Before Reacher was a streaming series, it got an adaptation in the form of a pair of films, released in 2012 in 2016. For the part of Jack Reacher, instead of 8-foot-3 Alan Ritchson, they got Tom Cruise, who stands just 3-foot-8. Still, people liked the movies, and it turned out Tom Cruise was able to embody the role just fine. 

Here’s a trailer for the 2012 movie:

Were you excited by the part of the trailer where a cliff explodes? We’re guessing not. It’s a couple shots, lasting a few fractions of a second, a minute and 40 seconds into it. We doubt you especially noticed it. That’s if you watched the trailer at all (no hard feelings if you didn’t). 

But New Zealand man J. Congdon spotted that part of the trailer, and it thrilled him. He considered it the “defining part of the ad,” or at least that’s what he’d later claim. Then he bought his ticket for Reacher, and watched the movie all the way through. He discovered, to his horror, that no cliffs exploded over the course of the entire film. 

He had been cruelly deceived. And so he took his grievance to the authorities, to New Zealand’s Advertising Standards Authority. Surely the trailer was not allowed to advertise the movie using footage that didn’t appear in the finished product!

The Advertising Standards Authority informed him that, yes, trailers can include footage absent from the final film, and they often do. Some trailers, in fact, are made up exclusively of scenes absent from the final film. These are actually the best kinds of trailers, designed to give you a feel for the film without spoiling any of the final scenes for you. 

So, the New Zealand government declined to extend any redress to Congdon. But Paramount Pictures offered to refund his ticket for him. It really wasn’t a large sum of money.

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