Keira Knightley Joining Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Jack Ryan’ Reboot

Published 3 years ago by

keira knightley jack ryan reboot Keira Knightley Joining Kenneth Branaghs Jack Ryan Reboot

Kenneth Branagh is moving full-steam ahead on his Jack Ryan franchiser restart, wherein he’ll portray a malevolent financial strategist whose attempts to lay ruin to the U.S. economy are complicated by a pre-CIA Ryan (Chris Pine). Branagh is, of course, also directing the project – taking over from long-attached helmer Jack Bender – and working from David Koepp’s script draft.

The actor/filmmaker is searching for an actress to portray Ryan’s (future?) wife, and Keira Knightley is said to be the frontrunner for the role. Knightley strayed into new territory this summer with the indie dramedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, but she’s back to working on lavishing period drama fare this fall with Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina adaptation.

Deadline reports that Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) and Evangeline Lilly (Lost) were in the mix for Branagh’s Jack Ryan movie (which is still without an official title). Total Recall co-headliners Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel had previously been offered the role with an option to return for two sequels (should they happen), but both took a pass. That could be interpreted as a sign that the role amounts to little more than moral support and/or a passive love interest.

UPDATE: Heat Vision says Knightley has officially entered negotiations to co-headline the Jack Ryan reboot. Branagh auditioned several actresses over the past few weeks, before re-approaching Knightley – who was the first actress considered by Paramount.

Jones is experienced at playing refined and dignified characters in period pieces (Brideshead RevisitedHysteria), whereas Lilly has a history of portraying more modern female archetypes in films like The Hurt Locker and Real Steel. Knightley actually meets them somewhere in the middle, thanks to her period drama work and efforts in films like Domino and Pirates of the Caribbean. So, perhaps the character of Ryan’s wife calls for someone who can play prim and proper, without coming off as an outdated representation of such a woman.

felicity jones evangeline lilly jack ryan Keira Knightley Joining Kenneth Branaghs Jack Ryan Reboot

Felicity Jones and Evangeline Lilly were considered for 'Jack Ryan'

Paramount’s struggle to get the Jack Ryan reboot going has been further hampered by Pine’s schedule, as the project was pushed back in order to allow him time for filming on J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel. The studio has also burned through several writers to get the story right, as a result of competing interests from Pine, Paramount heads, and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (who’re pushing for the film to be a character-oriented espionage drama, an action flick, and a thriller, respectively).

Koepp has (it seems) found a way to satisfy the demands of all concerned parties, while also delivering a script draft that was solid enough to catch Branagh’s eye. The final film is shaping up to be worth the heavy-lifting required to reach this point (in this writer’s opinion, that is).

We’ll continue to keep you updated on the Jack Ryan reboot as the story develops.


Source: Deadline

Update Source: THR

TAGS: Jack ryan
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  1. Evangeline Lilly seems like a better fit.

  2. My guess would be Branagh would prefer Keira Knightley.
    This film would likely mean committing to potential sequels
    and given Keira’s career at this point I wonder if she would.

    • You don’t think the “Natalie Factor” will hurt her chances? Kenneth already worked with Natalie Portman in Thor. Casting Keira might be too much like Natalie 2.0 for him. :)

      • Nah…Branagh probably considers Natalie a beta version of Keira :D

        • Ha! :)

  3. ANYBODY but Keira Knightley please!

    • Or, an alternative view, definitely Keira please!

      • “Anybody” is a scary, wide net by comparison.

    • Oh God, I agree. Keira Knightley is highly overrated and incredibly boring. She’s not even all that attractive, so she doesn’t make great eye candy. Her performances in the Pirates of the Carribean movies were s***.

  4. Me. They should choose me.

  5. Ugh, you can already tell they are going in the wrong direction with choosing the actress to play Cathy Ryan. Now, I can’t realistically expect the filmmakers to hire a woman who could realistically be Jack Ryan’s wife/girlfriend/fiancee. All I know is that according to Tom Clancy’s description of her, she in no way would look like Keira Knightley, or Jessica Biel or Kate Beckinsale. In the books, she is an eye surgeon, and a very accomplished one at that. I imagine her looking like Meg Ryan pre-plastic surgery, and maybe not quite as cute. She’d also have to be tough too. In the books, she kept her job after Jack became president. So she can’t be just some hot babe. But, they’ll probably end up casting someone way too hot to play her and it’ll end up sucking.

    • “In the books, she is an eye surgeon, and a very accomplished one at that. I imagine her looking like Meg Ryan pre-plastic surgery, and maybe not quite as cute. She’d also have to be tough too.”

      That fits Kate Beckinsale to a tee. Kate is an incredibly intelligent woman who speaks 4 languages fluently, studied Russian and French lit at Oxford, won two national writing awards as a teen for her poems and short stories. She’s also proven she’s tough in her action films.

      Having said that, it’s not going to matter. The role of Jack Ryan’s wife in these films will amount to little more than moral support and/or a passive love interest, just as Sandy stated.

  6. I second Evangeline Lily for reasons stated above by Maopheus (and others) – and she’d be less expensive than Kiera…

  7. Ugh.

    Please feed her about 15 cheeseburgers before you start filming and fix her underbite.

    • Lol… +1

  8. This franchise was derailed way back when, when Alec Baldwin left it. Has a lot of promise, but what do I know, quit reading the series at about Rainbow Six. Sure would be a fine thing if Branagh could get it rolling. But color me skeptical unless/until he delivers.

  9. What’s this?