Right now, Paramount TV/Amazon’s upcoming drama, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, is an unknown quantity. It’s being billed as a reinvention of the classic Clancy hero, who first appeared on screen in The Hunt for Red October played by Alec Baldwin and has been already been reinvented on three separate occasions by Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine.
This latest take brings the character back to basics, giving him an updated origin story as an ambitious CIA analyst who discovers a pattern in terrorist communication. Investigating this launches him into a geopolitical pressure cooker, confronting a new brand of terrorism that current security services are ill-equipped to deal with. So yeah, it’s pretty boilerplate Tom Clancy so far.
Paramount TV previously announced the casting of John Krasinski as Ryan, with Abbie Cornish appearing as an ongoing love interest. Now, Peter Fonda has been confirmed as playing Cornish’s character’s father. It sounds to me a little like an inverted Meet the Parents, except this time the new boyfriend will be the CIA spook and the dad probably some civilian klutz who has no idea of the clear and present danger Ryan is constantly in (sorry, I had to).
The show comes to us from Lost alum Carlton Cuse and writer Graham Roland, with The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum taking the directorial reins for the first episode. It remains to be seen whether audiences can stomach yet another gritty spy thriller – after all, there’s been a glut of shows featuring very serious looking people sat around in ill-lit offices staring at laptops over the last few years – but it’ll at least be interesting to see how the series tackles a heroic CIA analyst in a post Snowden-world.