Amazon’s Reacher remains one of that platform’s biggest hits, and looks like it could be a fixture on our screens for many years. Good. It annoys all the right people and is unapologetic in its approach and outlook. I respect that.

Before we got Alan Ritchson, there was of course Tom Cruise in the role. Despite some obvious differences from the character description, the first outing – Jack Reacher – wasn’t that bad. It was directed by Christopher McQuarrie, features Warner Herzog as a chillingly memorable villain, and pulled in a handsome $218.3 million on a meager $60 million budget. So all was well and a sequel was ordered.

That budget had a bigger sequel, but only pulled in $161 million and was not treated kindly by critics. Ed Zwick’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back potentially killed the big-screen franchise which probably paved the way for the TV show.


Zwick recently published a memoir – Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions – and in it he addresses his Reacher effort directly:

“I blame myself (and my willing accomplice, Don Granger) for thinking the audience might enjoy a mash-up of Jack Reacher and Paper Moon, when in fact they just wanted more red meat.

I had a wonderful time working with Cobie Smulders, and I certainly don’t blame Tom for not being six two – as the novelist Lee Child described his protagonist – and should Tom happen to call about making a third movie together, I’ll definitely pick up.”

The movie he is referring to is a 1973 Peter Bogdanovich film starring Ryan O’Neal and his daughter Tatum O’Neal. That is about a conman taking a young girl under his wing. Tatum O’Neal received widespread praise from critics for her performance as Addie, the nine-year-old girl, and it earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the youngest competitive winner in the history of the Academy Awards.

When you think about it through that lens, it is possible to begin to wonder just what the hell Zwick was thinking?

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