Paramount is actively searching for a director to helm their new Chris Pine as Jack Ryan film, Moscow and are reportedly considering fellows like Sam Raimi, Gore Verbinski, Timur Bekmambetov, and Kevin Macdonald for the job.
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers 3) announced last week that he expects the new Jack Ryan feature to begin shooting in early 2011, most likely before Pine reprises his turn as the new Captain Kirk in Star Trek 2.
All four of the rumored choices to direct Moscow are attached or connected to other projects at the time being, so the actual production start date will be a key element that determines whether or not any of them are viable options.
Moscow will revolve around a pre-CIA Ryan, who becomes a fugitive after he is wrongly accused of being a terrorist involved in a plot to destabilize the U.S. economy. Paramount officials are adamantly refusing to refer to the film as either a reboot or an origin story – though the general storyline indicates otherwise.
The Jack Ryan franchise has attracted some well-respected filmmakers in the past, including the likes of director John McTiernan (Die Hard), Phillip Noyce (Salt), and Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams). Someone of similarly high stature will undoubtedly be brought onboard to helm Moscow eventually, but for now consider the matter very much unsettled.
Raimi would be an interesting choice to direct the film, though his possible involvement with Oz, the Great and Powerful could complicate matters. Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy) and Bekmambetov (Wanted) have both demonstrated that they can handle explosive and ultra-violent action fare, respectively, but the Jack Ryan films tend to be much smaller in scale and low-key by comparison.
Macdonald seems the most natural fit for Mocow, given his past experience helming political/dramatic thrillers like The Last King of Scotland and State of Play. He is working with Ridley Scott on the Youtube project Life in a Day but his work schedule is not too crowded otherwise.
Expect more information concerning possible Moscow directors and a concrete production start date over the next few months.