Amazon Prime’s latest series “Reacher” has already proven to be a smashing success, earning it an early Season 2 renewal.
Amazon adapted the series from Lee Child’s iconic “Jack Reacher” book series. And in 2012, Tom Cruise played the titular character in two action movies that did okay at the box office. But now, Alan Ritchson has stepped into the role of the former military man who’s helping solve crime in small towns and major cities across the country.
Season 1 of “Reacher” covered Child’s first book, “The Killing Floor,” which took place in Margrave, Georgia. Within 24 hours, the show quickly ranked in Amazon Prime’s top five most-watched series ever, both domestically and abroad. That made it easy for the streamer to renew the show for a second season. But showrunners face immense difficulty now in choosing which of Child’s books to adapt next.
“Reacher” showrunner Nick Santora spoke with TVLine earlier this week about the new dilemma.
“It’s tough. There are 26 [Jack Reacher] books, and then there are short-story anthologies…. And there’s so much thought that has to go into our decision,” Santora explained. “Do we want it to be similar to Season 1 because Season 1 was successful? Do we want to go a little different? There’s so much that Lee gives us to choose from.”
Season 1 followed a single book from start to finish, keeping everything condensed to this one storyline. But other shows, such as Netflix’s “The Witcher,” have benefited from combining storylines from different novels and novellas.
‘Reacher’ Showrunner Debates What Direction to Take Season 2
The one thing “Reacher” showrunners have in their favor? Lee Child himself is an executive producer. Meaning he could think of ways to intersect the storylines that others might not consider.
In addition to Child, “We have other producers on this show — we have Amazon, we have Skydance, we have Paramount — and we will sit and discuss it,” Santora said. “But it’s not a problem when you have too much good material to choose from. The problem is when you’re staring at an empty space, asking, ‘What am I going to write?’”
With expectations high for the next season, “Reacher” showrunners clearly face a lot of pressure. And part of that pressure is choosing the right story to place Jack Reacher in next.
“Lee Child has set up stories in small towns, in big cities… in the United States, and stories that take us to Europe…. There’s a plethora to select from,” Santora continued. “It’s just a question of everyone putting their heads together, talking it out, and deciding what would be fun for fans. The good news is you can pick almost anything and you’re going to have a good story.”
He’s not wrong. Several of Child’s books made it on the New York Times Bestseller list, and fans continue clamoring for the latest book.
And as they clamor for the new season of “Reacher,” they have to remember that anything goes in terms of the novel they choose to adapt.
“I will say this: Don’t assume we’re going chronologically, and don’t assume we’re not going chronologically,” Santora told TVLine. “Because [at this moment] we legitimately don’t know.”