Back in the day one of the biggest fictional icons was 007 James Bond. Bond was created by Ian Fleming who, during World War Two, came up with the idea of a decoy known as 'the man who never was' and the snatch and grab raiders known as 30 Commando.
Not only was Bond the subject of several novels but also depicted in a comic strip in the Daily Express. He was described as the man every man wanted to be and every woman wanted between the sheets (funny that the backs of the Jack Reacher novels carry the same sort of catchphrase).
Anyway they decided to make a Bond movie - originally it was going to be 'Thunderball' but it was 'Dr.No' instead. Whichever way this series started half way through the novels.
The chosen James Bond was an actor called Sean Connery. The last time I had seen Sean Connery was in a movie 'The Frightened City' where he hurled the villain Herbert Lom into the spiked boss of a shield.
To me, Connery was James Bond and the best one. Somehow he matched how I imagined Bond to be and he improved from film to film. However, Bond did a Dr.Who and regenerated into Roger Moore and he is th only Bond that I have a problem with.
While James Bond was a strip in the Daily Express; so the Evening Standard was running Peter O'Donnell's 'Modesty Blaise'. Modesty, too, was turned into a movie with Monica Vitti and Terence Stamp as her sidekick, Willie Garvin. As with the 'Thunderball' script so too was O'Donnell's script dumped with the result that the 'Modesty Blaise' movie was more of a spoof than anything else. While Terence Stamp was Willie Garvin, so Monica Vitta, a blonde, was no Modesty. Modesty Blaise was dark haired and resembled to a degree Samantha Egger. Both Samantha Egger and Terence Stamp had impressed in the film version of John Fowles novel 'The Collector' that they just seemed natural to play the leads in 'Modesty Blaise'.
Even a second attempt in 'A Girl Called Modesty' failed to make an impression.
So when it was announced that Lee Child's novel 'One Shot' was to be filmed I was quite excited. Though, again, perplexed that the first Jack Reacher film started in the middle of the series. So, who would play Reacher - I had no preconceived ideas but expected that it would be either Russell Crowe or Hugh Jackman. Jack Reacher is 6'4" tall and built like a brick ****house and not the sort of guy that even The Incredible Hulk would want to get on the wrong side of.
The choice was well understandably 'box office' - Tom Cruise.
Although, I enjoyed the film of 'Reacher' I could not help but think that this was a Reacher story with Agent Ethan Hunt (Mission Impossible movies) substituted for Reacher - in the same way that I saw The Saint replace Bond in 'Live And Let Die'.
Maybe, I'm just a purist but casting is important. Die hard fans (and Die Hard wouldn't be without Bruce Willis) of Jack Reacher can't all be wrong