Jack Ryan is finally returning to movie screens, as Paramount plans to release the next movie in the franchise by the fourth quarter of 2013. The movie, simply called “Jack Ryan,” casts “Star Trek” actor Chris Pine in the role of Ryan, a character made popular in the Tom Clancy thrillers. Keira Knightly also stars in the movie as the love interest. Deadline reports that the movie is a prequel and sets up a new trilogy for the character.
Pine is the fourth actor to take on the role of Jack Ryan.
“The Hunt for Red October”
Alec Baldwin was the first person to step into the shoes of Jack Ryan. John McTiernan (“Die Hard”) directed “The Hunt for Red October,” the story of a USSR submarine captain (Sean Connery) who violates orders and heads for the U.S. Baldwin plays Ryan as a CIA analyst who has to find out if the captain is defecting or on a mission to attack the United States.
“The Hunt for Red October” was a critical and box office success but was Baldwin’s only opportunity to play the character.
“Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger”
Two years later, Jack Ryan returned to the big screen, this time portrayed by Harrison Ford. In “Patriot Games,” Ryan works as a professor for the Naval Academy, retired from the CIA. While in London on vacation, he witnesses an assassination attempt and jumps into action, stopping the attack and killing one of the assailants. This causes him to become a target for the brother of the deceased terrorist, who sets his sights on Ryan and his family.
In 1994, Ford returned for a second attempt at Ryan, this time as Deputy Director of Intelligence of the CIA. In “Clear and Present Danger,” Ryan finds himself in the midst of a President ordered black ops attack to assassinate the leader of a Columbian drug cartel. This comes after Ryan guaranteed Congress that the U.S. would not use black op soldiers in Columbia, testing the loyalties of the American hero.
This is also the first time that the series’ popular supporting character John Clark (Willem Defoe) appears. Hollywood rumors also indicate that Clark will receive his own upcoming solo film from Paramount called “Without Remorse,” directed by Christopher McQuarrie (“The Usual Suspects”).
“The Sum of All Fears”
Eight years passed before Jack Ryan returned to movie theaters. When he did make his comeback, it was under the acting of Ben Affleck. Thanks to the age difference, it is clear this was a rebooting of the franchise, with Ryan once again a CIA analyst, at a period before the events of “The Hunt for Red October.” “The Sum of All Fears” faced a tough battle, thanks to its timing. The movie hit theaters eight months after 9-11 and involved a terrorist plot that set off a nuclear bomb inside a packed football stadium.
The movie was a modest box office success but ended the adventures of Jack Ryan once again. Now, ten years later, a new movie sets into motion, directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Chris Pine as the fourth Ryan. With plans for a trilogy, it will be the first time someone has played the character three times, and producers have to hope audiences are willing to give the CIA analyst another chance.