Kenneth Branagh Signs On to Direct New Jack Ryan Film

It’s now been a decade since we last saw the popular Tom Clancy character Jack Ryan on screen in The Sum of All Fears, but Paramount has been working (for some time now) to bring his adventures back to moviegoers. Chris Pine has been attached to play the lead for a while now, but even that hasn’t gotten things moving very fast. Last week director Jack Bender (Lost) exited the project, creating yet another setback. Luckily, Kenneth Branagh has stepped up to the plate and, if his deal goes through, Paramount will put the untitled film back on the front burner. The movie has gone through several rewrites, but David Koepp has most recently come on for a polish with the idea that production could start after Pine wraps Star Trek 2.

The prospect of Branagh directing a Jack Ryan film would have been surprising a few years ago, but after the financial success of Thor (also a Paramount release) the move makes sense from a business perspective. Artistically though, this is even more of a departure for him than the Marvel film since at least that included some vaguely Shakespearean overtones. Still, the Jack Ryan films have always belonged more in the thinking man’s thriller/action category, which could work for Branagh. He’s also attached to direct The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society with Kate Winslet, so at this point it’s unknown which movie will come first. What are your thoughts on Kenneth Branagh taking on the next Jack Ryan film?

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