It's been a while since we've had anything of substance to report on two impending action movie franchise titles: Salt 2, a sequel to the 2010 secret agent thriller starring Angelina Jolie, and Paramount's reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise (which was originally titled Moscow).
"Caffeinated Clint" over at Moviehole has the latest word on both these projects - and that word is that both have hit a roadblock on their trips down the production pipeline. While there's a different explanation for why each film has hit a snag, the pair are going to have to undergo some significant script rewriting (in order to move forward from here).
With regards to the currently-directorless Salt 2: Jolie has reportedly decided to not yet sign up for the project, citing issues with the current script draft penned by the primary screenwriter on the original Salt flick, Kurt Wimmer.
Seeing how Columbia Pictures isn't interested in recasting the titular role of Evelyn Salt (at least, not yet), that means Wimmer will have to retool his screenplay in order to try and satisfy the demands of the Oscar-winning bombshell actress.
Salt amassed some $293 million worldwide in theaters back in 2010, but moviegoers don't seem to really be clamoring for a new installment in the franchise; not to the degree that they were with, say, the Jason Bourne series, after The Bourne Identity was released back in 2002. Columbia Pictures knows a good bet when it sees one, though, so expect to hear another update on Salt 2's progress over the forthcoming months.
Jack Ryan Reboot to Begin Filming By Late 2012?
Paramount placed its Jack Ryan serie reboot on the back-burner so that actor Chris Pine could first go work on a higher-priority project for the studio (namely, J.J. Abrams' Star Trek sequel). The film could actually begin shooting - under the direction of Jack Bender (Lost, Alcatraz) - sometime during the second half of 2012 ... so long as its screenplay is revamped to "reflect a reduced budget" which studio heads are currently aiming for.
Those demands aren't likely to change either, seeing how Pine has yet to prove himself as a bankable lead when he's not backed by a recognizable franchise title (see the box office returns for last month's This Means War, for case in point).
Moviehole says that Paramount approves of the most recent script draft for the Jack Ryan franchise restart - as penned by Anthony Peckham (Invictus) - but that the studio wants the project to be refashioned as a cheaper undertaking. Basically, the movie is in an almost identical position as Disney's Lone Ranger was for most of 2011 (albeit, the former isn't quite so far along in pre-production).
Perhaps more important than that: ten years have passed since the last Jack Ryan flick (The Sum of All Fears, starring Ben Affleck) hit theaters, and the general public's interest in seeing the character return to the big screen might be all the weaker for it. Whether that means we'll still be getting a more classic rendition of Ryan - or one whose approach to "diplomacy" is more like, say, Jack Bauer's on 24 - remains to be seen.
We will continue to keep you up-to-date on the status of Salt 2 and the Jack Ryan series reboot as more information is released.