Last week, we reported that Kevin Costner was offered a role in Paramount’s reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise. The actor, who is fresh off an Emmy-nominated performance in The History Channel’s Hatfields & McCoys, was approached to play the role of Ryan’s mentor who drafts him into the CIA.
Now, Deadline is reporting that Costner has accepted the part and is just working out the details of his contract. Costner will play William Harper, “a true blue American idealist who recruits and mentors both Ryan and John Kelly.”
The latter character, who eventually takes the name John Clark, is the lead in Without Remorse, which is being directed by Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher). As we also reported last week, Costner was being considered to appear in both films, acting as a sort-of “Nick Fury” for a shared Tom Clancy universe.
The Deadline report also dropped the news that Paramount was pursuing Tom Hardy for the role of Clark. Hardy, who is earning raves for his role as the terrorist mastermind Bane in The Dark Knight Rises - and is appearing in Lawless and too many other upcoming films to count – would be a great choice to play the gritty Clark, who was previously portrayed on the big screen by both Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber.
For the Jack Ryan film, Costner is joining a strong cast that also includes Kenneth Branagh (who is both directing and starring as the film’s primary villain) and Keira Knightley as Jack Ryan’s love interest.
Costner should be a great addition to both the Jack Ryan movie and Without Remorse. While each of the respective movies will be anchored by young up-and-coming stars (Chris Pine in the former, and – potentially – Hardy in the latter), Costner can provide the stable, veteran presence needed to link the movies together and build a shared cinematic universe. The Deadline report also mentions that Costner could potentially star as the lead in a third spin-off film.