Tom Cruise Can Now Break a Man’s Neck with One Hand

By  · Published on July 18th, 2011

Oh, movie magic. Is there anything better? Because of movie magic, a character that is a hulking mass of manly, American muscle (who’s really great at driving) can be played by Tom Cruise. According to Deadline Brentwood, Cruise has been cast for One Shot – the adaptation of the popular Jack Reacher novel from Lee Child (the pen name of Jim Grant) – and you’d have to assume that they’d make him gain 90 pounds and a foot in height for the role. Or maybe they’d just do it with practical effects make-up. Or CGI.

Or maybe Jack Reacher will just be the name of a short guy with nice teeth.

But all hope isn’t lost. The author himself was excited about the casting, claiming that Reacher’s physical appearance is a symbol of unstoppable force and that Cruise has got that sensibility in his own (non-physical) way. Still, Reacher’s bulk is part of what makes him unique. So does his almost aggravating refusal to speak when spoken to. With Cruise on board, it seems likely that the character will have moved from a quiet, giant badass to a talkative little man who can outrun bombs exploding.

Which raises the question – how many elements of a character can you change or remove before the character ceases to be who he is?

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.