Steve Zaillian Rewriting Paramount's Struggling 'Jack Ryan' Project

February 2, 2011
Source: Deadline

Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan

I don't know about everyone, but I feel like we've been hearing/writing about this new Jack Ryan movie for years, but of course, it's still stuck in development hell. As of last August when the leaked Paramount memo hit, they were looking for someone to rewrite the script for Moscow, which is the title of the new Jack Ryan movie that Chris Pine has been attached to for a while, and Lost's Jack Bender is slated to direct. Looks like they found a new writer, as Deadline is reporting that Oscar winner Steve Zaillian (of Hannibal, Gangs of New York, The Interpreter, American Gangster, Moneyball) is the latest to be hired to rewrite their script.

Deadline's update states that the Moscow is tentative and officially it still doesn't have a formal title or start date. It's an original story not based on one of Tom Clancy's books, but apparently has to do with a terrifying helicopter crash that nearly killed Ryan when he was a platoon leader in the US Marines. From there, he is hired as an analyst for a Russian billionaire, but soon ends up on the run after being implicated in a terrorist plot designed to collapse the economy. Zaillian, who is one of the top writers in town, has experience with Jack Ryan having written Clear and Present Danger in the 90's. Their hope is to start production this year.

Other writers who've taken a shot on this new Jack Ryan script, being positioned more of an origin story (of course), include: Hossein Amini originally, Adam Cozad who reworked his own spec script into a Ryan story, then finally Anthony Peckham, who was the last we reported on in September. Do any films that go through this much constant revision and back-and-forth ever turn good? I'm hoping for the best as always, because it would be cool to see Chris Pine as a badass new Jack Ryan, but I'm not expecting there to be much success with this. We'll just have to wait and see if Paramount is satisfied with Zaillian's newest draft later this year.

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  • Twix
  • Engassassin
    Actually, the news that Zaillian is working on this gives me hope that it's going to turn out pretty good. I'm optimistic.
  • Normstar2k
    Why do we need an origin story? Patriot Games IS the Jack Ryan origin story. Just write an original script and give the character a different name. Or, alternatively, make some good Jack Ryan films, without ballsing around with the plots to make them more "relevant". Read Executive Orders and tell me THAT'S not relevant in the current climate. Clancy has been selling literally millions of books for decades off the back of his fantastic story-telling, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  • Indiana Jones 3 was also rewritten very often and it turned out great.
    • voodoo2
      Haha, good joke dude.




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