I visited the London set of Jack Ryan and spoke to stars Chris Pine and Kevin Costner, producers Mace Neufeld David Baron and Lorenzo di Bonaventura, as well as the film’s director (and co-star) Kenneth Branagh about bringing Tom Clancy’s literary hero to the screen.
This is only a short preview of the set visit; we’ll have a much more in-depth piece later in the year, as the release date for Jack Ryan approaches. For now, this is just a taster to whet the appetite for what could be one of this year’s biggest hits.
The previous Jack Ryan films (The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger and The Sum of All Fears) were stylish thrillers that were critically acclaimed and very successful at the box office; the Ryan character has previously been portrayed on screen by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck. That’s a tough act to follow, but Paramount Pictures seems confident that it has a winning combination, scheduling the film for release on Christmas Day 2013 and casting Star Trek’s Chris Pine in the lead role.
It looks like the film is coming together nicely and everyone seems happy with the work being done. Like the previous films in the series, it would appear that Jack Ryan will deliver a strong politically-driven story alongside the thrills – making it the ‘thinking person’s action franchise.’
Kenneth Branagh spoke about what attracted him to the film:
The script arrived and was ‘unputdownable’. I knew the previous films, I’d read some of the books – simple as that. It came out of the blue, I was going to be making another movie, it went away and this one came to me and I read it and I responded very strongly to it. It’s the kind of film that I go to see.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura discussed the success of the Jack Ryan Character:
For me, what I see most of all is that’s he’s an everyman. ‘Everyman’ is probably the wrong word because he’s living in a kind of extraordinary place, his education isn’t exactly everyman – but what I think I mean by that, is that when you’re watching a Jack Ryan movie you’d hope you’d do the same thing. He’s not Bourne.
Kevin Costner on his character, William Harper:
Some guys are born for management and some guys can straddle it and go back and forth, they’re more comfortable in the field, don’t mind being there. Some guys were never meant for the field. I think he’s a person who can straddle.
Chris Pine on the challenges of playing Jack Ryan:
With Bourne for instance, Bourne has his body. He’s physically adept at kicking ass. Bond looks great doing it, he’s kind of brooding and complicated but he wears a suit well and drives great cars. The challenge with Jack is how do you make dynamic his smarts? His weapon is his brain. He thinks and moves with his mind, faster than other people.
In the Clancy plots, the lead is the story itself. In The Hunt For Red October, I thought the plot with Connery was even more fascinating that any one of the particular characters. I think with the Ryan character, the challenge is to excitingly move the plot forward. Maybe the challenge, I guess is to kind of … you can’t rely on anything in particular. You have to let the thinking do the work, I guess.
That’s all for now – but I will have a more in-depth report from the set of Jack Ryan later in the year, where we will hear more from Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh, Lorenzo di Bonaventura along with producers Mace Neufeld David Baron.
Jack Ryan opens on December 25th, 2013.