Amazon wants more shows about dudes named Jack. The media company, which already has Jack Ryan to their name, just won the rights to develop a Jack Reacher TV series. The series will adapt the still-going book series from Lee Child. Child’s work was previously adapted into two films starring Tom Cruise, but you can safely assume Cruise won’t be the lead in the new Amazon series.
The Tom Cruise Jack Reacher movies are not very true to the book series by Lee Child, but they’re (mostly) enjoyable. Now, Amazon might give fans a more faithful adaptation with their Jack Reacher TV series. Nick Santora, who wrote Punisher: War Zone, is set to write, showrun and executive produce the series. In the Jack Reacher books, Reacher is a former major in the United States Army Military Police Corps who “roams the United States taking odd jobs and investigating suspicious and frequently dangerous situations.”
Amazon and Santora are going to have a hefty amount of material to work with. There are 23 Jack Reacher novels to draw from – the most recent, Past Tense, was published last year. Santora will executive produce the series alongside Lee Child, Don Granger and Christopher McQuarrie (who wrote and directed the first Jack Reacher movie with Tom Cruise).
“Clearly, Reacher is an archetypal character,” Child said in an interview. “He’s a loner, a mysterious stranger with no history and no future, someone who just shows up on the day something has happened. He solves the problem and then rides off into the sunset. That archetype has been around forever: in American westerns, in the knightly sagas in Europe of the Middle Ages, in Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon legends, even going back to religious myths. This kind of character was in the back of my mind, but I didn’t have a pre-formed design. I wanted Reacher to be authentic and organic.”
“One basic rule that applies is: it’s not the writer who decides whether a character is cool; the reader makes that decision. If a writer tries to force things—or lead the witness, as it were—the result is an embarrassing failure. So, really, I just metaphorically closed my eyes and wrote that first book, Killing Floor, and Jack Reacher emerged.”
Casting will play a part in how this all turns out. If Amazon can land the right actor to play Reacher, they might end up with something special on their hands.
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