Jack Reacher Look-a-Like Competition Winner: Duncan Munro


In 2010 the Jack Reacher publishers (Random House) launched an international competition to find a Jack Reacher look-a-like.

The winner was Duncan Munro.

Duncan Munro pictured with author Lee Child



Duncan Munro reading “Worth Dying For” in Business Class
Duncan Munro pictured with author Lee Child

What do you think?

Is this how you pictured him?

Not quite as handsome as Tom Cruise but certainly a bit taller!

55 thoughts on “Jack Reacher Look-a-Like Competition Winner: Duncan Munro”

  1. I’m not interested in Tom Cruise. Will not pay to see him as Jack Reacher. I don’t even waste my time watching him for free because……….HE’S NOT MY IDEA OF WHAT JACK LOOKS LIKE. Plus, he’s a jerk.

    Duncan, on the other hand, looks pretty good. He’s got the build and the look that matches the cover pictures. Good choice.

      1. I’m not the defender of all things Tom Cruise – but that seems like a pretty dumb criticism. I’d be happy as a clam if I had his looks.

  2. Mr. Munro is much more the model of Jack Reacher. He seems a good personification.
    How the diminutive Mr. Cruise was ever considered for the movie role is beyond absurd. It’s an awkward bit of casting based, apparently, solely on trying to trade on his box office appeal. In my opinion, the Reacher stories are strong enough to attract a great audience without resorting to casting that has no regard for the role the character’s size plays in the novels and how much it is emphasized by the author.
    If the casting is to have no relationship to the character, why not just hire Martin Short and make it a slapstick comedy?
    This is not a knock on Cruise. I’ve enjoyed many of his films. If Reacher’s exploits were described in the books without such emphasis on his size, then Tom Cruise or any other good action actor could be convincing in the role. But that is not the case.
    I haven’t seen the movie for that reason, as I just can’t believe such a small man, no matter how talented and charismatic, portraying Jack Reacher. But I will hope for other, more realistic depictions of Reacher in future movies.
    Everything seems to have to be a multi-picture franchise these days, and the Reacher stories certainly have plenty of great plot and location material to make for an excellent “franchise.” But let’s get “real” about this fictional character.

      1. I just read recently that Cruise has optioned ALL the Reacher novels for movie rights… such a travesty!!!

        1. At one movie per year, even if that option only included the first 15 novels, Cruise will be too old if not dead before more than 8 are filmed.

          I fully expect Jack Reacher to be one of the first totally CGI human characters to be the lead in an otherwise live action film. (Blue avatars don’t count.)

    1. Could not agree more; I was almost moved to tears of disappointment when I learned Tom Cruise was playing Reacher! I believe he must have bought the rights to the movie and cast himself. ( I always picture Reacher played by Jim Caviezel. He’s the right size and can look very intense and intimidating, as opposed to Cruise’s one-size-fits-stare.)

    2. Eloquently stated. Tom’s Mission Impossible series were interesting, but they were really not his strongest suit because he is not particularly my idea of a James Bond type, either. His best movies were his ealier works, such as Risky Business, and The Color of Money, or even Rainman. Note that he always played a sort of insecure, albeit talented individual in those movies. A person uncertainly discovering his own talents in an immature way. Mission Impossible stretches his persona to unbelievability, although I liked the action scenes. But him as Jack Reacher? The idea of suspension of disbelief is not possible in this case for me to enjoy the show.

    3. Tom Cruise bought the movie rights to all the Jack Reacher books. I agree, he doesn’t even come close to the image of Reacher in the books. If you haven’t read the books you won’t notice, but if you have, you can’t help but comment.

      1. I enjoy the Reacher series very much, but honestly I’d prefer it if he were an average-sized guy that people “don’t see coming.” To me that would make his ass-whooping much more impactful.

  3. I can only hope that the author will reconsider his arrangement with Tom Cruise – what a travesty!!! As someone else pointed out above, EVERY NOVEL emphasizes Reacher’s size and physical presence. On another blog someone suggested that the Reacher “franchaise” could be like James Bond – a rotating cast of appropriate actors. PLEASE!! consider this. Elsewise, I will not be supporting Mr. Cruise’s ridiculous attempt at portraying a character larger than life by attending any Reacher movies “starring” him. Mr. Monroe would be an AWESOME depiction of Reacher – can he act??? ๐Ÿ™‚ p.s. see other blogs on this subject to read the lengthy list of actors who could handle this role with aplomb.

  4. I agree with the comments above. One should visit the Lee Child page on Facebook to understand how Jack Reacher’s fans have hatred the casting of TC for JR – absolute failure in view of the book lovers.

  5. So true…
    whenever I am reading the novels, Jim Caviezel is always on the side, talking, moving, fighting..
    I just can’t picture him being intimate sexually— and keep wondering why :-(… but out of bed…
    Jim is the best one to play Reacher.

  6. I am very impressed with this guy, Mr. Duncan. Fits quite closely as Reacher personified. But in my mind, i still have a rougher edge about what would Reacher be like. Mr. Duncan is still (If only so slightly) a little soft around the edges to look at as Reacher. May be Jim Caviezel with a little more weathered skin. Tom Cruise might work as Frances Neagley next to Reacher. No offence. But, he is a poor choice as Reacher. And thats an understatement.

  7. Is Reacher ever referred to as blonde in the books? While Duncan fits the body type, I figured Reacher to be dark and a bit less of a pretty boy…especially after “Worth Dying For!”

  8. Duncan looks closer to my impression of Reacher than Cruise. It’s disconcerting to have the cover of Without Fail look so much like Cruise. I know it’s not, and it’s meant to be a secret service agent, but I feel like the publisher worked pretty hard to make it feel like Cruise; probably to push sales.

  9. Hi. Im a new fan of Reacher too. I had these fantasies that Reacher would assisst my other fave action heroes like Cotton Malone, John Mclain, bringing in Jason Bourne, Stopping a rouge 007 agent. I wouldnt mind seeing short stories of those. Im only at the 10th novel and loving them all so far.

  10. I’ve always been a Tom Cruise fan; I think he’s a very underrated actor. I didn’t know jack squat about Jack Reacher until I started seeing ads for the TC movie. What immediately seized my interest in the character were these lines:

    “He doesn’t care about the law. He only cares about what’s right.”

    That, plus my consistent liking for TC’s films, made me want to go see it. It was only at that point that I began reading online about the character, and then of course saw the vitriol over the casting issue.

    For those who hate having Cruise in this role, in the interest of fairness consider two things: (1) While Child frequently mentions Jack’s physical presence, it ‘s not the same as having seen an actual Jack Reacher in real life, or as portrayed earlier by a large actor. Filmically speaking, nobody’s ever seen Jack before, so I think the basic factors of scripting, directing and acting are far more important than Child’s verbal description of a fictional person’s appearance.

    Fact is, Cruise turned in a dynamic performance.

    (2) In a sense I actually don’t like the fact that Child made JR a huge guy, because then he’s /expected/ to be tough and dominant. It’s actually more interesting to have such a tough character be relatively small, because it sets up occasions on which he takes his enemies by surprise because they’ve underestimated him.

    I never found any of the action scenes problematic because of TC’s size. Again, his performance hit all the right notes and the fight scenes were set up and directed and edited in such a way that Cruise’s size didn’t diminish those scenes.

    I find this movie highly rewatchable, and think the naysayers should give it a chance.

    1. hmmmm – thx for a credible analysis on the casting. While I probably still won’t see the movie (other issues with TC), I appreciate the points you make.

  11. I think Jim Caviezel (Person of Interest) Would make a great Jack Reacher. Additionally, I think everyone should Petition Lee Child to work some magic and get one of the large cable networks to pick up the rights and produce Each novel in its chronological order as a series. Please “YANK” the rights away from Cruise!!!

    1. Jim C woud and the look alike isn’t bad. But none are exactly right. Reacher is hard to duplicate. โ™กโ™กโ™กโ™ก

  12. Not as handsome as Cruise? Mercy! He’s 10 times Tom Cruise! Cruise has a sissy look; this guy is ruggedly handsome, as Jack Reacher SHOULD be ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I hope Tom Cruise decides to let another actor star as Jack Reacher in the next movie. I don’t think he did that will in “Never Go Back.” I would like Tom to consider Joe Manganiello. He does not have blonde hair but he is a stud.

    1. I have commented on this before, but I’m always glad to read that someone else feels the way I do about this abhorrent miscasting!!!

  14. So I’m re reading The Affair. And Major Duncan Munro is the other MP investigating on Fort Kelham. And the most likely looking Jack Reacher person is a real person named Duncan Munro?

      1. Ahhh Bach! I went back and looked at the publishing dates. So Mr Child met Mr Munro before publishing the book The Affair.

        Great website.

  15. I think Aaron Eckhart would have made a good Jack reacher, or Kurt Russell when he was younger. I can also see Jim Caviezel in the role. I cannot believe Tom Cruise is even attempting to play this role and am not happy he will likely feature in future Jack Reacher films.

  16. Just watched ‘Never Go Back’ on Netflix. Absolute rubbish !!! We have 10 times better drama and action on TV series . Better casting, acting , directing and screenplay. Doesn’t even make a rating of B movie. Waste of 1hr 58mins.

  17. The perfect Jack Reacher would be Steve Burton who currently plays Jason Morgan on General Hospital. Not only does he fit the physique he has the demeanor as well. Please check him out and see what I mean.

  18. Lee Child should play Jack Reacher. Who knows, maybe he can act. He is the person I picture when reading the books.

    1. Yes, I know what you mean. I’m pretty sure he wrote the character as a fantasy of who he wishes he was ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I didn’t read all the comments, excuse, but, Tom Cruise is the producer of the movies. He bought the role.

  20. I like Ray Stevenson (of HBOโ€™s Rome series). But Duncan is a good choice. My all time favorite would be Clint Walker though. (from the Dirty Dozen).

  21. I have read at least four of Child’s Reacher books, the last one being THE KILLING FLOOR recently. There is no way Cruise would be able to play the role in this book, given the storyline and other characters. I do enjoy some of Cruise’s movies and have seen two of the Reacher movies that Cruise stars in and enjoyed them without realizing the obvious size discrepancies.

    I think Chris Hemsworth would be a great Reacher! His performance in BLACKHAT leads me to that conclusion.

  22. When the first Reacher movie came out I boycotted it. For years following that JOKE of a casting decision, I made a game out of it: “Who would be a better Jack Reacher than Tom Cruise?”
    We’d be watching a movie like Twins, and I’d say “Hey, you know who would have been a Better Jack Reacher? Danny Devito.”
    Shawshank Redemption? BJR? Morgan Freeman.
    The Expanse? BJR? Frankie Adams
    You get the idea.

    I did come up with a few good options too: Pablo Schreiber from the Halo series – However his coloring isn’t quite perfect. Wes Chatham from the Expanse – Though only 6’0″, he’s got the countenance. But my personal mental image of Reacher is Adam Copeland. *chef’s kiss* Like the words on the paper popped up and became a person.

    Though, I think they did OK with the Netflix casting. Easier to make 6’2″ look like 6’5″ than 5’8″, that’s for sure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *