The long-in-the-works reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise (The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games) has hit yet another snag. Chris Pine landed the lead in the film way back in 2009, then Lost director/executive producer Jack Bender came aboard to helm the film later the next year. Movement on the project was quiet for some time after Bender signed on, then the film went through a series of rewrites. David Koepp was most recently brought on to do a polish, but due to the numerous script delays Paramount was forced to let Pine shoot J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel first. The latest issue plaguing the production is a biggie: Bender is no longer the director. Hit the jump for more.
Variety reports that Bender has “fallen out” of the project, and producers are on the move to find a replacement. Paramount was planning on finally getting the cameras rolling later this summer after Pine wraps the Star Trek sequel, but Bender’s growing TV workload was making it difficult to find the time. Bender serves as an executive producer on Fox’s Alcatraz and is also set to direct the SyFy pilot Rewind. One imagines something could have been worked out schedule-wise with Bender, but Variety says the studio declined to comment.
Paramount needs to move fast to fill the director’s chair void if they want the Jack Ryan reboot to be Pine’s next project. Pine is the fourth actor to play Ryan after Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck. Last we heard, the reboot (formerly titled Moscow) centers on “a terrifying helicopter crash that nearly killed Ryan when he was a 23-year-old platoon leader in the US Marines. He was the only member of the platoon to survive.” Given how many rewrites the film has gone through, that logline could no longer be relevant. I was quite impressed by the selection of Bender to handle directing duties. He’s got a unique eye and comes from a varied background, so I hope Paramount chooses someone equally exciting as his replacement.