Not a week has passed since Amazon issued the greenlight for the John Krasinski-fronted Jack Ryan series and already, the lead star is beginning to stir excitement about this new and seemingly prescient spin on the Tom Clancy character.
Krasinski, who found success flexing his comedic chops on The Office, muscled his way into the breathless world of action cinema via Michael Bay thriller 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi last year – a baptism of fire if there ever was one. For Jack Ryan, though, he’ll assume leading man duties for the ten-episode series, which has been likened to a “ten-part movie” by Krasinski himself.
Not only that, Amazon’s series – one executive produced by Carlton Cuse (Bates Motel, The Strain) – is primed to tackle major issues currently occupying world headlines, including the Islamic State. Per Collider:
“We’re doing 10 episodes and I think the interesting part about it is exactly what you said, everything’s changed so much; the line between film and TV has blurred so much over the years, I think Jack Ryan is a product of that blurring so much that I think that they’re not even really considering it a TV show, they’re calling it a movie that’s being told in 10 parts; and that’s not just an argument of semantics, it’s actually true. Carlton Cuse’s whole plan is we’re gonna shoot it on a movie budget, we’re gonna have the same stunts as movies, it’s gonna feel like a movie but you’re gonna watch it every week. His whole idea was he just felt that two hours wasn’t enough time to tell a Jack Ryan story because Tom Clancy’s books are so detailed and rich, and the character of Jack Ryan if he has a superpower is his intelligence, so there’s a lot of problem solving and things that take time, and that’s the beauty of the spy genre. That’s what I found was the best pitch to me is it’s really just what’s the best format to tell this story?”
Leveraging intelligence as a superpower is an interesting approach to the Jack Ryan character, who was first unveiled by Clancy all the way back in The Hunt for Red October. Since then, the action veteran has been played by Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin and, more recently, Chris Pine for middling reboot Shadow Recruit.
Channeling that heritage, Krasinski then told the outlet that Amazon’s Jack Ryan series isn’t prepared to shy away from button-pressing topics.
“Every year they’re gonna be different. They’re sort of more ripped-from-the-headlines type stuff, so the first year the villain or I don’t know what you want to call it is it’s taking on ISIS for sure.”
Amazon is yet to map out a production timeline for Jack Ryan. Regardless, it’s certainly shaping up to be a white-knuckle ride, and we’ll keep you posted as it inches closer to a start date.