Jack Ryan seems like a no brainer for a film franchise, but something always seems to stop it from gaining speed.
Tom Clancy’s protagonist first hit screens in the form of Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October. Ryan was next on screen, this time with Harrison Ford playing the role, in Patriot Games, which is technically a prequel to October. Ford returned as Ryan for Clear and Present Danger. Ben Affleck took over as Ryan in The Sum of All Fears, and that’s the last time the character was seen on screen.
All of the Ryan films have been successful both critically and financially, so it strikes me as odd that it’s been so long since we’ve seen Clancy’s CIA analyst on screen. There’s a wealth of source material here thanks to Clancy’s great books, and a film universe that has the potential for many sequels and spin-offs.
Paramount finally seems to understand this and has set the next Jack Ryan film for release on Christmas Day 2013. Chris Pine will play Ryan in an original film not based on any of Clancy’s novels. Paramount’s plan is for the reboot to be the first film in a new trilogy.
Kevin Costner will play a character that appears in both the Jack Ryan film and Without Remorse; which is about John Kelly, who becomes CIA operative John Clark. Ryan and Clark start out as adversaries in Clear and Present Danger, but quickly become allies and trusted friends throughout Clancy’s series.
Kenneth Branagh will play the Russian villain and is also directing from a script by Adam Cozad and David Koepp. Keira Knightley will appear as Ryan’s wife Cathy.