He won plaudits for playing Jack Reacher in two blockbuster thrillers.

But Tom Cruise has been axed from the all-action role – because he simply doesn't measure up, according to the Daily Mail.

British author Lee Child, who wrote the books on which the films are based, says that at 5ft 7in Cruise is far too short to play the former US military policeman.

In the 23 Jack Reacher novels, the hero is described as a physically imposing 6ft 5in with "hands the size of dinner plates".

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Child says that after the 2012 film Jack Reacher – which also starred Rosamund Pike – and the 2016 sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, "tens of thousands" of fans complained that Mission Impossible star Cruise, 56, was wrong for the role.

So further adaptations of his novels will be on the small screen – with a new, much taller Reacher.

Child told the BBC: "I really enjoyed working with Cruise. He's a really nice guy. But ultimately the readers are right. The size of Reacher is really important and a big component of who he is.

"The idea is that when Reacher walks into a room, you're all a little nervous just for that first minute. And Cruise, for all his talent, didn't have that physicality. So there won't be any more movies with Tom Cruise. Instead we're going to take it to Netflix or something like that. Long-form streaming television, with a completely new actor.

"And I want all those readers who were upset about Tom Cruise to help me out – participate in choosing the right actor for the TV series.

"We're rebooting and starting over, and we're going to try to find the perfect guy."