Paramount and co-financier Skydance Productions today scheduled this long gestating, highly anticipated action thriller that will be the first of an anticipated franchise trilogy. After various starts and stops, bad luck and good fortune, the release date for Jack Ryan now is Christmas Day of 2013. It goes up against Universal’s martial arts movie 41 Ronin with Keanu Reeves as well as Fox’s comedy remake of The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty directed by and starring Ben Stiller. Jack Ryan resurrects the popular Tom Clancy character of CIA analyst Jack Ryan last seen on film in 2002 and now played by Chris Pine in the role already made famous by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. This contemporized original prequel story picks up Ryan before he joined the CIA. (Paramount long ago locked in Pine after he played Captain Kirk.) His love interest and the female lead is Keira Knightley. Kevin Costner has an invented but key role as does the film’s director Kenneth Branagh who will play the Russian villain plotting to wreck the U.S. …
Paramount’s ‘Jack Ryan’ Resurrecting Tom Clancy’s Hero Finally Set For 4th Quarter 2013; Keira Knightley Cast As Chris Pine’s Love Interest; Prequel Story Starts Trilogy
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline can now confirm the cast for this long gestating, highly anticipated action thriller that will be the first of an anticipated franchise trilogy. It resurrects the popular Tom Clancy character of CIA analyst Jack Ryan last seen on film in 2002 and now played by Chris Pine in the role already made famous by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. After various starts and stops, bad luck and good fortune, Deadline also has learned that Jack Ryan finally has come together for a release in the 4th quarter of 2013.
Paramount chose to wait for Pine to complete the second installment of Star Trek in this contemporized original prequel story that picks up Ryan before he joined the CIA. (Paramount long ago locked in Pine after he played Captain Kirk.) His love interest and the female lead is Keira Knightley. Paramount was intensely searching because it’s a high profile role — an older version of the character was played by Anne Archer in the Harrison Ford films — and involves options that would potentially put the actress in three pictures.
As Deadline previously reported, Kevin Costner has an invented but key role as does the film’s director Kenneth Branagh who will play the Russian villain plotting to wreck the U.S. economy. Paramount began talks with the Thor helmer to replace the once-attached Jack Bender. Paramount courted Costner to become a linchpin in not only Jack Ryan but also the spinoff franchise Without Remorse based on Clancy’s 1993 novel. (The studio is now courting The Dark Knight Rises villain Tom Hardy to star, with Christopher McQuarrie rewriting to direct.) The deal that came together envisions Costner potentially headlining his own film as William Harper, a true blue American idealist who recruits and mentors both Ryan and John Kelly from Without Remorse. Kelly later becomes CIA operative Clark.
Paramount like every studio is looking to build tentpoles and has a good opportunity for more than one here by cross-pollinating characters Ryan and Clark like The Avengers successfully keeps doing.
Branagh recently described the movie as “an original story that allows us to understand how Jack Ryan develops into a CIA analyst, before joining, and perhaps even joining, the CIA. It’s a very contemporary action thriller set in the here and now.” its launching point is mentioned in Clancy’s The Hunt For Red October book and film: a terrifying helicopter crash that nearly killed Ryan when he was a 23-year-old Marines platoon leader and the only member to survive.
Paramount Pictures and co-financier Skydance Productions went top shelf to get the franchise relaunch to the starting line and hired David Koepp for 7-figures to redraft the script by Adam Cozad known as Moscow. Cozad was a screenwriter without a screen credit and yet now is in the middle of some of the bigger projects in town.
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline told you two weeks ago that Paramount was courting Kevin Costner to play a key role opposite Chris Pine in the Kenneth Branagh-directed Jack Ryan film. I’m told that Costner has now accepted and they are working out a deal that will give him the chance to become a linchpin in not only the Jack Ryan film with Chris Pine, but also the spinoff franchise Without Remorse, for which the studio is now courting The Dark Knight Rises villain Tom Hardy, with Christopher McQuarrie rewriting to direct.
And the deal coming together envisions Costner potentially headlining his own film. He will play William Harper, a true blue American idealist who recruits and mentors both Ryan and John Kelly, the latter of whom becomes the CIA operative Clark by the end of Without Remorse. Branagh is reportedly going to play a villain as well as direct the Ryan film, and as Deadline first told you, Keira Knightley is the favorite to play Ryan’s love interest in the film.
I’ve been waiting to see Costner return to a big studio role and this sounds like a good one both for him and for Paramount. Costner galvanized Hatfields & McCoys, the History Channel miniseries which got a record cable rating and is up for 22 Emmy Awards, and it is clear that audiences want to see more of him. He has been very selective, but he’s stepping up …
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has confirmed to me that it is near a deal with Christopher McQuarrie to adapt Tom Clancy’s 1993 novel Without Remorse, with an eye toward directing the film. I’d revealed last week that this was looking real and that Paramount wanted to stay in the McQuarrie business after the job he did adapting and directing Lee Child’s Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise, which the studio co-financed with Skydance. Paramount has high hopes that McQuarrie and Cruise have launched a new tough guy franchise with the Reacher bestsellers, and there is certainly that possibility in Without Remorse. But though the book first–a spinoff to Clancy’s Jack Ryan series–sold to Savoy Pictures back in 1993 for $2.5 million, it has proven to be a very difficult book to adapt, even though its protagonist was the basis for the operative Clark played memorably by Willem Dafoe in Clear and Present Danger. Paramount tried a couple of times to get it going, but the problem has been an incredibly bleak and violent storyline that McQuarrie will have to find a way to brighten if this is going to work. That effort has already been well underway through script work done by Shawn Ryan, creator of the seminal FX crime drama The Shield. Skydance, which is cofinancing the Jack Ryan series, is also partnered with Paramount on Without Remorse.
EXCLUSIVE: It is clear from the record cable rating and 22 Emmy noms for the History Channel miniseries Hatfields & McCoys that audiences want to see more of Kevin Costner, who starred as clan leader Devil Hatfield. Studios have certainly noticed, and Costner is being courted for a pair of big roles that could bring on a resurgence I think is overdue.
Costner, who plays Pa Kent in the Warner Bros/Legendary Superman reboot Man of Steel, has been offered the co-lead of the Kenneth Branagh-directed Jack Ryan film that will star Chris Pine. Costner’s also being courted by Luc Besson’s Europacorp to star as a dying assassin in Three Days To Kill.
I’ve heard that the Jack Ryan role is a new creation, but a close cousin to the role of CIA bigwig Admiral Greer that was played by James Earl Jones in Patriot Games. Costner’s role is being invented because Jones will likely be in the prequel, but essentially Costner would play Ryan’s mentor who recruits him and shows him the ropes.
Three Days to Kill has a script by Adi Hasak and Besson, and like Taken, it is a contained cost drama that is set in France and is a kicking showcase for a male star. Costner has been offered the role of Ethan Renner, a government assassin who is …
Paramount is looking hard for the female lead for its Jack Ryan franchise relaunch that will star Chris Pine in the CIA analyst role made famous by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck. Kenneth Branagh is directing and playing the villain. I’m hearing that the frontrunner is Keira Knightley, and that Like Crazy‘s Felicity Jones and Lost‘s Evangeline Lilly are also in the mix. Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel were initially approached but said no thanks. This is a high profile role — the future wife played by Anne Archer in the Harrison Ford films — and it should be sorted out soon. It involves options that would put the actress in potentially three pictures. Stay tuned.
Paramount is in talks with Thor helmer Kenneth Branagh to replace Jack Bender as the director of the long gestating Jack Ryan relaunch that Chris Pine will star in after completing the second installment of Star Trek. David Koepp has been rewriting the script.
Paramount isn’t confirming any of this, but I’m told that there soon should be good news and bad news on the Star Trek sequel front. The good news: With his film Super 8 set for release June 10, JJ Abrams is expected to announce shortly his return as director of Star Trek 2. The bad news: Even moving at warp speed, Abrams will be hard pressed to make the June 29, 2012 release date that the studio set for the film. I’m told that the move being considered right now is to push Trek back for a Holiday 2012 release. This comes after Paramount pushed back the other franchise film in its arsenal that has Chris Pine as its star. Pine’s also playing Jack Ryan in the reboot of the Tom Clancy-created series. Pine was expected to shoot that film first, but the script wasn’t ready. Paramount hired David Koepp to rewrite Adam Cozad’s script. Koepp just began writing this week after completing his film Premium Rush.
Why is Star Trek in such precarious shape, just 13 months before its release date? The film has three top-flight writers in Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof. Like Abrams, all of them have been busy on other films. Kurtzman directed Welcome to People. Orci has been busy on Cowboys & Aliens and in prepping the Gavin Hood-directed sci-fi epic Ender’s Game. Lindelof has been busy working on Prometheus, the Ridley Scott film for Fox that was conceived as a 3D prequel until Lindelof came on to do a rewrite and changed the concept so much that they consider it an original. The result? It doesn’t sound like they are close to having a script that will live up to the high quality of the first film that revived a dead franchise.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions have gone top shelf in trying to get its Jack Ryan franchise relaunch to the starting line. The studio has hired David Koepp to rewrite the film. I’m told that Koepp will be paid 7-figures to redraft the script by Adam Cozad. The project still has Lost‘s Jack Bender aboard to direct and Chris Pine to play Ryan. Pine has long been attached to play the character created by Tom Clancy, one who has been played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck in various incarnations at Paramount. The studio’s desire to get the script right prompted Paramount to shuffle the start dates of Ryan with Pine’s other Par franchise, Star Trek 2. That move was prompted by the exit of Steve Zaillian, who scripted the 1994 Ryan film Clear and Present Danger and did uncredited rewrite work on Patriot Games. Zaillian made a deal to rewrite the reboot script but had a change of heart and withdrew before getting started. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mace Neufeld are producing and Mark Vahradian is executive producer. David Ellison, whose Skydance will co-finance the film under its overall Paramount deal, will also be involved in a producing capacity.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has scrapped a tentative plan for Chris Pine to resuscitate the Jack Ryan franchise before he reprises his James T. Kirk role in a Star Trek sequel. The slow process of nailing the Ryan script has prompted the studio to focus on getting Pine at the helm of the USS Enterprise first, even as the studio waits to see if JJ Abrams will reprise as Trek director.
This comes after the Ryan picture suffered another creative setback. Steve Zaillian, who wrote the 1994 Ryan film Clear and Present Danger and did uncredited rewrite work on Patriot Games, made a deal last month to rewrite the reboot script but had a change of heart and withdrew within the last two weeks. The studio has begun interviewing other writers. Lost‘s Jack Bender is still aboard to direct, but he isn’t pay or play and could walk. Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing. Ryan was created by Tom Clancy in his bestselling book series, but the new film is an origin story that started with screenwriter Hossein Amini. Paramount then acquired the Adam Cozad spec script Dubai and hired Cozad to redraft it to be the Ryan relaunch. Anthony Peckham then came on to do a pass, and then Cozad was brought back to a project that by then was being called Moscow. The launching point of the film is one that gets a mention in Clancy’s The …
EXCLUSIVE: David Ellison’s Skydance Productions is negotiating a rights deal to turn the 1970s animated science fiction TV series Star Blazers into a large scale live action feature. Ellison will hire Christopher McQuarrie to write the script, with Ellison and Josh C. Kline producing with McQuarrie. The series was based on the Japanese anime series Space Battleship Yamato. Both are described as “space opera,” involving alien invasions, the near extinction of the human race, and a last dash journey through space to save the planet.
Ellison started Skydance with hopes he could emulate the studio-aligned-producer-who-can-put-up-50% model that Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures has succeeded with at Warner Bros. Ellison made a deal with Paramount Pictures in late 2009 to co-finance four to six pictures per year, and then raised a reported $350 million in debt and equity funding. His Paramount deal has gotten off to a flying start: Skydance funded half of True Grit, the $30 million Joel and Ethan Coen-directed Western that is up for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture. More importantly to Ellison’s investors, True Grit has so far grossed $165 million domestic, with foreign still rolling out.
Ellison is the son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison and an accomplished acrobatic pilot who has a particular appetite for aviation projects (though his first foray as actor-producer, the Tony Bill-directed Flyboys, landed …
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Steve Zaillian is being brought aboard by Paramount to rewrite the new Jack Ryan film. Chris Pine will play Ryan in the Tom Clancy-created series, and Lost‘s Jack Bender is directing. Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing.
The project till now has been referred to as Moscow, but the film doesn’t yet have a formal title or a start date. It’s an original and not based on one of the Clancy books, but I gather that the launching point of the film is discussed in Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October, both the book and the original film that starred Alec Baldwin. It has to do with a terrifying helicopter crash that nearly killed Ryan when he was a 23-year old platoon leader in the US Marines. He was the only member of the platoon to survive.
The hope is to start production this year. Zaillian knows the Ryan lore very well. He scripted the 1994 Jack Ryan film Clear and Present Danger, the last film that starred Harrison Ford. I’m told he also did a major uncredited rewrIte on Patriot Games, the first film Ford did after replacing Baldwin. Paramount has used a number of scribes to get this far with an origin story about the beginnings of Jack Ryan. It started with Hossein Amini. That didn’t work out. Then, Paramount acquired Dubai, an original spec script by Adam Cozad that Cozad redrafted to be the Ryan relaunch. …