Aug 16, 2016

Tradecraft: Amazon Greenlights Jack Ryan TV Show Starring John Krasinski

After Paramount's last attempt at a film franchise faltered, Tom Clancy's CIA analyst hero Jack Ryan will get a new lease on life in a TV show. Deadline reports that Amazon has given a straight-to-series order for a 10-episode first season of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, starring John Krasinski (13 Hours, The Office) as Ryan. Krasinski follows in the footsteps of Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine. Personally, I think he's a great choice! The new take on Clancy's hero comes from writer/producers Carlton Cuse (The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.) and Graham Roland (Lost), Paramount TV, SkyDance Media, and Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes. (Bay also serves as a producer.) Like the most recent film, this take will also be set early in Ryan's career, when he's still a CIA analyst. Here's how the trade describes it: "A reinvention with a modern sensibility, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan follows Ryan (Krasinski), an up-and-coming CIA analyst, as he uncovers a pattern in terrorist communication that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit with a new breed of terrorism that threatens destruction on a global scale."

I find this news hugely exciting. Jack Ryan is one of the great heroes of spy fiction, but has been underserved since his heyday in the 1990s. I think television may prove a better format for Clancy's brand of technothriller than feature films. I would love to see this first season lay the groundwork for season-long adaptations of Clancy's dense novels, including many of the subplots and fascinating details that the movies had to leave out. Maybe we could even, finally, get a screen version of The Cardinal of the Kremlin! Cuse, an avowed fan of Clancy's books, and Roland, a former Marine, seem like an ideal team to finally do right by the late author, and Bay seems like such an obvious match for this material that I'm frankly shocked it's taken this long to happen. I really hope he manages to wriggle free of giant robots long enough to direct the pilot, because his fetish for military hardware is a perfect match for Clancy's own.

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