Though Kenneth Branagh is currently gearing up to direct a reboot of the Jack Ryan character starring Chris Pine, Paramount is looking to spinoff a different character from Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series into his own feature. Christopher McQuarrie has been tapped to adapt Clancy’s 1993 novel Without Remorse, which centers on the John Clark character. Clark was portrayed by Willem Dafoe in Clear and Present Danger and Liev Schreiber in 2002 The Sum of All Fears.
McQuarrie, who directed the Tom Cruise-fronted Lee Child adaptation One Shot that opens later this year, will write the script with an eye towards directing Without Remorse as well. Hit the jump for more, including the possibility of an Avengers-style crossover between films.
An adaptation of Without Remorse has been in development for a number of years, with the most recent iteration of the script written by The Shield’s Shawn Ryan. The issue has been making the graphically violent and dark material from the novel work in a commercial feature film. The story tells the origin/beginnings of Clark, as John Kelly (his real name before he was deemed John Clark) teams up with a prostitute following the tragic demise of his pregnant wife to take down a drug cartel who uses exploitable women as drug mules. The plot weaves in and out of many harrowing and disturbing scenarios, following Kelly on an attempt to rescue American pilots from a prison camp in North Vietnam.
Paramount is hoping that McQuarrie can make the story palatable for a wide audience, and apparently they’re even exploring some character-crossover between Branagh’s Jack Ryan film. Kevin Costner is being courted to play Ryan’s CIA liaison in the still-untitled pic, and Deadline reports that his role could be carried over to Without Remorse. Time will tell if McQuarrie’s the guy to finally bring Clancy’s novel to the big screen, but we’ll probably have a better idea of the time table following the reaction to One Shot later this year.