Since 1984, Tom Clancy’s CIA analyst Jack Ryan has been featured in around 20 different novels and five films. Chris Pine became the fourth actor to play the eminent character in 2014’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which Paramount presented as a reboot that departs from the previous installments. While the action spy thriller grossed $135.6 million worldwide during its theatrical run, it opened below its predecessors, meaning that the studio’s plans were temporarily shelved.
Now it appears that Ryan will be coming out of the shadows again, since Amazon has since given a series commitment to a Paramount TV show based on the popular CIA hero. While there has been nothing in the way of an official green light yet, the former Lost duo of co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and writer Graham Roland have already been attached to the project, and now the latest memo reveals that actor John Krasinski has been lined up to play the next Jack Ryan.
According to Deadline, Krasinski has closed a deal for the title role that should help to net a series order. The highly sought after actor will take on a contemporary version of the character in his prime as a CIA operative, which will not be a direct adaptation of the novels but will instead use them loosely as source material.
This project reunites Krasinski with Platinum Dunes creator Michael Bay, who recently directed him in the gritty drama 13 Hours. Prior to that, Krasinski had starred in a number of feature films, but is perhaps better known for his role as the loveable nice guy Jim Halpert on NBC’s popular TV comedy The Office. In addition to his impressive acting chops, the film and television star sat in the executive producer’s chair on the upcoming drama Manchester By The Sea, which is also being released by Amazon.
Krasinski will join a quartet of actors who have taken on the classic literacy character, following stealthily in the footsteps of Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine. It seems as though the casting team are trying to attract young viewers to the franchise, but judging by Jack Ryan’s last cinematic appearance they might have a difficult mission on their hands. Based on exit-polling service CinemaScore (via THR), more than a third of the cinema-going audiences for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit during its opening weekend were over the age of 50, with only 15 percent of the viewers under the age of 25.
However, over recent years, audiences are increasingly moving away from traditional television to online streaming services, so perhaps the distribution of Jack Ryan on Amazon will allow new audiences to unlock the literary character. Either way, Jack Ryan is one of those characters without a definitive characterization, which means that the writer can make him anyone that they want him to be – young or old – and still manage to appeal to audiences of all ages in a similar vein to Mission: Impossible’s Ethan Hunt or James Bond.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on the Jack Ryan TV series as it develops.