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Dwayne Johnson Wanted to Be Jack Reacher, but Lost Out to Tom Cruise

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On screen, Jack Reacher is portrayed by 5-foot, 7-inch Tom Cruise. But in novelist Lee Child’s long-running book series, the private eye is a hulking 6 feet 5 inches tall. Fans of the book were originally perplexed about the casting decision, but it turns out there was once a more obvious choice in the running.

Twitter user @russpitts asked why Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson wasn’t picked — and surprisingly, Johnson replied, opening up about his experience.

Before the first film’s release, Child defended the casting pick. “With another actor, you might get 100% of the height but only 90% of Reacher,” he said. “With Tom, you’ll get 100% of Reacher with 90% of the height.”

Of course, Johnson is doing well for himself as it is. His latest flick, The Fate of the Furious, is expected to open to big numbers this weekend, and he’ll be starring in the Baywatch film adaptation in May.

Meanwhile, Cruise will be gracing screens again in The Mummy reboot this June, and he has already begun shooting Mission: Impossible 6.

It turns out Hollywood is a big enough town for two wildly successful action stars — even if Jack Reacher’s shoes are not.

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