Friday Friends: Friday, Friends, Film and REACH-ing for Lee Child

Easy as A, B, C . . . from BB

Reacher_Book Do you know about the controversyReacher_Movie
between readers and watchers?

It seems novelist Lee Child’s Jack Reacher is putting book fans and movie fans at odds with each other:

In Lee’s Novel One Shot, his hero, Jack Reacher, a 6’5″, 250 lb. former U.S. Army MP—no home, no belongings, but a strong moral code crying to fight injustice—was re-introduced to the reading public.  They love this guy!  First published in 2005, a movie based on that book has been made starring Tom Cruise.  Action/Adventure movie fans must love it!

Writer Steve Fisher commented on the ensuing controversy in his interview with Child in The Costco Connection of May ‘13 saying that many of Child’s readers were much less than thrilled with the choice of hero (Cruise is purportedly 5’7″.)  Fisher even asked Child about the controversy.  Child says he was on-board with the decision from the start (since he’d worked in theater and television for years before choosing to become a novelist when his job was downsized).

His take on the character and the choice was that there wasn’t another actor of Reacher’s stature, so, at best, there would have to be a compromise of multiple inches and pounds.  Child and the director decided to look for someone with the best technical skill, but who would also have a “thinking component”: that was Cruise.

I have personal experience with the controversy: a writer friend of mine and I decided to go to a movie one afternoon following a critique session.  Neither one of us knew much about the movie, but chose to see this action/adventure.  I like those sorts of movies, provided they’re not too gory, and she also likes them —even more than I do.  We enjoyed it.

I came home and reported on our adventure to my husband, a Lee Child’s fan of epic proportions.  (“Stature—what?  No Vin Diesel?  No Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson?” my husband asks.)  You’d have thought I’d betrayed the good-ol’ U.S. of A.  He adamantly refuses (though I offered to go again, with him) to see the film.  “I think you’ll like it,” I say.  “No way!” is his reply.  “You can’t cast a 5’7″ actor as Reacher—he hasn’t got the physique, stature, ability, smarts . . . etc., etc., etc.”  Did I say my husband was a Navy guy for 20 years (and is 6’2″ and a good amateur actor, to boot).  Rose to Navy Chief faster than a speeding bullet, he claims.

So, yeah.  I get the controversy—still—after weeks of sporadic, “But you haven’t even seen it,” and “Here!  Read the book!  You’ll see what I mean!”

Never mind.  I enjoyed the film.  My friend enjoyed the film.  My husband is re-reading the books.

One way or the other—but, maybe, not both—Enjoy!

See you day-after-tomorrow for Sunday Snippets!

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