After a couple years of trying to get the film together, Paramount finally has a loose release window for Jack Ryan, the latest film to adapt the character from Tom Clancy novels such as The Hunt For Red October and Patriot Games, and the first to feature Chris Pine as a younger version of the character. (He’s the fourth actor to play Ryan, following Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck.) The studio waited to move forward until Pine was done with the Star Trek sequel, and will be able to get the new Ryan movie shooting soon.

Update: Paramount set a release date of December 25th, 2013 for Jack Ryan, confirming a strong sense of enthusiasm for the picture. We’ll see if that changes if the late Dec. release for Jack Reacher, clearly hoping to replicate the success of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, doesn’t work this year. Original article follows after the break.

Deadline reports the general release windows, and repeats quite a bit of info we’ve already known: that Keira Knightley will play the female lead, and Kenneth Branagh will both direct and play the Russian villain who has designs agains the US economy.

Paramount is eyeing a franchise here, with actors like Pine and Knightley potentially set for three films. But there’s more than just the Jack Ryan franchise in play, as Kevin Costner is set to play William Harper, the character who recruits Jack Ryan to the CIA, and who will also show up in another Clancy adaptation from Paramount, Without Remorse. This film and Without Remorse could end up  being tied together by more than Costner’s character, eventually creating something like Paramount’s own spy-oriented version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Given the parade of screenwriters who have already worked on this (Adam Cozad reworked an unrelated spec into Jack Ryan, then Anthony Peckham worked on it, then Cozad again, then David Koepp rewrote) let’s hope it turns out to be more than another over-worked but routine thriller.

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