It looks like the Amazon adaption of Lee Child’s wildly successful Jack Reacher books is set to be a smash. The first series got good reviews and has apparently done big numbers for Amazon. It turns out that there is a market for a show about a straightforward hero that is faithful to the source material, with a large built-in fanbase. Of course, Hollywood will probably learn entirely the wrong lessons. Until that happens, at least there is Reacher Season 2 to look forward to.
The first season was based on the first Jack Reacher novel, The Killing Floor, and stuck closely to the book, with a couple of exceptions. Each book in the series is self-contained, with very little in the way of recurring characters outside Reacher himself. According to the showrunner Nick Santora, this means they don’t necessarily have to go in order.
“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. Do we want it to be similar to Season 1, because Season 1 was successful? Do we want to go a little different?
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. 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.
I will say this: Don’t assume we’re going chronologically, and don’t assume we’re not going chronologically. Because [at this moment] we legitimately don’t know.”
Some of the books are prequels that feature Reacher in his army days. The 9th and 18th books (One Shot, Never Go Back) were adapted into the Tom Cruise movies already. This narrows the field a little, but not enough to form an expectation that the books will be made in order.
Reacher Season 2 is ordered and Amazon wants it on the air early next year. The second novel, Die Trying, starts with Reacher simply trying to help a lady on crutches and very quickly escalates into a kidnapping.