Kevin Costner Now Set for Jack Ryan CIA Roles in Multiple Movies
It looks like Costner is ready to make quite a comeback. Besides Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, he's got a few other high profile projects coming up. A few weeks ago we reported that Kevin Costner was set to take a role in the upcoming Jack Ryan film, starring Chris Pine as Ryan, in the works at Paramount with Kenneth Branagh. He is set for that, but Deadline now reports there's another spin-off Jack Ryan franchise called Without Remorse that is developing as well, and that Costner would play the same CIA operative/mentor character in both films. That one has a director, too, but just wait until you hear who they're trying to cast.
The report states that Without Remorse, a spinoff franchise focusing on the character of John Kelly, another Tom Clancy creation, is in the works with Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun, Jack Reacher) writing and directing. The studio is also looking at Tom Hardy, but he is not set yet, they're still only "courting" him for the lead role as Kelly. However, at the very least, we can expect to see Kevin Costner in both Without Remorse and the yet-to-be-titled Jack Ryan movie. Costner will be playing William Harper, a "true blue American idealist who recruits and mentors both Ryan and John Kelly." The character is said to be similar to that of James Earl Jones' Admiral Greer in the earlier Ryan films, but we don't know specifics.
They also confirm exactly what I was thinking when I first heard about this casting news - that Paramount is trying to build up a bigger Jack Ryan franchise. "In a way, Costner is stepping into a role that seems similar to what Marvel Studios and Disney have done with Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury." So he'll kind of be the CIA godfather behind all of the operatives, which will include Jack Ryan and John Kelly at least, being played by Chris Pine and potentially Tom Hardy (yes, I see the This Means War reference, but screw that movie). Costner is a great choice for a role like this and I'm looking forward to seeing him actually take it on.