Jack Ryan, Meet the New You: George Clooney

[UPDATE: It now appears that Jack Ryan will get the reboot treatment see the end of the article for details.]

Let’s throw another pancake on the Jack Ryan flapjack stack, shall we? First we had a Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October), then we had Indiana Jones (Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger), then we had Ben Affleck (The Sum of All Fears), and after that one, the trail ended, and rightfully so.

But recently, the Jack Ryan Rumor Mill has been stirring again, producing some interesting pulp about a certain man-hunk taking over the role for the rumored next Jack Ryan film.

Last year, Screen Rant reported that Ryan Gosling was being considered for the role of Jack Ryan, a rumor confirmed by the director of two Jack Ryan films, Philip Noyce. What’s more, Noyce pointed out that not only will he not be involved with the next Jack Ryan film, the character’s creator, Tom Clancy, won't be either.

It seems Paramount owns the rights to the character now - and while no official Jack Ryan plot, script, or anything resembling a movie has come about, Noyce did hint at the possibility that a project formerly under his control that has since been handed over to Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), By Any Means Necessary, could be retooled as a Jack Ryan vehicle.

Paramount eventually sent the Gosling idea packing and considered their options.  For awhile James Franco and Sam Raimi were allegedly being considered as lead and director, respectively.  Raimi has since signed on to Spider-Man 4, so that seems unlikely, and Franco’s involvement was never confirmed and hasn’t been rumored since.  So Paramount has moved on to bigger and better...and handsomer! The Daily Beast’s Kim Masters reported recently that Paramount is considering George Clooney for the next Jack Ryan film, whenever and whatever that may be. According to Masters: "A source says [Clooney] expressed interest in playing Jack Ryan…”

I also would like to express my interest in the role, though I suspect it will not receive an equal amount of press. I wonder why?

But is Clooney the right man? If you’re familiar with the Jack Ryan novels, you know that the character is an injured-Navy-man-turned-brainiac/family man, who has a rather keen knack for being pulled into political pickles. Now recall the George Clooney of O Brother Where Art Thou? or Leatherheads - or think back to Michael Clayton. And somewhere in the middle there’s the Ocean’s 12 debacle. None of the characters in Clooney’s repertoire seem suited for the role of brainiac-cum-hero; IMO, Clooney lacks that reluctant-hero innocence that makes Ryan a character the masses can identify with.

Now, that’s not to say that Clooney's performances haven’t surprised before - I’m just saying that Clooney can be on the list, but maybe he shouldn’t BE the list of potential Jack Ryans. Moreover, I appreciate Clooney’s seeming recognition that it might be time to dive into a project with a bit more box office potential, so good idea, Mr. Clooney, but perhaps poor execution. Although, what do I know? Clooney could do for Ryan what Daniel Craig has done for Bond (I don’t mean make a convoluted sequel with no plot, rather I mean revive the series).

It seems like a convenient coincidence that as Clooney is being considered for a role in a series with proven box office pull owned by Paramount, that Clooney’s production company, Smokehouse Productions, is leaving Warner Bros and working out an exclusive two-year deal with Sony Pictures. But then: I don’t believe in coincidences. This all falls (on the movie business timeline) around the same hash mark as rumors of a merger between Paramount and Sony are beginning to surface on the internet (See Latino Review or Deadline Hollywood). Perhaps Clooney knows something we don’t?

UPDATE: Slash Film has reminded us that writer Hossein Aimini (The Four Feathers) was asked in December to pen a reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise for Paramount - a script independent of Tom Clancy's novels. That reboot appears to be the direction Paramount is going with the property, throwing into question whether Clooney will in fact be the candidate for the role of a much-younger Ryan (not likely). We'll keep you updated as we hear more.

Tell you what: if my last venture had done as well as the most recent Jack Ryan incarnation (The Sum of All Fears), I’d be spooked enough to question whether or not I want to revisit the lineage, so Paramount can’t be blamed for its hesitation. Good for them for slaving over the important decision of who should be the next Jack Ryan.  And while their perseverance can’t be faulted, perhaps their casting decisions need a little work.  What do you think?

Source: Slash Film

Update Source: Slash Film

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