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Amazon’s Reacher TV Show Beautifully Dodges A Tom Cruise Movie Problem In Season 2

Warning: Major spoilers for Amazon’s Reacher season 2 below!
Summary Fans of the Jack Reacher character agree that Alan Ritchson is a much better fit than Tom Cruise.
The second season skips the events of Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher movie, indicating that the book One Shot will never be re-adapted.
The show wisely avoids adapting One Shot to prevent unnecessary drama between the film and TV series and pitting Ritchson’s version against Cruise’s.
With the second episode of Reacher season 2, the show has worked around an inevitable Tom Cruise issue. There was a revolt among fans of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books when it was confirmed Tom Cruise would be playing the character in a movie. In the novels, Reacher is a hulking behemoth like Dolph Lundgren, and it’s fair to say few saw Cruise in the part. Regardless, the actor’s Jack Reacher movie duology only helped raise the profile of the character and brought new readers to the books.
Cruise’s second film outing received a lukewarm reception, so it was decided to reboot the property with a TV series instead. Alan Ritchson has now replaced Cruise as Reacher in popular culture and is simply a better fit for the role. There are close to 30 novels in the book series now, so the showrunners behind Amazon’s Reacher have a wealth of material to choose from when it comes to future adaptations.
Related Reacher Season 2 Review: Exciting, Action-Packed Sophomore Outing With A Personal, Compelling Story Unlike its predecessor which took a while to establish its premise, Reacher season 2 makes it clear from the get-go that this new mission is personal.
Reacher Season 2 Skips The Events Of Tom Cruise’s 2012 Movie
Looks like Reacher will never adapt One Shot
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Those wondering if Reacher would re-adapt One Shot, which was used for Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher, can rest easy. The second season takes place nearly three years after the events of season 1, so it stands to reason the title character had some misadventures during that time. During the second episode “What Happens in Atlantic City,” Reacher reveals he ran into James Barr “in Indiana last year,” and that “He owes me now.” For context, Barr is the former infantry sniper framed for murder in One Shot, with Reacher’s investigation into his supposed killings kicking the story into motion.
Reacher seasons 1 and 2 are exclusively streaming on Amazon Prime.
With this scene, Reacher is establishing the events of One Shot happened offscreen and the book will never be re-adapted. Reacher stating that Barr “owes” him leaves the door open for the character to appear in a future season, though it’s hard to picture Reacher actually reaching out to Barr for help.
Amazon’s Reacher Avoiding A New One Shot Adaptation Is Smart
Another adaptation would be a no-win situation
It would be intriguing to see a new One Shot adaptation with Ritchson’s Reacher, just to see how differently it would play out. Since its 2012 release, Jack Reacher has been reappraised as a solidly directed action thriller, and it was the first project where Cruise was directed by regular collaborator Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning One). It’s an entertaining ride, but for purists, it’s tricky to fully accept Cruise in the role. Regardless, Amazon’s Reacher is wise to avoid adapting One Shot, since it’s a no-win scenario.
Whatever critics of 2012’s Jack Reacher might feel, McQuarrie’s film is a great adaptation of Child’s novel, so there’s no pressing need for a new version. Plus, the showrunners have a wealth of other novels to pull from, including one of Ritchson’s favorite Reacher stories Die Trying. If the series opted to adapt One Shot again, it would feel like it was creating unnecessary drama between the film and series, and intentionally pitting Ritchson’s version against Cruise’s.
Related: Reacher Season 2 Book: What To Know About Bad Luck And Trouble
It was inevitable Amazon’s show would face this problem, but “What Happens in Atlantic City” handles it was class. The events of the novel still happened, and prove that Reacher didn’t spend the years in-between seasons without seeing any action.
Did Never Go Back Also Happen Offscreen In Reacher’s Timeline?
Never Go Back was adapted for Cruise’s second Jack Reacher film
Now the series has confirmed One Shot happened within the world of Reacher, the next question is did Never Go Back also occur? The first three episodes of season 2 don’t answer this query, and given the direction the story is going in, it probably won’t. That said, if the showrunners selected to take One Shot off their “To-do” pile, it stands to reason Never Go Back is out of bounds too.
This is slightly disappointing since Never Go Back made for a disappointing Jack Reacher movie. The sequel had forgettable action and supporting characters, and the story involving Reacher’s supposed teenage daughter is the kind of subplot that should have been saved for a third or fourth film, not the second. It was too soon in the movie franchise to tackle such a story, but Amazon’s Reacher could have done it justice. Maybe in the years ahead, some brave producer could approach Never Go Back for Reacher, but it won’t be happening anytime soon.

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