaptations
Amazon is continuously investing in the Novel-to-Series type of adaptation.
Last May, the streaming giant released Good Omens, an adaptation of the novel of the same title written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The miniseries gained praise from fans, who clamored for a sequel.
Amazon also adapted Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch novels titled Bosch. It has been the platform’s longest-running original TV series.
Another big hit that Amazon worked on is the Jack Ryan series starring John Krasinski. The series is based on Tom Clancy’s novels featuring the titular character, a former US Marine and stockbroker who occasionally works for the CIA. The series is praised for its action scenes and likable cast.
Fans speculate that with the addition of Jack Reacher into the Amazon video platform, a collaboration between Reacher and Ryan may be feasible in the future.