This isn’t your father’s Jack Ryan. In fact, with the Cold War long since concluded, the Jack Ryan making his way into theaters isn’t exactly Tom Clancy’s prototypical hero… even though he’s exhibiting several traits that will be recognizable to audience members who devoured the various Clancy spy novels, from The Hunt for Red October to Clear and Present Danger.

Chris Pine’s new Jack Ryan is young, Patriotic, highly intelligent and driven by a unique sense of purpose that separates him from James Bond or Jason Bourne. He’s a CIA analyst, but relies more on his brain than any type of gadget or gizmo generated in a secret lab. But instead of digging back into the Clancy archives to adapt a specific Clancy book, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and director Kenneth Branagh worked hard to bring Ryan into a modern age. He’s affected by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. He needs to factor in Facebook and Instagram when tracking a foe. And his actions take place on a global stage.

We attended a press conference Paramount held for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which opens in theaters on Jan. 17. And we walked away with some interesting insight into the updated version of the character. Here are the things that caught our eye.

1. Shadow Recruit is only the beginning
Pine, obviously, already has one franchise to his name: He plays the heroic Capt. Kirk in the rebooted Star Trek movies. But he inserts himself beautifully into the Jack Ryan role, and Shadow Recruit very much acts like Paramount’s version of Batman Begins, with Branagh weaving an origin story that could go in several different directions.

While Pine couldn’t confirm a Jack Ryan sequel, he did acknowledge the franchise potential of this reboot, saying, "Obviously this is a corporate world that we live in, and this in a business. We hope that people come to see [the first movie]. I would love to do another one. We’re in a really interesting time to do spy franchises, in 2014. … I think, right now, with all the activity in the world, the grey morality of politics and spies, there’s a fertile ground to provide [us] with new stories."

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