Aug 21, 2012

Tradecraft: Kevin Costner Confirmed for Clancy Flicks; Tom Hardy Courted for Clark

It was rumored a few weeks ago. Now, Deadline confirms that Kevin Costner has made a deal with Paramount to star in not one, but two Tom Clancy pictures. In a parallel universe, I could quite easily picture Costner as a contender for Jack Ryan. But this is a modern movie universe, and a reboot (again), and therefore Jack Ryan is much younger. That part was cast years ago; it's Star Trek's Chris Pine (an excellent choice, I think). Costner will be playing William Harper, the spy boss who recruits Jack Ryan into the CIA in the still untitled Jack Ryan movie, and John Kelly into the Agency in Christopher McQuarrie's previously announced Without Remorse. In other words, he'll be the Nick Fury of Paramount's rebooted Clancyverse, linking the two parallel franchises together. On top of that, according to the trade blog, "the deal coming together envisions Costner potentially headlining his own film" down the line. In the same story, Deadline also reports that the studio is now pursuing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy's Tom Hardy to play Kelly, the man who will become "Jack Ryan's dark side" Mr. Clark, in Without Remorse. That's... really awesome casting. I like that idea a lot! Unfortunately, it means that when the two stars eventually cross paths (in an original film, or one based on an actual Clancy novel?), it will be a This Means War re-teaming minus Reese Witherspoon! Oh well. Those two deserved a better spy movie to begin with; hopefully this one will be it. While I would have loved to see Without Remorse made as a Seventies period piece in keeping with the novel, I do admire the synergy Paramount is applying to this nascent reborn Clancyverse. The planning is there. Now let's just hope the films themselves actually happen! The Pine-led Jack Ryan reboot has been in the works for years through numerous false starts, and Without Remorse has been in development for decades with various stars and directors coming and going. As of now, Kenneth Brannagh is set to do double duty as both director and villain in the Jack Ryan movie, and Keira Knightley is considered a frontrunner to play Ryan's love interest and future wife, Cathy.

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