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The Jack Ryan TV Show Found Its Jack Ryan, Check Out The Unexpected Choice

We have seen Tom Clancy hero and CIA op Jack Ryan five different times on the big screen in movies that were largely enjoyable, with four different top-notch actors taking on the role. But while each of those actors seemed to fit the part from the day they were hired, the newest Jack Ryan is a bit of a surprise, as the upcoming Amazon project based on the character will be fronted by none other than The Office’s John Krasinski. Get ready for lots of Jack’s smirks going right to the camera.


Though Amazon’s Jack Ryan hasn’t officially been ordered to series yet, one can’t help but think that a TV-ready name like John Krasinski’s will definitely help grease the wheels in the right direction. The action-y drama also has former Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse behind the it, as well as Fringe and The Returned writer/producer Graham Roland. The talent is here, so we just need some official negotiations now.

Jack Ryan will be a relatively new take on the character that won’t directly adapt any of Tom Clancy’s many novels, nor will it have any connection to the films. Krasinski’s Ryan will be all on his own in the prime of his CIA analyst career for a contemporary iteration of Clancy’s work, though the books will of course be used for certain details. Like his name, for one.

While John Krasinski is known for his comedic roles, he was most recently seen as a lead in the war drama 13 Hours, playing largely against type for Michael Bay. (Bay’s Platinum Dunes production company is behind Jack Ryan, too, so that’ll be an interesting reteaming.) According to Deadline, the actor has been a target for several TV casting directors, so for this to be the project that nailed him down certainly says something about everything involved. He hasn’t taken any major TV roles since his days as Jim Halpert on The Office’s nine seasons, instead balancing random appearances with more features. Krasinski also directed and starred in last year’s comedic drama The Hollars with Anna Kendrick and Richard Jenkins, among many other awesome actors.

The last time we got to see Jack Ryan in live-action was for Kenneth Branagh’s 2014 effort Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. It’d been over a decade before that since Ben Affleck took the part in Phil Alden Robinson’s 2002 thriller The Sum of All Fears. Before that, Harrison Ford played him twice for Phillip Noyce’s Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger in 1992 and 1994, respectively, and Alec Baldwin was the first to take the part for John McTiernan’s 1990 classic The Hunt for Red October. Will John Krasinski be able to match up with those talented chaps? Time and an Amazon Prime subscription will tell.

Amazon has been building its programming slate with lots of interesting projects, including Kevin Bacon’s TV return, and we’re anxious to hear more good news from the company about Jack Ryan in the near future. In the meantime, check out everything you can be watching in the upcoming months with our summer TV schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.