Kenneth Branagh Up to Direct Jack Ryan Series Reboot

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 25th, 2013 at 9:25 am,

kenneth branagh jack ryan reboot Kenneth Branagh Up to Direct Jack Ryan Series Reboot

Things were looking grim for Paramount’s reboot of the Jack Ryan series last week, when word got out that long-attached director Jack Bender (Lost, Alcatraz) had left the gestating project. When coupled with recent reports that suggest production will not begin until the film’s screenplay is reworked for a reduced budget, it was starting to sound like this particular franchise restarter might fall into development limbo.

However, the situation is looking less dire now that multiple Oscar-nominated actor/writer/filmmaker Kenneth Branagh (or, as you may know him, the director of Thor) is said to be working out a deal for him to hold the directorial reins on the currently-untitled Jack Ryan flick, which was previously known as Moscow.

Variety, which also broke the story about Bender leaving the new Jack Ryan movie due to a scheduling conflict, has confirmed the news about Branagh being a strong possibility to come aboard the project – and get it back on track to begin production by the second half of 2012. The only “issue” right now is that Branagh might have to pass on directing The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (there’s a mouthful) if he signs on for the Ryan flick.

Branagh would be a surprise replacement for Bender, but also a promising one at that. The latter is an Emmy-winner with decades-worth of excellent TV directing under his belt, but his feature-length resume (Child’s Play 3, Lone Justice 2) isn’t so impressive. Thus, a Jack Ryan movie realized under his supervision might have not felt very “cinematic,” especially when compared to previous series installments (like The Hunt for Red October).

By comparison, Branagh’s directing efforts – be it Thor, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or any of his numerous Shakespeare adaptations – tend to be memorably big and brash (if not always good). Hence, Branagh should help to churn out a film about a younger version of the Jack Ryan character (as played by Star Trek‘s Chris Pine) that at least feels like an appropriate globe-trotting thriller, with regards to the scale and scope of the plot mechanics.

Speaking of the actual plot for the Jack Ryan series reboot: that’s somewhat of an unknown right now, thanks to the numerous rewrites the project has endured. The original script draft is said to have followed Mr. Ryan (working as a Wall Street financial advisor) on a whirlwind adventure, after he travels overseas to Moscow to work for a mysterious billionaire – and ends up being framed for a terrorist plot against the United States.

The Jack Ryan reboot’s script has reportedly been worked on by writers varying from Adam Cozen (who incorporated elements of his Blacklisted script Dubai into his draft) to Hossein Amini (Drive, Snow White and the Huntsman), Anthony Peckham (Invictus, Sherlock Holmes) and David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Spider-Man). Hence, it’s not really clear whether the film is more an action flick or dramatic thriller, in its current condition.

We will continue to keep you posted on the status of the Jack Ryan reboot as the story develops.


Source: Variety

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  1. They got the wrong guy to play Jack Ryan. Tom Hardy is better.

    • I agree, Tom Hardy would make a great Jack Ryan!

  2. Very excited. I think it’s a shame that Ben Affleck never got a chance to reprise the role, he may not have been close to Clancy’s books, but he was really good and The Sum Of All Fears was great.

  3. Kenneth Branagh would be a great choice to direct the Jack Ryan reboot.

    I was amazed how Thor turned out to be, it was better than I expected.

    Still I think Chris Pine isn’t a good choice for Ryan.

  4. i have only seen the harrison ford ones and while they were good. they werent that great. but i would be interested in checking out a new one. how was the sum of all fears compared to the harrison ford films?

    • It was pretty good in my opinion, Affleck was good in the role. Just different to Ford and Baldwin.

  5. Branagh is one of the few actors and/or directors whose involvement makes me really consider seeing the movie, even without knowing anything else about the project. He’s great in so many ways.

    Affleck is just the opposite. He’s one of the few whose involvement means I won’t see the movie. He is a highly unlikable person in so many ways. So it’s good that ol’ Ben isn’t involved with this one.

    As much as I love Kenneth Branagh, I’d still hold out little hope that yet another reboot works out. The first 3 Jack Ryan movies were awesome (despite the 3rd one’s overt political jabs) and should be left alone.

    • Four. There are four Jack Ryan movies.

      • I wouldn’t call myself after a doctor if I had such low reading comprehension. Read my post again, smart alec.

        • Bazinga. Punk.

  6. I don’t understand why they’re so intent on ‘rebooting’ Jack Ryan with an original script. Clancy has–what?–12 Jack Ryan books to choose from so why not do one of those? Cardinal and the Kremlin?

    How about this: Do a Jack Ryan trilogy: Debt of Honor, Executive Decisions and Rainbow Six. Then you can splinter off an entire Rainbow Six series backed up by a dedicated book and video game fan base.

    The problem is that Hollywood doesn’t have the orbs to make Debt of Honor. They’d be too worried about ticking off everyone in that movie: The Japanese, 9-11 victims, liberals…

  7. Interesting choice though logical after Thor.
    Kenneth Branagh is an enormous talent
    and this reboot is lucky to get him.

  8. I do not know why they did not use “Red Rabbit” as the script for the Jack Ryan reboot. It was a prequel to all the well known books about young Jack and a big adventure. There was definitely a good movie there in the book if it was edited down.

    I too wish Affleck had another crack at the role. He was not bad. The total rewrite of the script to make the terrorists Irish instead of Muslim rang false.

  9. They’d better rethink “Moscow” as a film title if they want twentysomethings to go see it. Sounds like some generic cold war, slow moving spy thriller from the 80′s (think “The Russia House” or “Gorky Park”).

  10. Which older African-American actor are they going to hire to play the “mentor” role to young Jack Ryan?

    Both James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman had their shot and it’s probably too close after “Unstoppable” to enlist Denzel…so why not Eddie Murphy?

    Eddie Murphy would create a much needed buzz for the movie, he’s proven capable in dramatic roles (48HRS., Metro, and Dreamgirls), plus (at age 52)it’s more than time for him to move away from that trite jive talking ish that he’s been retreading for the last thirty years.

    • What about idris elba? Is he not old enough?

  11. well, i would be curious to see Eddie Murphy in that part. not a bad idea at all

  12. Idris Elba isn’t much older than Chris Pine. Besides, his career is on a Denzel type trajectory. He’s going to be a movie star of the highest order for years to come.

    Naw, this role would require someone who had at least twenty years on Jack Ryan (i.e. Murphy). This would be the kind of role Hollywood execs would’ve given to a character actor like Delroy Lindo or Ving Rhames ten or twelve years ago.

    In the four previous films, Jack Ryan has been played as a reluctant hero who has sought guidance from a older mentor.

    Paramount needs to give Eddie a shot at the role after all the money he made for that studio.

    • I didn’t know much about the series I just like idris elba haha. I didn’t even know his age

  13. Wrong actor, hope they re-cast Gerald Butler or Tom Hardy, Daniel Craig if he was so busy with making an arse of himself in “American” Girl trilogy.
    i like a slow burning thriller, loved Gorky Park. i will watch it if they cast someone with more grunt work to him.

  14. What matters is not so much who directs the movie or who stars as the lead role? (thought they are important) What matters is that they get the material right, if it means I have to sit through a three hour long movie to make it happen, then I will. So far the four past movies have been good in the own right they still fail to portray all that is laid out in a Tom Clancy book.