Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jack Reacher, Lee Child, and Why I hate Hollywood.

A while ago, I mentioned how I thought that Hollywood was improving in the adaptations of novels to films.

I'm certain I've mentioned author Lee Child a few times on the blog.  His main hero is Jack Reacher, a former Military Policeman who specialized in arresting special forces operators who committed crimes, also a homicide detective.  And, considering that this is the army, Jack Reacher is built like  amiddle-weight wrestler ... if a middle weight could be 6'5" and 280.

Now retired from the army, after a live of rules, regulations, and fitting into a rigorous bureaucracy, Reacher has become a drifter. He lives off of his army pension and his savings, hitching rides, taking buses, wandering through middle America, with the occasional trip to New York. He's done the math, and figures that buying cheap and disposable clothes and living on the road is cheaper than living in a house with a washing machine, et al.

And Reacher thinks.  Good God, does he think. A fight scene that takes about ten seconds requires two pages to describe, because he thinks out every, last, move. His deductive abilities rely on heavy analysis, and quiet, thoughtful diligence.  If he were less conspicuous, he would be the quiet man in the corner who solves the crime by quietly moving around in the background, just listening.

One Shot: A Reacher Novel (Jack Reacher)Now, Hollywood is considering looking at making a Jack Reacher novel, One Shot, into a movie. Even though it's book number nine in the series. Probably because they have a Gulf War sniper veteran accused of being a killer.  Right now, I'll be happy if they keep the ending to the book, as opposed to going for the Hollywood's popular "crazy veteran" plot device.

So, who would you cast for the massive, silent, thinking man's detective?

I like Adam Baldwin .... he's tall, built like a brick wall, and has played military men for practically his entire career.  I can see Adam Baldwin playing a man who has put in his twenty years, and who just wants to be left alone.  I've seen him do more with a glare than some people who speak only in rants. He's not 6'5", but he'll do.

And Adam Baldwin is a thinker. At least in real life. He maintains his own political blog, and every argument is well reasoned, and thoroughly thought out.

So, he'll do.

And, Hollywood being Hollywood, they took Jack Reacher, and they cast ....

Wait for it ....

Tom Cruise.

Yup, a thoughtful, insightful, 6'5" wall of a man, and they cast a 5'6" guy whose major real life moment was him going insane on the Oprah Winfrey show.

Just what the hell are these people thinking?

Obviously, that presumes that they are thinking.

What does the author have to say about this travesty?

To quote from Lee Child: "Reacher's size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way."

I'm sure that if I were being given God knows how much money to make one of my novels into a book, and I absolutely had to comment, I'm sure I'd say that too.

If you ever wondered why I spent so much time on casting blogs for my novel, now you know. It's so that, should something like this ever happen to me, I'll be on record already.  And I wouldn't comment on any movie project .... I would take the money and go into hiding.

With any luck, Tom Cruise will fall down a manhole before filming.

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