Exclusive: JACK RYAN Story Details…THE HUNT FOR A NEW BEGINNING
Growing up, I had three favorite authors: Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton and John Grisham. I’ve been fascinated by Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan character ever since I started reading novels in elementary school. At thirteen, I forced my father to bring me to see Patriot Games in theaters. The big screen adaptations of the Clancy books have been pretty good. 2014’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit was okay but felt more like a Mission Impossible knockoff. It was missing the global political aspects of previous Jack Ryan adaptations.
Even after lackluster numbers at the box office, the property was not dead yet. Producers Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel) and Graham Roland (Fringe) decided to create a Jack Ryan TV show. Amazon won the bidding war and ordered it straight to series. The ten episodes first season should hit sometime in late 2017/early 2018. It’s currently shooting 10 minutes away from my house!
Jack Ryan (John Krasinski) is a CIA analyst working on the North-Africa desk of the agency. He’s ordered to Yemen to interrogate a mysterious prisoner. It’s his first time interrogating someone and he immediately recognizes something about the supposed terrorist. He’s a cunning and calculating individual named Suleiman (Ali Suliman). After a daring and spectacular prison break, Jack Ryan believes Suleiman is planning something huge. He’s rounding up an All-Stars Terrorist cell.
Back stateside, he cannot reveal the details of his mission to anyone except for seven other CIA officers. He finally finds someone who’s willing to listen to his theory behind Suleiman’s plan in James Greer (Wendell Pierce). Anyone familiar with the Clancy novels knows he’s going to become his mentor. They take a team to Paris to try to catch one member of the terrorist cell who’s trying to unfreeze funds for Suleiman.
This pilot episode knows exactly where it’s going. No useless scenes or unimportant characters are introduced. It moves at a very quick pace. I like the choice of John Krasinski to play Jack Ryan. He’ll bring an interesting dimension to the character. He’s more Alec Baldwin then Harrison Ford and that’s a definitely a good thing. Known for his comedic chops, he was awesome in 13 Hours as a badass private military contractor. I love Abbie Cornish ever since I first saw her in Bright Star. She’ll be delightful as Dr. Kathy Ryan, the loving wife who’s left in the dark about her husband’s dangerous missions.
They’ve just added Peter Fonda as her father. He’s a great choice and he’ll bring something different to the show. Wendell Pierce as James Greer is another strong casting choice. James Earl Jones played the role in the first Jack Ryan film trilogy. The Wire veteran will try to follow in the footsteps of that legend. Not an easy task, but I think he might be able to pull It off.
The tone of the show feels somewhere between 24 and Homeland. It doesn’t seem to want to be a high-strung drama about the Middle East or an action pack show centered on a seemingly invincible protagonist. It’s thrilling, smart and entertaining as hell. I think Amazon has picked up a tremendous project. With such a fantastic pilot, they can almost greenlight 3 more seasons already. Jack is Back!