Posted on Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
Just the other day there was a mention that George Clooney might be interested in taking up the mantle of Jack Ryan, the hero of Tom Clancy novels and films like The Hunt For Red October and Patriot Games. Now there’s confirmation, via Anne Thompson, that Clooney’s name is indeed in the mix. But more important, the Hossein Aimini script that was commissioned last year to reboot the franchise, currently just the Untitled Tom Clancy Project, should arrive shortly, and then Paramount will be able to make a decision about really moving forward.
In December of last year, word came down that Killshot and Jude screenwriter Hossein Amini had been tasked by Paramount with scripting the revival of Jack Ryan’s onscreen persona. As I mentioned the other day, this would be a full reboot, and the idea is to use an original plot rather than an adaptation of one of Clancy’s novels. (Are all the novels optioned/spoken for, and if so how would they be held by anyone but Paramount? Doesn’t really matter, just a curiosity.) Going all-new is both a way to reintroduce the character and avoid the endgame of Clancy’s original plotting for Ryan, who in the novels becomes President of the United States.
I hadn’t thought much about Amini when I wrote on this the other day, but he’s an interesting choice. While his resume has many period pieces (Jude, Shanghai, The Four Feathers) those movies also feature doses of military influence, espionage and heightened tension between characters. I don’t think there’s one of his written films I really like (and in some ways I really dislike Jude) but he’s got a lot of the right ingredients to do something interesting.
On the Clooney note, the fact that Paramount is proceeding with a full reboot suggests that Clooney woulnd’t be the guy. Seems like a reboot would call for a younger lead. Clooney would also require a lot of control over script and director, though perhaps not the legendary Harrison Ford level of control. And, as Thompson points out, Clooney and Clancy aren’t exactly aligned politically.