Deadline is reporting that director/writer Christopher McQuarrie has been hired to adapt Tom Clancy’s novel Without Remorse. Though he’s only set to write the project, he does have his eye on the director’s chair too.
Apparently, the studio was pretty happy with the work that McQuarrie did on the upcoming Tom Cruise film Jack Reacher, and they want to stay in business with him.
Paramount has tried to adapt the book in the past but its “incredibly bleak and violent storyline” has made it a tough sell.
For those unfamiliar with the plot, check out the summary below:
John Kelly, former Navy SEAL and Vietnam veteran, is still getting over the accidental death of his wife six months before, when he befriends a young woman with a decidedly checkered past. When that past reaches out for her in a particularly horrifying fashion, he vows revenge and, assembling all of his old skills, sets out to track down the men responsible, before it can happen again.
At the same time, the Pentagon is readying an operation to rescue a key group of prisoners in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp. One man, they find, knows the terrain around the camp better than anyone else they have: a certain former Navy SEAL named John Kelly.
Kelly has his own mission. The Pentagon wants him for theirs. Attempting to juggle the two, Kelly (now code-named Mr. Clark) finds himself confronted by a vast array of enemies, both at home and abroad — men so skillful that the slightest misstep means death. And the fate of dozens of people, including Kelly himself, rests on his making sure that misstep never happens.
Though it takes place in the Jack Ryan universe, the novel features another character, John Kelly (aka John Clark), who has actually appeared twice before in film. He was first portrayed by Willem Dafoe in Clear and Present Danger and then by Liev Schreiber in The Sum of All Fears. Neither of the films had much focus on the character’s backstory though.
What Paramount is trying to do here is similar to what Marvel is doing with their universe. The studio is hoping to get some crossovers going between the Jack Ryan film that they have in production (starring Chris Pine) and this film.
Admittedly, I’m not too familiar with the character of Jack Ryan or his universe, so I’m not exactly sure how the studio will attempt to tie the two films together. Some are speculating that Kevin Costner’s character in the Jack Ryan film will be the link but I think that most will agree that the end goal is to have Ryan and Kelly team up together in the same film.
But again, that’s all just speculation. As always though, we’ll keep you posted when we hear more.