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