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Paramount's New Jack Ryan Movie Finds its Screenwriter

by
December 19, 2008

Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan

We really don't know what's going on with this new Jack Ryan movie. We've been covering tidbits of news related to it for almost a year, but at this point, I think they've wiped the slate clean and are starting over again from scratch. At one point, Sam Raimi was attached to direct a new version, now that's not the case. Paramount has announced that Oscar nominated screenwriter Hossein Amini, of Jude, The Wings of the Dove, and The Four Feathers, will write the newest screenplay. Lorenzo Di Bonaventura is developing this alongside of Mace Neufeld, who produced all of the past Jack Ryan films. This newest one is planned as an origin story, not derived from Tom Clancy's novels and ultimately featuring a new, younger star.

With this news today, I want to ask all of you about Jack Ryan and whether you'd want to see another movie at all? His past films include The Hunt for Red October (as played by Alec Baldwin), Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger (as played by Harrison Ford), and The Sum of All Fears (as played by Ben Affleck). Those four are clearly unforgettable and I'm curious whether another Tom Clancy-infused film will be able to not only strive in today's cinematic marketplace but also live up to those four. Not to say that the Jack Ryan character isn't a great character worthy of more stories, but we already have Jason Bourne and James Bond these days, so why revive a character that's been "dead" since 2002? Is it worth it?

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  • Marcus
    Do we really need another Origin story?
  • Michael
    I can just picture those executives asking themselves what they should "Reboot" next.
  • Darunia
    It could be awesome, as long as they don't try to turn this into a Jason Bourne thing. Jack Ryan is a completely different kind of character.
  • Sojourner
    Jack Ryan has and always should be a very different character then Bourne and Bond, he is first and foremost an academic. His character does not want to be put into most of the situations he finds himself in. They make even an origin story anything like Bourne or Bond. The core of the story and the movie is lost and I don't think it will be good. that is just me though.
  • Stephen
    I think another Jack Ryan film would do great if Harrison Ford came back to play the part. I’m not a Tom Clancy book reader myself, but I heard somewhere that Jack Ryan eventually becomes the president. I could see him playing that part; I just don’t see him being the main protagonist. They just need to make a kick ass Rainbow Six movie. Now that I would pay money to see on the big screen.
  • Dave Lister, JMC
    They have never really outdone 'The Hunt for Red October', in terms of pure entertainment. 'Clear and Present Danger' comes in a close second, with 'Patriot Games' coming in third. 'The Sum of All Fears' was really no good at all; and I fear that's the ground upon which any new Jack Ryan iteration will end up treading. This is not something I am looking forward to.
  • BILL
    They need to make a rainbow 6 movie.
  • Justin
    Any Jack Ryan story that deviates from the Clancy-verse is not worth being told. What they should be trying to do is make a movie based on Without Remorse... that could be an "origin story," would be more action packed so it could keep up with Bond/Bourne, and since there have never been any iconic John Clark characters, the younger actor would not have to live up to the pressure of filling someone like Harrison Ford's shoes. The fact that Without Remorse is my favorite Clancy novel has nothing to do with it. Rainbow Six would be another movie worth doing, especially since it deals with very real world issues like counter-terrorism and radical activism (they could change radical animal rights groups to radical global warming groups or something along that line).
  • tw
    im reading executive orders right now, such a good book along with the one that comes before it, ive got it somewhere around here but i forget the title. oh and cardinal of the kremlin is prty amazing too make those into movies or do the clark story (without remorse) because that would be bad ass as hell
  • Daniel
    Without Remorse would be awesome... and lead right into a Rainbow Six movie.
  • I'm a little late to this party, but what the hell. First, I LOVE Jack Ryan. His character is complex, likable, and emphasizes his humanity and human frailty, while still being fully involved with all manner of dangerous and even deadly activity...often if not always brought on by a pretty baseline and reasonable notion of What Is Right in a given circumstance...even when scared to death about it. Alec Baldwin was okay as the first "Jack," but to me, only Harrison Ford has really captured the dichotomy of this fella's personality. I've heard that Clancy did not like Ford for the part, but, and this is not to compare characters, merely to illustrate how fully some actors can BECOME the characters they portray...Ford to me is as perfect as Jack Ryan, as was Sean Connery playing James Bond. Others were okay, even entertaining, but NO ONE was as cool, brutal, yet still somehow reachable as Connery's "Bond." Same holds true for Ford and "Ryan." It was a real shame that after "Executive Orders" came out, (the final Ryan tale where Jack is talked into being a stand-in Vice President of the United States with the promise that after a short time, he will forever be released from government duty...something he's always wanted but has repeatedly set aside in the name of patriotism. Yet to his astonishment and terror, he holds the post for about 60 seconds before becoming POTUS himself). instead of choosing to portray THAT POTUS, he opted to do the utterly pathetic "Air Force One," instead. Whether this was due to no one wanting to tackle such a complex story, or to Clancy's rumored distaste for Ford as "Ryan," we'll never know. But if one was to ever play the President of the United States, THAT was the version! While I was late to find Clancy, I have truly loved his "Ryan" novels, and have now read the entire line of them twice. Let me say that my feeling is "The Sum of All Fears" was an atrocious adaptation of the book, and Ben Affleck as "Ryan" was barely tolerable. For that matter, one of the very coolest Clancy characters running through these books is the formidable, dangerous, yet charming and human "John Clark." Nothing made me happier than seeing "Without Remorse" come out, a book that tells the tale of exactly how "Mr. Clark" came to be. Yet in "Clear and Present Danger," Clark is horribly miscast, with the often fine actor Willem DeFoe, a skinny, physically unimpressive guy. Quite the opposite of our scary/wonderful/deadly/lovable John Clark. In "Sum," at least they cast a large-framed guy, Liev Schrieber, to play "Clark." Still, he never captured the compexity of this amazing character, either. Clark, above ALL, is instantly recognized, even through is undeniable charm and gentlemanliness, to be a guy YOU-DO-NOT-F@*K-WITH. Neither DeFoe nor Schreiber captured any of that fearsome tension in his characterization. The only actor that keeps popping into my mind to play "Clark," not one my favorites, but might, perhaps, possibly be able to pull it off (certainly in physical stature) is Russell Crowe. Ford is now too old to play Ryan (at least as he appears in the line of Ryan books), so who could pull it off? Age, size and looks-wise, if perhaps not talent-wise, might be Matthew Fox, the guy who plays "Jack" in the hit show 'Lost." Maaybe Hugh Jackman could do it. But to answer the question with no further blathering, sure, I'm up for another "Jack Ryan" flick, if it holds true to Clancy's character and to his utterly stunning ability to bring a host of seemingly disconnected events, inexorably closer and closer to full 360 degree contact with one another. I don't care if it's 3 and half hours long to pull that off. Sometimes that's what's required to spin a vastly complex but adrenalin filled yarn. That's my...uh...$17 dollars worth!

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