Paramount has been trying to relaunch the Jack Ryan franchise for a few years now. Initially, theyâ€™d planned for Ben Affleck to be back as the young C.I.A Analyst (a role he played in the fun but forgettable film adaptation of â€œThe Sum Of All Fearsâ€) in a film adaptation of Tom Clancyâ€™s â€œRed Rabbitâ€, but that project seemingly went down the gurgler just as fast as Affleck and Jennifer Lopezâ€™s relationship did (and according to some, itâ€™s Affleckâ€™s drop in share price around that time that had Paramount going back on their word to bring the Bostonian back as Ryan). At the end of the day, the studio decided to let the franchise rest for a while.
A couple of years back, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura flirted with the idea of bringing back â€œPatriot Gamesâ€ and â€œClear and Present Dangerâ€ director Phil Noyce to help reboot the series. That never eventuated, if only because Noyce got busier than a chicken-cook at Christmas. Ever since, di Bonaventura has had his heap buried in an idea box trying to scuffle up a light-bulb.
The prolific producer told Moviehole, â€œIâ€™m working on trying to bring back Jack Ryan as a character to the screen, and thatâ€™s a great challenge, because there were a lot of good movies already madeâ€.
At the time there was talk that Harrison Ford might be asked back to play Ryan. Then there were rumours of Ryan Gosling playing a younger incarnation of the character. Then talk turned back to an â€˜olderâ€™ Ryan, with both Aaron Eckhart and George Clooney apparently flirting with the idea of wearing the Langley badge. No signatures ever hit a page though.
Sam Raimi was most recently attached to develop the new Ryan movie, but like Noyce, he just didnâ€™t have the time to commit to the franchise so let it go. He tells Moviehole, â€œI was chasing [that gig] because I love that character so much. I really wanted to treat him seriously and deliver a grade-A Tom Clancy thriller. But then they wanted to make Spider-Man 4, so I couldnâ€™t make it. But I love those movies, I still have [the first films â€“ The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger] on video-tape actually. I loved [Alec] Baldwin and Harrison Ford. Those films are so consistently well-made â€“ I liked them better than some of the James Bond movies.â€
The latest? Young Chris Pine, now one of the biggest stars around thanks to his role as Captain J.T Kirk in â€œStar Trekâ€, may be Paramountâ€™s top choice for the role of Ryan.
Says Variety, â€œPine is expected to come aboard the Jack Ryan film as the project takes shape. The studio and producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mace Neufeld are working with a script draft by Hossein Amini, based on an original concept. They are still in deep development and it is unclear whether Pine would make another â€œStar Trekâ€ before the Jack Ryan film. He will clearly be working often for Paramount over the next several years.â€
Considering the track-record of the project Iâ€™ll believe it when I see the teaser trailer on Apple.