So, now we know that Paramount are comprehensively rebooting the Jack Ryan character and creating something akin to a cross-over franchise, where Chris Pine plays a younger, pre-CIA Ryan and Kevin Costner plays a mentor figure (William Harper) who may then crop up in Without Remorse as a similar mentor for Clancy’s character John Kelly, if rumours of Christopher McQuarrie taking on that project prove to be true.
Lost yet? We’ll see how this pans out. What we do know for sure is that Jack Ryan, with Chris Pine as Ryan and Kevin Costner as Harper is now shooting under Kenneth Branagh’s supervision. Ryan will be a financial analyst at this stage, yet to be lured into the CIA and Branagh is taking on villain duties as well, as Ryan’s boss who is planning to do something fairly mean with the US economy. Quite what could leave it in any worse state than that in which it already lies is anyone’s guess, but Branagh will be EEEEEEVIL and will do something really naughty, one assumes.
With early shots of Pine on a motorcycle and disembarking from a helicopter with Costner already “out there”, we now have Branagh’s first shot in character as he walks along chatting on his mobile phone. Sure, it all looks pretty generic, dark glasses, dark suit, Kremlin filling in the background, but it’s early days yet. Frankly, also, these days villain duties tend to fall to shadowy men in suits, oligarchs and plutocrats, so Branagh seems to be rocking the right sort of look.
We’ll try not to get too carried away about every single photo that emerges from what may well prove to be a failed effort at resuscitating a franchise that in fairness has rarely done much wrong, but it is good for now to see that production is moving forward. More as we get it.