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Clooney Wants to Play Clancy's Jack Ryan

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 7, 2009 at 4:16AM

Buried in this Kim Masters story about Sony bringing over George Clooney's production deal is a juicy nugget: Clooney wants to take over playing Jack Ryan in the Tom Clancy franchise. That is, if Paramount ever gets its act together and puts the next movie back on the front burner. It's been years since Ben Affleck took over from Harrison Ford as a younger Ryan, and acquitted himself well in The Sum of All Fears, which grossed $193 million worldwide in 2002.
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Buried in this Kim Masters story about Sony bringing over George Clooney's production deal is a juicy nugget: Clooney wants to take over playing Jack Ryan in the Tom Clancy franchise. That is, if Paramount ever gets its act together and puts the next movie back on the front burner. It's been years since Ben Affleck took over from Harrison Ford as a younger Ryan, and acquitted himself well in The Sum of All Fears, which grossed $193 million worldwide in 2002.

Affleckbenhead

The studio didn't go ahead and make another one with Affleck because his prime supporter, studio chief Sherry Lansing, was on her way out the door, and the movie did not score in overseas markets. In the past seven years, Affleck has gained some gravitas as a writer-director (Gone Baby Gone), but his star is not on the rise as a leading man (see State of Play, He's Just Not that Into You). When constant management shifts brought the studio a series of production heads, nobody seemed to recognize that the dormant Clancy series could be a valuable tentpole. With Affleck out, Clooney is perfect casting for a more mature Ryan.

This article is related to: Box Office, Franchises, Headliners, Books, Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan, Ben Affleck, George Clooney


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.