If screenwriter Steve Zaillian is good enough for Steven Spielberg and David Fincher, he’s good enough for director Jack Bender – or so goes the logic for Paramount executives, with respect to the upcoming Jack Ryan franchise semi-reboot, Moscow.
Zaillian is negotiating to join the project and rewrite the Moscow script that was originally drafted by Hossein Amini – before Adam Cozen essentially restructured it as a more commercially friendly version of his blacklisted screenplay, Dubai.
Chris Pine’s first outing as Jack Ryan in his pre-intelligence agency days was originally scheduled to begin filming in Budapest this March, but has been delayed – presumably due to script issues that Zaillian is being recruited to resolve. Heat Vision says that the hold-up could potentially affect Pine’s availability for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek 2, another Paramount property, but not enough to actually affect the sci-fi sequel’s release date, so there’s no need for Trekkies to yank out their phasers just yet.
Moscow is presumably still the working title of Jack Ryan’s next cinematic venture, the first since since the 2002 film The Sum of All Fears, which starred Ben Affleck as a younger version of author Tom Clancy’s famed CIA Analyst. Pine will play an even more youthful incarnation of the character, who gets entangled in an international terrorist plot when he’s hired on as a financial advisor for a mysterious Russian billionaire.
An Oscar-winner for scripting Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, Zaillian most recently took on the task of adapting Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo for David Fincher’s upcoming English-language version. Seeing as that Paramount seems determined to not push back production on Moscow more than it already has, Zaillian will probably just be fine-tuning Cozen’s original screenplay and not actually revamping it.
Moscow is still tentatively scheduled to begin shooting this spring, with a spring or summer 2012 release date in mind. Expect to hear more news, including additional casting information, about the project before principal photography gets underway.