So, Jack Ryan is finally coming back. The long-developing movie, formerly titled "Moscow" and now generically known as "Untitled Jack Ryan Reboot" or whatever, is actually headed into production with Kenneth Branagh directing and playing the villain, Chris Pine in the lead role, Keira Knightley as his wife and Kevin Costner as the man who recruits and trains the agent. And with screenwriter David Koepp recently telling ComingSoon that shooting begins in two weeks, Paramount is ready to place this thing on the calendar and starting thinking franchise.
Deadline reports that "Holy Shit Can We Give This Jack Ryan Movie A Name Already" is being eyed for a late 2013 release, with no specific date stamped just yet. But perhaps more interesting are their plans for the Jack Ryanaverse. Obviously, this is franchise stuff so the hope is that this movie (being dubbed a prequel) will kick start a trilogy (duh), but even more, they see big things in the future for young upstart actor and newcomer...Kevin Costner? Wait, are we reading this right....yep, Kevin Costner.
The actor seems to have impressed upon the suits at the studio that audiences are going to want to see more of his William Harper. He's already being sought for the Tom Clancy adaptation "Without Remorse" that will be written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, that focuses on a different character -- John Clark -- but does have some crossover. But even more, Deadline's Mike Fleming says "the deal that came together envisions Costner potentially headlining his own film as William Harper, a true blue American idealist who recruits and mentors both Ryan and John Kelly from 'Without Remorse.' "
So, is Paramount trying to create some kind of Marvel-styled universe with their Tom Clancy properties with Kevin Costner, of all people, as the lynchpin? Isn't this the equivalent of making a movie all about Eric Byer from "The Bourne Legacy" (interesting character to be sure, but we don't want to see a whole movie about him)? We're not sure this is the best idea in the world, but we're not paid to make these kinds of decisions either.
Anyway, for all of this to happen, the first film will need to be a success. Will audiences want more of Jack Ryan, a financial analyst who uncovers a plot by the company he works for in Moscow to launch a terrorist attack and bring down the economy of the United States? If it leads to him being a kick-ass American hero, the answer is probably yes.
With production starting soon, more details are likely to surface so stay tuned.....