For the past couple months, a shortlist has been going around of possible directors for Moscow, Paramount’s new film / reboot of the film series featuring Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan character. (Chris Pine stars as Ryan this time out.) The names were generally all big: Sam Raimi, Gore Verbinski, Timur Bekmambetov and Kevin MacDonald, for example.

The name that wasn’t on one of the main lists going around is Jack Bender, who exec produced Lost and directed many episodes of the show. But now he’s reportedly the guy closest to sitting in Moscow’s director’s chair.

Vulture says that Bender is “a cat’s breath away from landing the job.” Most of his output is for television; Bender hasn’t directed a theatrical feature since Child’s Play 3. But he’s turned into a TV mainstay for producer J.J. Abrams, who has truckloads of clout with Paramount. And he was huge for Lost. Ask a serious Lost fan for a list of five favorite episodes, and three or four of them will probably be directed by Bender. Based primarily on Bender’s work for Lost, I have no argument with the idea of him directing Moscow.

(Side note: Between Star Trek, Mission: Impossible and now the Jack Ryan series, will Abrams eventually have a hand in all of Paramount’s big action-based output? Looking like it.)

Vulture recaps the plot of the film as such: “a fresh-from-the-Marines Jack Ryan goes to work as an analyst for a Russian billionaire, but winds up on the run after being implicated in a terrorist plot.” Hossein Amini wrote one draft of the new Ryan film, but the working title Moscow started being thrown around when Adam Cozen was hired to rewrite Amini’s draft. Cozen had previously sold a script called Dubai to Jack Ryan producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and it seems like elements of Dubai have been incorporated into Moscow.

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