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'Thor' Director Kenneth Branagh Gets Big Screen Jack Ryan Return

by
March 27, 2012
Source: Vulture

Kenneth Branagh

Though the studio didn't bring Kenneth Branagh back for a sequel to his big action debut with Thor, it sounds like Paramount Pictures is still pretty happy with his work. Vulture has learned that Paramount has entered negotiations with Branagh to direct the return of Tom Clancy protagonist Jack Ryan, still set to be played by Chris Pine, to the big screen. It sounds like the film is still untitled, but we've heard the name Moscow tossed around for awhile, and now the simple title Jack Ryan is also in the mix too. This comes shortly after hearing that "Lost" helmer Jack Bender had fallen away from the project as director. Read on.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean it's smooth sailing form here. Apparently the film has hit a few snags in development. Vulture says the reason Bender left the project is because there have been too many hands in the creative cookie jar. While star Chris Pine wants a character-driven espionage movie, which is exactly what a Tom Clancy-based story should be, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura wanted a straight-up action movie. Meanwhile, studio chiefs simply want a thriller, and somehow screenwriter David Koepp was supposed to make them all happy. Before his work, other screenwriters like Anthony Peckham (Invictus) and Adam Cozad (The Gray Man) have tried their hand, but to no avail.

Of course, we're still not sure what the plot of this new jack Ryan film will be, but unlike other films like The Sum of All Fears, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger or The Hunt for Red October, this film is not based on a Tom Clancy novel and is a prequel showing Ryan's early action. With Pine on board, I'm undoubtedly interested, and Branagh is a fine director. I just hope his directing with big set pieces and action works a little more smoothly this time around as it was always the most exciting assembly of thrills in that department. Production is supposed to begin in September so stay tuned.

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  • Normstar2k
    I'm onside with bringing Jack Ryan back to the big screen, but I'm not sure about the whole idea behind this film.  If you're going to bring back a big character, then surely you're trying to appeal to the fans of that character, or you'd just call him something different. Seeing as the Ryan films were big but not HUGE, then you're trying to appeal to the fans of the books (which were HUGE - Clancy is one of the best-selling authors of the last 50 years). In the books, Jack's history was very detailed as you followed him all the way from his early days as a naval history teacher, flashbacking to his even-earlier days as a marine, through his initial contact with the Agency and then following him to the pinnacle of his career as POTUS. All the events shape Jack's character and his achievements are referenced often throughout the books. What I'm trying to say is that this idea of throwing in random stuff which Jack did in his "early action" makes no sense to the fans cos we know his early action and like I say, if you're not appealing to the fans of the character then call him Lightning McHandgun and make the action film you want to. (Or just remake the whole series, going all the way up to at least Executive Orders). As a side note, would they be allowed to make Debt of Honour? Everyone forgets that Clancy basically wrote 9/11 7 years before it happened.
  • Gohikeone
    Normstar2K - great point about Ryan's backstory...completely agree.  It bothers me that they're going for origin or "early action" Ryan stories...and making them up at that...when they have all these other Clancy novels that are RIPE for movies sitting on the shelf so to speak.  If they want a big action movie, Rainbow Six is ready and waiting.  Of course some of the story lines may need tweaking if they want to make them "modern" ala Sum of All Fears, but I think we've seen that period thrillers work (such as The Debt) and story rework isn't necessarily needed to have thrilling, escapist, engaging entertainment. 
    • Gohikeone
      Hmm...Not sure why that didn't post as my account...I blame caching and cookies...
  • Blurb
     This will be the fourth actor playing Jack Ryan, and probably the worst in the context of the character from the books. With Branagh at the wheel, though, the movie should be a fun distraction. Now let's see Without Remorse and Rainbow Six get under way!
  • Voice of Reason
    Branagh shines in character development, tension and acting....the action in Thor was pretty run-of-the-mill if not forgettable, in my opinion.....give Branagh some tense thrillers that deserve to be better. He created a masterful movie with Dead Again...give him something like that again!!!
  • Greatbritain2k3
    jack ryan isn't really supposed to be "action man". this shouldn't turn into a bourne or die hard movie. Rainbow 6 would be an ideal clancy-universe action-oriented film, though with all the games based on it, is it really necessary? And whatever happened to without remorse? 

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