Saturday, December 20, 2008

The RETURN of JACK RYAN [news]

Screenwriter Hossein Amini has been hired to tackle a new Jack Ryan movie for Paramount Pictures. The erstwhile intelligence analyst and all-American do-gooder created by novelist Tom Clancy has not appeared onscreen since 2002's "The Sum of All Fears."

Amini is best known for his literary adaptations of Henry James, Thomas Hardy and Elmore Leonard. His new Ryan film is planned as an origin story, not derived from Clancy's novels and ultimately featuring a new, younger star. Amini, repped by Endeavor, was nominated for an adapted screenplay Oscar in 1998 for "The Wings of the Dove." His other credits include "Jude" and "The Four Feathers." He has "Golden Compass" sequel adaptation "The Subtle Knife" in development at Warner Bros. and the Weinstein Co. drama "Shanghai" in postproduction.

I am confused though, is Tom Clancy still alive? Why dont they just get him to write Jack Ryan's origins. He CREATED him after all. Maybe he refused. Either that or maybe Hollywood demands an origin story which will involve high octane, box office attracting action.

Mace Neufeld and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura are producing the project for Paramount. "Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi was on the hook to direct and produce a new Ryan installment, but his packed schedule made his involvement unworkable. On the other hand, I do not think Raimi is the appropriate director to work on something like the Jack Ryan series without the risk of messing it up.

With a new Jack Ryan installment in the pipeline, Paramount is establishing a muscular franchise lineup: "Iron Man" and "Transformers" are moving toward sophomore editions; "Star Trek" and "G.I. Joe" will launch in the summer as potential multifilm properties; and "Tintin," "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and "Beverly Hills Cop IV" are in development.

The first onscreen Ryan adventure, "The Hunt for Red October," grossed $199 million worldwide in 1990 with Alec Baldwin in the role. "Patriot Games" (1992) and "Clear and Present Danger" (1994) brought in $178 million and $208 million worldwide, respectively, with Harrison Ford playing Ryan. Ben Affleck took over the role in a sort-of prequel in "All Fears," which grossed $177 million worldwide.

by Jason

It’s beginning to look like Ryan Gosling is getting set to become the next Jack Ryan (from the popular series of books turned into movies by Tom Clancy). Gosling would be the fourth Jack Ryan after Alec Baldwin (The Hunt For Red October), Harrison Ford (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger) and Ben Affleck (The Sum of All Fears).

The road to making Gosling into Jack Ryan is long and strange, and, apparently, no longer involves Tom Clancy. Philip Noyce, the director of the 90s Jack Ryan films starring Harrison Ford, “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger” was once attached to direct a fifth Jack Ryan film but is now saying that he is no longer attached but one is, in fact, being prepped to stay Gosling.

Noyce was once set to direct Ford as Ryan in “The Sum of All Fears,” but Ford didn’t like the script and dropped out. The studio then decided that it would be a great idea to “reboot” the series and make the character younger so they rewrote the script and cast Affleck as the younger Ryan. The plan was to follow that film up with “Red Rabbit” which Tom Clancy actually wrote with the younger character (and new movie series) in mind. Unfortunately, the numbers for “Sum” weren’t great and Ben Affleck’s career took a bit of a nosedive for a while and the idea was quickly dropped.

Fast forward a little and Noyce is attached to direct a film entitled “By Any Means Necessary” about “a cop who turns to a mobster for inside information to prevent a terrorist attack. Well, Paramount Pictures owns the Jack Ryan character and somewhere along the way decides to develop this film as a Jack Ryan picture (without any Tom Clancy involvement). Noyce leaves the project, but Anton Fuqua (Training Day) comes aboard and everyone starts talking Ryan Gosling. I guess Ben Affleck is now too old?

There’s little doubt that Gosling is on the Hollywood fast track for A-list status so he’s a good choice if they really want to revive the series. The question I have is, why? The world loved Jack Ryan when he was being played by Harrison Ford, but I think a lot of that was Harrison Ford and really good filmmaking. I’m not so sure the world is in love with the character of Jack Ryan even if they do like reading the Tom Clancy books he’s featured in. It seems to me that it would make more sense to just create a new character and go forward without all the baggage (backstory that no longer makes sense) of the Jack Ryan character.

I’m not even sure why Gosling would want to tackle this character. Jack Ryan isn’t exactly James Bond, and, at this point, the character has gone through so many changes it doesn’t seem like the kind of role he’s been choosing up to this point. I understand how he might want to find a possible franchise character but I’m not sure Jack Ryan should be it.
What do you guys think? Any Tom Clancy fans pissed off about this?

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