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Jack Reacher Fans Are Impressed By The TV Adaptation Of The Books

Adaptations are hard to pull off, even more so when the source material is highly respected and popular. Prime Video's "Reacher" series is a notable exception; since its debut, the show has garnered critical acclaim and proven to be one of the streaming service's most popular titles. The project — much like the corresponding books — sees former MP Jack Reacher move from town to town as he encounters mysteries along the way. Known for a 6-foot-5-inch frame and no-nonsense approach to every situation, the character fights with a precision honed during his time in the military.

Season 1 adapted Lee Child's first Reacher book, "Killing Floor." In it, the main character heads to Georgia and is arrested for murder; the unfolding story exposes small-town corruption as well as a painful revelation for the wandering hero. Fans of the books had reason to be cautious after a feature film attempt failed to capture what made the stories work — but those worries were soon swept away with the "Reacher" premiere. Social media reactions have reveled in the series. "As a big fan of the @LeeChildReacher books all I can say is wow!" wrote u/@NiVZ. They're not alone in welcoming this new adaptation and looking forward to the series' future.

Fans have only positive things to say about the casting

One of the biggest selling points of "Reacher" was finding an actor that could match Lee Child's vivid description of the character. The first feature adaptation, 2012's "Jack Reacher," took some heat among fans who felt star Tom Cruise didn't embody what they imagined for the lead. For the show, the creative team went with Alan Ritchson; the "Titans" and "Fast X" actor not only had the height but the rugged look that personified the character. 

"The actor who portrays Reacher is how I imagined him in @LeeChildReacher books when reading them," wrote u/@cesca_brooke. Another user conveyed their caution in watching the series. "I read the books, hated the casting of the movies, and didn't watch the show until last night," u/@BinaryBlogger posted, stating it was a good watch. u/@chay004_inug0d called Ritchson an "absolute walking tank unit," describing him as fitting the character well. Fan praise also extended to other cast members in both major and minor roles.

Ritchson himself expressed his admiration for the character and disclosed that talking to Child about the role offered an important moment for the actor. According to Ritchson, it was important to have the author's blessing. "I'm a fan. I've kind of clung to every word he's written," Ritchson told Empire. In a surprise to longtime fans, he elaborated that he became a fan only during the year-long audition process. He worried before the series premiered about what die-hard fans would say, but found solace in creating a show that even non-fans could enjoy.

Keeping the story intact was important to the creative team

Fans were also excited to see the show's narrative mirror the first novel. While other adaptations have been accused of alterations that lose much of an author's work, there was an appreciation towards the creative team for their overall approach. "Excellent adaptation of the books, the actors do a fantastic job portraying the different characters and the story," wrote u/@SatishViswanat. They were not alone in seeing this adaptation as complete in all aspects. Many others signaled their own praise, urging those who haven't watched the series yet to try it.

Credit for the series' faithfulness to Child's books goes in part to Season 1 showrunner Nick Santora. He showed the dedicated base of readers that he was indeed one of them. Santora revealed to Collider that he had read the books and was familiar with them long before taking on the project. "We have Lee Child's books to work off of, so we have a really great foundation," he told the outlet. "It's not too hard to get it done. Lee's really done all the hard work."

Viewers loving Season 1 of "Reacher" got good news with a renewal announcement coming shortly after its Prime Video premiere. Ritchson took to Instagram to reveal that filming ended in the first quarter of 2023. Season 2 follows Child's 11th "Reacher" book, "Bad Luck and Trouble." If the previous season offers any indication, viewers are set for another dramatic story with the always wandering Jack Reacher.