Jack Reacher: Alan Ritchson says Amazon series will adapt one book a season

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

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Jack Reacher will soon be returning to our screens via a new Amazon series and the star of the show, Alan Ritchson, is revealing the approach the streamer is taking to adapt the beloved book series from author Lee Child.

During a talk with "Collider", Ritchson couldn't say much about the details of the show but, he did reveal that Amazon will adapt one book every season to tell its story:

" I don't know how much I can say. I'll say that we're gonna be doing a book a season, so the first season will be the first book. I think that's such a great way to do this. I can see why it'd be exciting as a film, but the slow burn is what I love so much about the books. The way that he goes down the checklist and picks apart these cases, you need time. It's okay to enjoy that. I think spending a season on each book is gonna be really enjoyable for audiences."

The concept of doing one book a season is probably a much more full approach than the feature film adaptation was able to accomplish. It gives the series enough time to unveil each story and present some complex plotting and narratives without rushing to its conclusion. This will also allow Ritchson to grow the character organically which is another benefit of developing this project as a TV series. The first book of the Jack Reacher series is 1997's "Killing Floor", and it looks like that's where we'll be starting when the Amazon show launches.  

I haven't read any of the Jack Reacher books but I know a big bone of contention with fans of the book series and the two films that starred Tom Cruise was that Cruise didn't match the character's physical attributes as described in the books. Based purely on what Ritchson looks like and how the character is described, he seems like a much better match for the part, at least physically. Even though he's closer to what fans may have envisioned for Jack Reacher, Richtson goes on to explain that he initially did not win the part during the casting process.

"It's funny, I actually didn't get the role at first. I'm not exactly six foot five and I'm not exactly 250, and I had heard that they were being very specific with their physical demands. After working with Tom Cruise and a lot of fans being upset that he didn't really have the physicality, as great as he was in the role, they really wanted to get that right. I was like, ‘Well, they wanna read me, but I know they’re gonna find someone like Dwayne Johnson, who’s a huge dude.’ I auditioned for the part and it was good, it was just that my take on it was a little different than what they had in mind, at the time.

Ritchson goes on to explain that a shake-up behind-the-scenes led to his tape being revisited and the end result was him finally landing the role:

"There was a shake-up with who was casting, so they started again from scratch, and I’d already been passed on, as had everybody who did an audition. But when they came back around, they picked a few tapes that they’d seen already, and I was one of them, so they wanted me to come back and try again, and it worked out. The closer I got to that, the more familiar I became with the Reacher stuff. I’ve really fallen in love. I’ve read the books now and Reacher has some big shoes to fill, metaphorically speaking. I’m just so thrilled to be a part of it. It’s my favorite character that I’ve played yet."

The Jack Reacher book series follows the title character, who is a former major in the United States Army Military Police Corps, as he roams the United States taking odd jobs and investigating suspicious and frequently dangerous situations. To date, there are 25 books in the series so Ritchson could possibly be gainfully employed for quite a while if Amazon wants to keep the show going.

Jack Reacher was first adapted for the big screen in 2012 starring Tom Cruise. The film, written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, was based on Lee Child's 2005 novel "One Shot" and was met with decent box office but a mixed critical response. Costing $60 million to make, the film ultimately grossed $80.1 million at the domestic box office and $218.3 million worldwide. The film received a 64% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Cruise's performance was lauded as "smoothly charismatic" but fans of the books, as mentioned before, complained about Cruise's lack of resemblance to the character as described in the book. A sequel followed in 2016 called Jack Reacher: Never Go Back but the box office and critical response were much more muted. The film grossed $58.7 million domestically and $162.1 million globally on a $96 million budget and critics graced the film with a dismal 37% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes.

A television series was likely the best approach for an adaptation like this and it definitely has me interested in seeing what Amazon does with it. Will YOU be watching the Jack Reacher Amazon series?

Source: Collider

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