Fans of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher character continue to debate the casting of Tom Cruise in the upcoming adaptation of the novel One Shot (re-titled Jack Reacher). A trailer could help to wither the storm – or, conversely, provide more ammunition for the anti-Cruise crowd. Hopefully, it won’t turn out like the Alex Cross trailer, which validated many a fan’s concern about Tyler Perry playing the title role (in that crime/thriller adaptation).

A trailer for Jack Reacher should be arriving in the near future. In the meantime, we have the first official image of Cruise in the film to share – along with thoughts from Oscar-winning writer/director Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie) about the Reacher character.

Here’s what McQuarrie told EW, when asked about the namesake of his Jack Reacher project:

“He is free from any sort of anxiety. He is truly not encumbered by all the bulls–t that makes up our daily lives. He literally and figuratively has no baggage… He is an extremely pragmatic, matter-of-fact person. He’s very solitary, but he can’t walk away from a situation that needs to be made right. His own sense of right and wrong tie into that situation and he can’t leave until it’s been resolved. That’s his Achilles heel.”

For those not familiar: Jack Reacher is a former military cop-turned drifter. In Child’s One Shot book (and McQuarrie’s film adaptation), Reacher gets caught up in a dangerous murder case involving an ex-military sniper who is accused of shooting five innocent civilians. Reacher takes it upon himself to uncover the truth about the situation, with assistance from a young defense lawyer (Rosamund Pike) and seasoned homicide detective (David Oyelowo).

Get your first official look at Cruise in Jack Reacher, below:

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The controversy about Cruise playing Reacher has less to do with the star’s ability to portray a stoic, occasionally cold-blooded, warrior onscreen (see: Collateral); rather, it’s due to Cruise literally not being a fit for the part. Reacher is described in Child’s literature as being a 6’5”, blonde, bulky bruiser (think Thor‘s Chris Hemsworth). Many fans feel the character’s physical stature is so fundamental to who he is – from his personality to his motivation – that when you abandon that aspect, you pretty much lose the essence of the character.

On the opposite side is Child, who’s given Cruise his blessing. The response to CinemaCon footage was likewise overall positive, indicating that Cruise’s take on Jack Reacher is quite good on its own terms (though, it may not qualify as a “loyal” interpretation). As mentioned before: we’ll just have to wait and see if the official trailer goes over so well with the masses.

Jack Reacher opens in U.S. theaters on December 21st, 2012. Look for a trailer to drop in the foreseeable future.

Source: Entertainment Weekly