With production set to begin soon on Paramount’s Jack Ryan, a reboot of the Tom Clancy character that was previously played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck, the studio has now set a prime Christmas Day 2013 release date for the thriller (per Box Office Mojo). Kenneth Branagh is onboard to both direct and star as the film’s villain in a story that finds Chris Pine’s ex-Marine Jack Ryan working as a Moscow-based financial analyst who uncovers a plot by his employer to finance a terrorist attack designed to collapse the U.S. economy. Keira Knightley is set as Ryan’s wife and Kevin Costner recently signed on to play Ryan’s CIA liason in what Paramount hopes is the first film in a trilogy.
Christmas 2013 is already filling up quickly, as Jack Ryan will go head-to-head with the samurai actioner 47 Ronin and Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Fox’s Walking with Dinosaurs opens a few days earlier, while Peter Jackson’s second film in The Hobbit trilogy hits theaters on December 13th.