Friday, July 6, 2012
My beef over Jack Reacher
Hollywood and publishing have a curious relationship. For an industry that is constantly searching for new movie fodder, it would seem that publishing is a virtual candy shop of options. And it is. These days, popular titles get signed for the big screen even before they go to print. In a lot of instances, rights will be purchased and adaptations will never come to fruition for a variety of reasons. For those that do make it through the process, most of the authors have very little input or say with regards to any aspect of the adaptation (I say most because there have been cases where authors have a lot of input and rare cases where the author actually gets to put together the screenplay based on their work).
Sometimes the adaptation works and is true to the original tale, sometimes it isn't. It's the nature of the beast.
As a reader who also happens to be a huge movie buff, any adaptation news comes with a mixed sense of excitement and trepidation on my part: Are they going to do the book justice? Will it do well? Who will they cast to play my favorite characters?
It's this last one that really irks my nerves, though, and shows just how clueless Hollywood can sometimes be.
The first official trailer for Jack Reacher is out. This is a project that has had me gritting my teeth with frustration for some time now. Fans of the series are generally displeased with the casting of Tom Cruise as Reacher. He's wrong for the part. He's fine for a general action movie, but he's not Reacher. That's just the way it is. It seems to me though that Hollywood doesn't really give a fig about fans of the series. A bestselling and longtime series. One that Hollywood still assumes needs a big name attached to in order to draw viewers? Wha?
And the title -- Jack Reacher -- is cheeseball to the extreme. I know the idea is to create a Reacher franchise so what, will the next movie be called Jack Reacher 2. Lame.
I have absolutely no doubt that moviegoers unfamiliar with the Lee Child series will enjoy this movie. I also have no doubt that fans of the books will go see it. We're all curious. Even I know the movie will probably be good. Regardless, it will still be a disappointment because it will not live up to my expectations as a fan of the series.
And I repeat, Hollywood doesn't seem to care.