Tom Cruise Beat Dwayne Johnson to This Iconic Movie Role – Was It the Right Choice?

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    By Partner EditorialsMay 13, 2020, 1:33 pm347 pts

    Tom Cruise, as we all know, is one of Tinseltown's most fascinating stars. Say what you like about his personal life, his film career is one which has gone from strength to strength thanks to a truly enduring appeal. What is it that keeps him looking so young? Is it aloe vera? A love of Japanese online casinos? Honestly, we're clutching at straws here.

    However, it's inarguable that Cruise's fountain-of-youth effect has landed him some seriously iconic roles over the years. One of the most interesting was that of Jack Reacher – especially given the fact that Lee Child's best-selling action hero looks a tad different to Mr Cruise. This week, it's emerged that a hugely different style of action star was considered for the role.

    A Rock-Steady Choice?

    Dwayne Johnson, The Rock to his contemporaries, is one of the busiest men in Hollywood. You only have to look at his incredible IMDB page to see that he's hot property. However, he could have shown us a very different Jack Reacher, were history to have run a different course.

    Speaking on a Facebook Q&A, Johnson was willing to be candid about the role that eluded him. Anyone who has read Child's Reacher books will know that the main character is a little more in line with Johnson than Cruise, at least physically. "I got the call saying ‘hey, you didn't get the role'," Johnson explained.

    "Look, I didn't even know if I had a shot for it, but the people around me at that time made me think that I did. I felt like ‘why not me?'"

    "Tom was the biggest movie star in the world, and I was not."

    Strength to Strength

    Indeed, it seems as though Johnson could have made a serious career break in taking on Reacher. However, for reasons best known behind closed doors, Cruise got the call. That's not to say things haven't worked out well for The Rock, however. He went on to score huge roles in the Fast and Furious franchise, as well as in the Jumanji reboots.

    "I'm positive that the role of Jack Reacher – because it was an established character – an IP that was well-known and beloved around the world – that I wouldn't have had the creative space to do what I wanted with the character," he advised. Johnson's laid-back appeal is certainly continuing to drive box office money, however.

    While Cruise continues to push on as a go-to action hero for hire, Johnson has branched out. He's even had to play down demands to run for the US Presidency in recent years. Could he run for office in 2024?

    Looking at his upcoming projects, it's not particularly clear if he'll have the time. But how different could Jack Reacher have been with The Rock in charge? Johnson doesn't let it bother him – and thankfully, his career has gone from strength to strength regardless of the decisions made. Cruise, at least for now, will always be Jack Reacher. But will there be a thirst for a reboot?

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