Christopher McQuarrie in Talks to Write & Direct ‘Without Remorse’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 17th, 2013 at 11:03 am,

Paramount is all set to reboot Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan franchise with star Chris Pine, but the studio is also looking to bring in another famous Clancy character to the big screen: CIA officer John Kelly (A.K.A. John Clark).

According to a new report, Paramount is in negotiations with writer Christopher McQuarrie to draft a new adaptation of Tom Clancy’s novel Without Remorse, which has been in active development since 2010 (and was first optioned in Hollywood way back in 1993). McQuarrie is also being considered to direct the film.

Deadline has the scoop that McQuarrie was being approached for the film, and also reports that Paramount is potentially planning to build a shared movie universe (a la Marvel Studios) with the untitled Jack Ryan reboot and Without Remorse featuring the same characters.

Fans of Clancy’s novels will recall that Clark is one of the author’s grittiest characters. For those unacquainted with Without Remorse, here’s a synopsis of the novel (via

John Kelly, former Navy SEAL and Vietnam veteran, is still getting over the accidental death of his wife six months before, when he befriends a young woman with a decidedly checkered past. When that past reaches out for her in a particularly horrifying fashion, he vows revenge and, assembling all of his old skills, sets out to track down the men responsible, before it can happen again.

At the same time, the Pentagon is readying an operation to rescue a key group of prisoners in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp. One man, they find, knows the terrain around the camp better than anyone else they have: a certain former Navy SEAL named John Kelly.

Kelly has his own mission. The Pentagon wants him for theirs. Attempting to juggle the two, Kelly (now code-named Mr. Clark) finds himself confronted by a vast array of enemies, both at home and abroad — men so skillful that the slightest misstep means death. And the fate of dozens of people, including Kelly himself, rests on his making sure that misstep never happens.

chris pine jack ryan Christopher McQuarrie in Talks to Write & Direct Without Remorse

Will John Clark and Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) eventually appear in the same film?

The character of John Clark has appeared on the big screen twice before. He was first played by Willem Dafoe in the 1994 film Clear and Present Danger and then by Liev Schreiber in the 2002 film The Sum of All Fears. Because both of those films focused on Jack Ryan’s character, they didn’t delve deeply into Clark’s violent past.

McQuarrie is a good fit to bring Clark’s story to big screen, having recently scripted and directed Jack Reacher, the adaptation of Lee Child’s novel One Shot, which stars Tom Cruise.

If Paramount does eventually plan to set the the two Clancy films in the same cinematic universe, the likely connection will be the character that Kevin Costner is currently considering for the Jack Ryan movie (who is described as Jack Ryan’s mentor). It’s easy to imagine Costner appearing at the end of Without Remorse (like Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in the Marvel films) to recruit Clark into the CIA alongside Jack Ryan, with the next movie perhaps pairing the two characters in action.


Source: Deadline,

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  1. Always thought of Tommy Lee Jones while reading this novel. If I recall correctly, Ryan’s dad makes an appearance in this one.

  2. Except in Without Remorse Jack Ryan is a teenager. But I guess that paramount will probably update everything and have this one taking part in the first gulf war.

  3. This could be good if it sticks with the book. Been a while since I’ve seen a raw revenge flick, and this story is well-suited for it.

    Kelly isn’t a superhero out to rid the world of crime. But some people did him wrong and they’re going to die for it, one by one, and a couple in exceptionally nasty ways. Simple premise, and fairly easy to get it right with even a moderate talent behind the camera.

    Tommy Lee Jones would be good as Jack’s dad, but not Jack or Kelly. Maybe Jeffrey Dean Morgan for Kelly. He’s got killers’ eyes.

  4. I loved this book. I would love to see a film adaptation as they would have to trim all the bloat out of the book for running time.

    For some reason I always pictured Christian Bale in the role. If they wanted to go younger, perhaps Zachary Quinto would be good.

  5. <<< Goosebumps …yes ! I always liked Tom Clancy's novels haven`t read "Without Remorse" but I`m sure its a good one

    • If you can find the abridged audiobook, it’s worth a listen. :)

  6. liev shreiber for me.he was awesome as mr.clark in the sum of all fears

  7. Christopher McQuarrie—did you READ the Lee Child books? I was sooooo very upset w/several huge misleadings!
    A–Jack Reacher ONLY wore kakhi pants.
    B–Jack Reacher was TALL….tall…not Tom Cuise short.
    The books are GREAT! I cannot believe that Lee Child would’ve ok’d his main man–Jack–to dress the way Tom Cruise did. That really IS A VITAL
    Aaarrgghhhhh—frustration when “creative” ppl making a movie think their interpretation is better than the author.

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