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It’s only been about a week since we first heard news of a potential Jack Ryan TV series. It was a high-demand property that led to a bidding war among different outlets. It now appears that the dust has settled and the blood has been spilled in the battle over Tom Clancy’s most famous creation. Jack Ryan is heading to Amazon.
Deadline is reporting that Amazon has won the battle and is giving a series order to Paramount Television's newest production. Amazon will now be your one-stop shop for all things Jack Ryan, as you can buy all the books there as well as watch the new series. Not that reading the books will help you prepare for the series much. The books are being used as “source material” for a more contemporary take on the character. This is more than a little concerning for fans as we’re pretty sure “contemporary take” was the exact same phrase used to pitch Chris Pine’s turn as Ryan in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, and even Pine admits that one was a big miss.
The series is being put together by Paramount’s Television division, as Paramount owns the rights to Jack Ryan for the screen, and Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes. They then brought in the team of Graham Roland and Carlton Cuse, who previously worked on Lost together, to develop the idea into a series. Cuse is apparently a fan of the books, so he at least has an understanding of the character.
So now that a new Jack Ryan series is on it’s way to reality, it renews the immortal question of who will be next to enter the pantheon of Jack Ryans. While Pine played the role most recently, the CIA analyst has also been played by Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford, and Alec Baldwin. Only Ford has played the role more than once, so seeing a new Jack Ryan shouldn’t be too difficult as nobody really “owns” that role. It’s not clear exactly what sort of Jack Ryan this project will be going for.
The series is described as dealing with “his prime as a CIA analyst” which sounds like it will be a little less “action hero” than some of the films have been. We might be looking at something more like Alec Baldwin’s take in The Hunt For Red October, which was more about a guy who wrote books on naval history finding himself in the middle of a major international incident only because he was the only one smart enough to figure it out.
Exactly when Amazon is looking to produce this series, with all the other things they’re working on, is not clear. Still, it will be interesting to see if this becomes a highly anticipated series, or if the current generation still isn’t interested in Jack Ryan.