‘Reacher’s Malcolm Goodwin: The Show Goes In A ‘Different Direction’ From The Book

Malcolm Goodwin is back to playing a detective, this time on the new show 'Reacher.' HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the actor about how the show differs from the book and more.

Malcolm Goodwin
Image Credit: Amazon Studios

Lee Child’s first Jack Reacher novel Killing Floor is getting the TV treatment with Prime Video’s Reacher, which drops February 4. Malcolm Goodwin stars as detective Oscar Finlay alongside Alan Ritchson’s titular Jack Reacher. During our EXCLUSIVE interview, Malcolm admitted that he was introduced to the Jack Reacher universe through the Tom Cruise movies, but noted that the show is going to be its own unique version.

Malcolm Goodwin
Malcolm Goodwin and Alan Ritchson in ‘Reacher.’ (Amazon Studios)

He revealed that there are “a lot of differences” between the book and the TV show. “I mean, just in terms of why the characters are in Margrave is very, very different,” Malcolm said. “The backstories are a little bit different. Also, the conflict between Reacher and Finlay is different. There’s not as much of a head-butting thing happening or pissing contest happening in the book, but that’s what happens in the show.”

Reacher follows Jack, a veteran military police investigator, who winds up in the small town of Margrave, Georgia, a community grappling with its first homicide in 20 years. Reacher is initially arrested, and he works to prove his innocence. He crosses paths with Finlay, and they work together to solve crimes in Margrave.

Malcolm said that about “90 percent of the show stays true to the book, and then there are like 10 percent changes to keep people on their toes. Just the very fact that the book was written in 1997, so it was about bringing things up to date in terms of technology and language and things.” He also pointed out that the show goes in a “different direction” than what diehard fans will be expecting. “I think the fans will be excited with those deviations,” he said.

Over the course of the season, Finlay will be facing his own set of challenges. “His personal challenge is trying to gain everyone’s respect,” Malcolm told HollywoodLife. “He does come to the town with a chip on his shoulder. This position was a position he wasn’t able to attain in Boston. He could have just retired after 20 years, but he didn’t. He sought after this position that got him out of Boston. He has no desire to make friends. He just wants to prove that he’s a good detective. This is a promotion that he should have gotten back in Boston but wasn’t able to. He has something to prove here with the first murder in 20 years. What are the chances? The first murder in 20 years, and he’s the chief detective. So it’s imperative for him to solve this and do it his way. But of course, the prime suspect is another special investigative detective who wants to do it his way. That creates a fun back and forth and chemistry for these characters to eventually get on the same page and solve this crime.”

This isn’t Malcolm’s first go-round as an onscreen detective. Malcolm notably played Detective Clive Babineaux on The CW series iZombie. “iZombie holds a huge part of my heart. I’m still friends with everyone to this day and that was just a dream come true experience,” the actor said.

Malcolm Goodwin
Malcolm Goodwin as Oscar Finlay. (Amazon Studios)

Malcolm will be reuniting onscreen with his iZombie co-star Rahul Kohli in the Netflix series The Fall of the House of Usher. “It really warms my heart and gets me so excited to be working with Rahul again. I’m also a big Mike Flanagan fan, and Rahul was very instrumental in getting me in the mix to be considered for that role.”

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