When it comes to adaptations of literary super-spies there is really no competition – Ian Fleming’s James Bond reigns supreme. However, just because James Bond is the most famous spy to make the jump from book form to the big screen, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other noteworthy ones. One such example would be Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne character, who has now been played by Matt Damon four times (and spawned a spinoff, The Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner).
Not too long after Jason Bourne made his first literary appearnce, another spy made his debut. In 1984, Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for the Red October marked the first appearance of CIA agent, Jack Ryan. Since then, there have been five films in the Jack Ryan series, starring Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and then Chris Pine as the title character. The last installment, the Pine-headlined Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, did only modest business at the box office and led to plans for additional movies featuring Pine’s Jack Ryan being shelved.
A Jack Ryan TV series reboot on Amazon has since been announced, with John Krasinski (The Office, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi) starring in the title role. Deadline is now reporting that Abbie Cornish (Limitless, Klondike) will be costarring in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan as the series’ female lead. According to Deadline, Cornish is going to be playing Cathy Mueller, Jack’s love interest, and a highly intelligent “doctor specializing in infectious diseases.”
Cornish, who is also known for her role in Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch, is joining a series that will apparently be based on “ripped-from-the-headlines type stuff.” Season 1 of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan will tackle contemporary social/political issues, and even feature ISIS as the primary antagonist. Krasinski had stated before that the series will essentially unfold as a 10-part movie, shot on a film budget, using proper cinematic stunts.
Amazon is still in its original programming adolescence, but has a good track record so far. Series like Bosch and The Man in the High Castle, have been well-received, but the streaming service is truly killing it on the comedy side. There, Amazon has Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent, considered to be among the best episodic comedy series currently airing (or, rather, streaming). Whether Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan can replicate Amazon’s early success is anyone’s guess, but the ingredients are there, and a 10-part cinematic experience in the vein of, say, Showtime’s Homeland is certainly an intriguing prospect.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan enters production soon, although it has no official premiere date yet.