Jack Ryan, Meet the New You: George Clooney

Published 6 years ago by , Updated July 8th, 2009 at 5:13 pm,

george clooney as the lone ranger Jack Ryan, Meet the New You: George Clooney

[UPDATE: It now appears that Jack Ryan will get the reboot treatment see the end of the article for details.]

Let’s throw another pancake on the Jack Ryan flapjack stack, shall we? First we had a Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October), then we had Indiana Jones (Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger), then we had Ben Affleck (The Sum of All Fears), and after that one, the trail ended, and rightfully so.

But recently, the Jack Ryan Rumor Mill has been stirring again, producing some interesting pulp about a certain man-hunk taking over the role for the rumored next Jack Ryan film.

Last year, Screen Rant reported that Ryan Gosling was being considered for the role of Jack Ryan, a rumor confirmed by the director of two Jack Ryan films, Philip Noyce. What’s more, Noyce pointed out that not only will he not be involved with the next Jack Ryan film, the character’s creator, Tom Clancy, won’t be either.

It seems Paramount owns the rights to the character now – and while no official Jack Ryan plot, script, or anything resembling a movie has come about, Noyce did hint at the possibility that a project formerly under his control that has since been handed over to Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), By Any Means Necessary, could be retooled as a Jack Ryan vehicle.

Paramount eventually sent the Gosling idea packing and considered their options.  For awhile James Franco and Sam Raimi were allegedly being considered as lead and director, respectively.  Raimi has since signed on to Spider-Man 4, so that seems unlikely, and Franco’s involvement was never confirmed and hasn’t been rumored since.  So Paramount has moved on to bigger and better…and handsomer! The Daily Beast’s Kim Masters reported recently that Paramount is considering George Clooney for the next Jack Ryan film, whenever and whatever that may be. According to Masters: “A source says [Clooney] expressed interest in playing Jack Ryan…”

I also would like to express my interest in the role, though I suspect it will not receive an equal amount of press. I wonder why?

jack ryan collection Jack Ryan, Meet the New You: George Clooney

Will Clooney join the League of Jack Ryans?

But is Clooney the right man? If you’re familiar with the Jack Ryan novels, you know that the character is an injured-Navy-man-turned-brainiac/family man, who has a rather keen knack for being pulled into political pickles. Now recall the George Clooney of O Brother Where Art Thou? or Leatherheads – or think back to Michael Clayton. And somewhere in the middle there’s the Ocean’s 12 debacle. None of the characters in Clooney’s repertoire seem suited for the role of brainiac-cum-hero; IMO, Clooney lacks that reluctant-hero innocence that makes Ryan a character the masses can identify with.

Now, that’s not to say that Clooney’s performances haven’t surprised before – I’m just saying that Clooney can be on the list, but maybe he shouldn’t BE the list of potential Jack Ryans. Moreover, I appreciate Clooney’s seeming recognition that it might be time to dive into a project with a bit more box office potential, so good idea, Mr. Clooney, but perhaps poor execution. Although, what do I know? Clooney could do for Ryan what Daniel Craig has done for Bond (I don’t mean make a convoluted sequel with no plot, rather I mean revive the series).

It seems like a convenient coincidence that as Clooney is being considered for a role in a series with proven box office pull owned by Paramount, that Clooney’s production company, Smokehouse Productions, is leaving Warner Bros and working out an exclusive two-year deal with Sony Pictures. But then: I don’t believe in coincidences. This all falls (on the movie business timeline) around the same hash mark as rumors of a merger between Paramount and Sony are beginning to surface on the internet (See Latino Review or Deadline Hollywood). Perhaps Clooney knows something we don’t?

UPDATE: Slash Film has reminded us that writer Hossein Aimini (The Four Feathers) was asked in December to pen a reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise for Paramount – a script independent of Tom Clancy’s novels. That reboot appears to be the direction Paramount is going with the property, throwing into question whether Clooney will in fact be the candidate for the role of a much-younger Ryan (not likely). We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.

Tell you what: if my last venture had done as well as the most recent Jack Ryan incarnation (The Sum of All Fears), I’d be spooked enough to question whether or not I want to revisit the lineage, so Paramount can’t be blamed for its hesitation. Good for them for slaving over the important decision of who should be the next Jack Ryan.  And while their perseverance can’t be faulted, perhaps their casting decisions need a little work.  What do you think?

Source: Slash Film

Update Source: Slash Film

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  1. For me, the closest thing Clooney has come to Ryan would be his role in “Syriana” – smart, grizzled, seen-it-all, but badass in his own quiet way.

  2. Clooney is just to “I know more than you do” to be Jack Ryan. Ryan is schooled, experienced, but nothing of a smartass in any way which is what Clooney specializes in.

    I’ll thank Hollywood to dig deeper.

  3. @ Jacob Waldman

    “And somewhere in the middle there’s the Ocean’s 11, 12, 13 debacle.”

    Seriously? Debacle? Ocean’s 12 sure, but not 11 and 13. A majority of Critics and people will wholeheartedly disagree with you on that.

    “None of the characters in Clooney’s repertoire seem suited for the role of brainiac-cum-hero; IMO, Clooney lacks that reluctant-hero innocence that makes Ryan a character the masses can identify with.”

    I remember people saying the same thing about Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man or even the late Heath Ledger as The Joker. Clooney has never played a character the likes of Ryan, but I’d bet he’d pull it of in spades. And I’d bet he’d be a hell of a lot better than Gosling or Franco.

    I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. Peace.

  4. I’m not liking Clooney as Ryan, but in no way can he be worse than Affleck. Harrison Ford was the BEST Jack Ryan and Alec Baldwin did a great job as well. I don’t think Clooney is right for the role and really wish they would get someone who can play the part like Harrison Ford. No, not Shia LeBeouf. Maybe Nathan Fillion??

  5. I look at this as good news, not because I think Clooney would make a good Ryan (though he wouldn’t make a bad one), but because it means the studio is looking at older actors, which it definitely should be doing.

  6. @Ash Ali

    I agree, I’ve edited the article to reflect that.



  7. Actually Jack Ryan was a Marine right? Anyway, if Jack Ryan will be a smug arrogant pansy in the next film George Clooney will be perfect! Lol

  8. The franchise is going to have to work hard to make me forgive “Sum of All Fears.”

    I hope Tom Clancy got a boatload of money for what they did to his characters and stories.

  9. Forget that, they are rebooting it without Tom Clancy and with George Clooney. Get ready for some tremendous suckage lol.

  10. A little nitpick on this: Ryan was a Marine 2nd Lieutenant and an Infantry Platoon Leader, not a Naval Officer.

    If they yank him out of the novels and if Clooney plays him, then this is just the name Jack Ryan, not the character.

  11. Oh great. Another reboot with a “new” star playing a role that has already been done…definitively. Doesn’t really matter though because whoever plays Ryan is going to be lost in all of those new-fangled-shaky-cam shots that all such reboots MUST adopt. :(

  12. Nah, George Clooney will never allow that, not be able to see him? Psh, that’s probably a breach of his contract terms I bet…

  13. “they are rebooting it without Tom Clancy”

    Well there goes my excitement for this.

  14. Christian Bale would be good . TO bring Baldwin back would be great if he lost 25 pounds. He acted so real in that role. I know.