By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 27, 2012 at 5:08PM
Kenneth Branagh has taken the helm at Paramount of the long-in-the-works untitled Jack Ryan project, based on Tom Clancy's character. Branagh replaces Jack Bender, who had scheduling issues, reports Variety. Paramount and Skydance Pictures and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura already have found their Jack Ryan, who has been played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck in the past. It's Chris Pine, who will start the film after he completes Paramount and J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek 2." George Clooney was interested in the role, but it was configured younger.
They didn't go back to Affleck either, who did great in "The Sum of All Fears" (which grossed $193-million worldwide in 2002, but didn't score overseas), but turns 40 in August and was hired by then-Paramount boss Sherry Lansing. Branagh showed his directing prowess with Paramount and Marvel's big-budget comic book launch "Thor," combining strong dramatics with large-scale visuals and effects ($500 million worldwide). He's a superb choice. (Our Oscar season interview with him is here.) Branagh was lined up to direct "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" for Fox Searchlight.
David Koepp recently did a polish.