James Bond and Mission Impossible's Ethan Hunt might be ruling the big screen this year with two brand new movies, but there's actually another popular agent out there just waiting to spring back into action. Tom Clancy's CIA analyst Jack Ryan has been featured in around 20 different novels and five films since 1984, grossing over $799 million at the box office.
The character of Jack Ryan most recently appeared in 2014's Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which Paramount had hoped would reboot the franchise after 2002's The Sum of All Fears, starring Ben Affleck. However, lead actor Chris Pine didn't prove enough of a draw to get the series back on its feet, and the studio's plans were temporarily shelved. But now Paramount has decided to try their hand at moving the character to the small screen.
Paramount TV and Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes have started development on a TV reboot of Jack Ryan with Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and writer Graham Roland at the helm. According to Deadline, multiple networks have already started bidding on the project, said to be a contemporary take on the character rather than a direct adaptation of the books. Using the novels simply as source material, this new Jack Ryan will be a younger version still in his prime at the CIA.
Reportedly, Paramount TV first teamed up with Platinum Dunes on the project, before Cuse and Roland came on board with their own idea for the series. That's not so hard to believe, especially since it seems Paramount TV has been digging deep lately for shows to create from their most popular films: Minority Report, School of Rock, Shooter, Urban Cowboy and Galaxy Quest are all in various stages of development.
Meanwhile, Cuse currently has three shows of his own on the air (A&E’s Bates Motel, FX’s The Strain and USA’s upcoming Colony), so the writer-producer will likely leave the showrunning to someone else should Jack Ryan go to series. It's also easy to see how the project could end up on any one of those networks, as a drama, an action series or even a procedural.
As for the choice of actor, Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Affleck, and Pine have all played the operative for Paramount Pictures at one time or another, so its really open-ended as to what Jack Ryan will look like next. Jack Ryan is one of those characters who doesn't really have a distinct personality or definitive characterization, lending to the script making him anyone the writer wants him to be.
But what do you think, Screen Rant readers? Would you watch a Jack Ryan series? What would you want to see from a TV version of the franchise? Let us know in the comments.