Entertainment

‘Jack Reacher’ author praises Tom Cruise recasting

For Lee Childs, the new “Jack Reacher” actor is, well, less of a reach.

The 63-year-old author of the “Jack Reacher” series has made his feelings known about the recasting of the main character in the new Amazon Prime Video series, based on his books.

Childs, is happy that the TV show chose a different actor to play Reacher after Tom Cruise played him in two films.

Fans were concerned over Cruise’s height, as Reacher is described in one book as “extremely tall, extremely broad, long-armed and long-legged” with “hands the size of dinner plates.”

Alan Ritchson — who is 6’3″ — stars in the new series as the titular character, while Cruise, 59, stands at 5’7″.

Childs is an executive producer on the project and spoke to Metro about his thoughts on the recasting.

“There was criticism from the book fans because they had built up a very clear image of what Reacher should look like,” Childs said.

“It just became a different proposition and I guess the opportunity of thinking ‘alright, we can get a much bigger guy so the book fans are going to be happy,’” the writer continued. “But we’re also focusing on the non-book readers. What do they need? They need just great entertainment, they don’t have the reference already and so we also had to satisfy them.”

Alan Ritchson is taking over the role of Jack Reacher from Tom Cruise for the new Amazon Prime series, “Reacher” and previously discussed with The Post how his physical appearance was important for the role of Jack Reacher.AP; Paramount Pictures

Childs added that he understood what viewers wanted, however, he is a fan of Cruise’s work. “I think that the size thing is important to certain parts of the narrative,” he said. “Reacher has got to scare people, and you can do that so much easier with one glance of this huge animal rather than a normal-sized actor.”

Ritchson, 39, recently spoke with The Post about his new role and how his size was a big asset. “I put on 30 pounds for the role. I feel really good. This is my natural size, and it just feels nice to be able to be me,” he explained.

“Of course there’s the physicality. We’re both about the same size. That gives you a certain kind of confidence when you walk around and I think we share that,” the “Smallville” alum continued. 

The action star appeared in 2012’s “Jack Reacher” and its 2016 sequel, “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.”WireImage

Ritchson also noted that he didn’t watch Cruise’s iteration of films.

“I love Tom Cruise. I’ve seen all his other movies. He’s an icon, a living legend. There’s nobody like him,” he added. “But this was one [project] where I would take on some of his mannerism [if I had watched it]. So, whatever he’s doing, I wanted to leave that for him. I wanted to take a stab at making Reacher my own.”

He concluded, “That’s out of respect for the fans that love the books and want to see an authentic Reacher, and this was my shot.” 

“Reacher” is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.