The reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise has lingered in development for years now. Chris Pine has been attached since 2009 and watched director Jack Bender come and go as the months passed. Though there is still no title, the project is finally making significant forward progress now that Kenneth Branagh signed on to direct and play the villain. With the hero and the antagonist set, the next task for Branagh and Paramount is to decide on the female lead to play Jack’s wife Cathy. Deadline hears Keira Knightley is the frontrunner for the role, but Felicity Jones and Evangeline Lilly are also in the mix. Total Recall co-stars Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel also met for the role, but are reportedly no longer in the running. Whoever lands the role would sign a deal with options for three movies. Hit the jump for more on the story.
At this stage of the character’s life, Jack Ryan is an ex-Marine who now works as a financial analyst in Moscow. Here’s the logline we have:
“He discovers a plot by his employer to finance a terrorist attack designed to collapse the U.S. economy, and must race against time to save America and his wife.”
As the story goes, part of the holdup in development can be attributed to three different visions for the project. Pine wants a character-driven spy movie, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura wants an action movie, and Paramount wants a thriller. The most recent draft of the script by David Koepp (Spider-Man) supposedly accomplishes all three.