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Christopher McQuarrie to Adapt Tom Clancy's 'Without Remorse' Novel

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August 7, 2012

Without Remorse / Christopher McQuarrie

The adaptation of Jack Reacher from director Christopher McQuarrie is heading to theaters on December 21st just before Christmas, but the filmmaker is already looking at taking another high profile author's work to the big screen again. Deadline has word that McQuarrie, who has written films like Valkyrie and The Usual Suspects, is near a deal to adapt the Tom Clancy novel Without Remorse, and he just might end up directing. Unlike most of the Clancy novels that have hit the big screen, this book doesn't focus on Jack Ryan, and instead gives the spotlight to John Kelly, the operative who becomes Mr. Clark.

Here's the official but vague synopsis of the 1993 novel:

His code name is Mr. Clark. And his work for the CIA is brilliant, cold-blooded and efficient. But who is he really? In a harrowing tour de force, Tom Clancy shows how an ordinary man named John Kelly crossed the lines of justice and morality --- to become the CIA legend, Mr. Clark.

It is an unforgettable journey into the heart of darkness. Without mercy. Without guilt. Without remorse.

More specifically, the man John Kelly finds himself shell shocked and lost after his pregnant wife died in a traffic accident. But after getting back on his feet, Kelly finds unlikely love after picking up a female hitchhiker, a prostitute on the run from some deadly employers who were using her as a drug mule. Once he helps her kick the habit, they aim to take down the drug lords who have plenty of other helpless girls in their hands. But after his plan goes sour, another story arc picks up with Kelly looking to rescue 20 American pilots from a prison camp in North Vietnam in 1970 (though that will likely be changed to a contemporary setting). But once the mission is accomplished, he unleashes his anger by taking down the entire gang responsible for their imprisonment and every pimp who ever crossed the path of his recent love.

Willem Dafoe previously brought the character to life in Clear and Present Danger (which had Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan), but the role will likely be given to someone younger this time around as this just might be the start of another franchise as this is an origin for the Clark character. In fact, Deadline points out that there might be the opportunity for The Avengers style crossovers between John Clark and Jack Ryan, especially since they each share characters between them like Admiral Greer, a role that James Earl Jones will apparently reprise in the new Jack Ryan film starring Chris Pine. Sounds like a good plan to me, but we'll see if it pans out. Would you like to see a Jack Ryan/John Clark crossover?

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  • hawk99
    This could be awesome. It's a great story. While Willem Dafoe was great in Clear and Present Danger, this is a younger John Clark/Jack Kelly, so would need to be someone else. Always love when a new, unknown actor can pull off big roles.
  • Jericho
    lets hope all of this leads to a Rainbow Six movie...

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