Reacher, Will Trent & Bones Crossover Explained: Will It Ever Happen on TV?

Reacher, Will Trent & Bones Crossover Explained: Will It Ever Happen on TV?
Image credit: Amazon Studios, ABC, FOX

If it ever happens, the world will see some of the best crossovers on television!


  • Reacher, Will Trent & Bones is based on novels by Lee Child, Karin Slaughter and Kathy Reichs.
  • Child once worked with both authors and wrote two crossover stories with them.
  • The likelihood of a live-action adaptation is slim, but given the popularity of the series, the studios may come to an agreement.

We all love quality crossovers, don't we? When they don't break the tone and atmosphere of their respected series, they're always fascinating stories that, even if they don't become canonical, are long remembered by fans. But what if three incredibly popular crime dramas that our readers have certainly heard of had their own crossover?

We're talking about last decade's hit Bones, which aired on Fox from 2005 to 2017; one of ABC's most popular shows, Will Trent, based on Karin Slaughter's book series; and Primer's Reacher, the most-watched streaming show adapted from Lee Child's book series.

Yes, all three of these projects have had fascinating book crossovers, and that's what we're talking about today. Each of these series has developed its own loyal fan base thanks to extraordinary and diverse protagonists and clever twists on the genre. And given the immense popularity of each IP, it makes sense to expect such high-profile crossovers not only on paper, but perhaps on our small screens as well. But what are the chances of that happening?

Let's find out what the crossovers between Reacher, Will Trent and Bones were like, and if they'll ever happen on television.

Reacher, Will Trent, and Bones Book Crossovers

Reacher & Bones

Bones is based on the life and novels of Kathy Reichs, who became the prototype for Dr. Temperance Brennan in the TV series. And it was she who published a high-profile collaboration with Lee Child, the creator of Jack Reacher.

In 2017, a short story called Faking a Murderer, co-written by Child and Kathy Reichs, was released as part of the anthology Match Up, edited by Child himself. In the story, Brennan becomes a murder suspect during a conference in Washington, D.C. Jack Reacher steps in, and together they embark on a dangerous investigation.

Reacher & Will Trent

In 2019, Lee Child and Karin Slaughter introduced an intriguing crossover short story titled Cleaning the Gold.

In the story, Trent travels to Fort Knox to investigate a 22-year-old case, and this time Reacher is the prime suspect. But the latter is there for a reason, because his task is to eliminate the criminal ring operating within the US Army. And of course, the two characters start working together to prevent a much more terrible threat.

It might seem that a crossover between Temperance Brennan and Will Trent would make much more sense (and to be honest, we hope it happens one day!), since their main stories are slow-burning, with more emphasis on the characters themselves and their deductions. Jack Reacher, on the other hand, is no-nonsense, so his investigations are much more fast-paced. Hence the short stories, not the full-length novels!

Should We Expect Live-Action Crossovers?

As we continue to anticipate the third season of Will Trent on ABC and the third season of Reacher on Prime Video, let's take a moment to reflect on whether or not we should expect these crossovers in television at all.

We're sure that Lee Child, Karin Slaughter, and Kathy Reichs, who also served as executive producers on their shows, would love to work on live-action crossovers, but in the film and television industry, the desire of writers alone is unfortunately not enough. It all depends on whether ABC and Fox, owned by the Disney TV Group, can strike a similar deal with Prime Video.

Given the high ratings of each series, it seems possible, but we should also keep in mind that broadcast and streaming television do not necessarily have the same audience. So there is a risk that the crossover shows will not have enough viewers. But we hope for the opposite!