Hollywood Junket had a chance to sit down with four elite from the making of the film, Jack Reacher. Those folks included Christopher McQuarrie, Screenwriter/Director, Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher series, and talent including Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo.
The film Jack Reacher is based on the ninth book of a series of 17 novels by accomplished author Child. Jack Reacher is a former army-cop turned lone wolf vigilante. When one of his former enemies is setup for a slew of murders, ironically, he requests Reacher be the man to help prove his innocence. He knows despite all, Reacher will put any animosities aside to find the real story of what happened. It is a story wrought with twists and turns (figuratively and literally) and suspense as Reacher is determined to get justice for all, especially the victims.
Child explains how he created this character in the first place. “I watched a lot of Sherlock Holmes,” he said. Indeed Reacher’s character is the smart investigator that puts everyone else to shame with his smooth confidence that always proves to be right. Child continued: “It’s easy to have Reacher get things right all the time when the writer is writing both ends of the question!”
McQuarrie explains that Don Granger, producer, brought him in to write and direct the film. “I did one adaptation and made it straight-forward from the book.” Indeed that is a true homage to Child, having written such a well-crafted novel that naturally lent itself to screen.
Although Cruise was not there, the four talked about him and his dedication to the film. Cruise was aware of the physical differences between him and the description in the book and did not want to play the role unless Child was okay with it. Child is aware of some fans’ disappointment not to cast an actor who looked like the blond 6’5” character from the story and is even flattered by their passionate outcries. Child and McQuarrie defended Cruise as Reacher. As McQuarrie stated: “We were never going to find an actor who fit the rather extreme physical characteristics as are described in the books so we decided first thing that could not be our primary concern.” Child goes on to say: “Cruise captured Reacher’s ethos and that was more important than any physical likeness.”
Outside of Cruise’s role in front of the camera, he played a huge part in producing the film as well. The four talked in particular about the long involved car chase in the film, with Cruise actually doing his own stunt work as an avid racecar lover himself. McQuarrie states: “Tom wanted that scene to be the central sequence of the movie. That was him driving the car. Tom had to put up with a lot of variables, such as driving two to three hours a day, cars breaking down and having to adjust to new ones. If the camera was not in danger, it was not worth it!”
Oyelowo spoke of how honored he felt to be part of a movie with Cruise. McQuarrie had already cast someone else in the role but then met Oyelowo and had a change of heart. At one point Oyelowo said he remembered that Cruise actually asked: “Can we get him?” To which Oyelowo points out he said with resounding affirmation: “YES!”
British actress Pike proved to be a beautiful addition to the film. She was indeed intrigued by the vulnerabilities of her character toward her position as a defense attorney out to prove her own worth to her father. She even went so far as to investigate the U.S. justice system for this role and in particular, Clarence Darrow. She also had an opportunity to show her skills as a leading lady against Cruise in a sort of unconventional love story. Indeed the characters dance around each other, drawn to each for their similar code of ethics and intelligence. Yet, they never even so much as kiss. “It has all the elements of a love story without the sex,” Pike said.
Yes, Child indeed loved seeing his characters coming alive on the big screen. It is a film for the fans of the series as well as newcomers. Just make sure you buckle your seat belt tight for genuinely packed suspense this holiday season!
Written and reported by: Stephanie Andolino