Paramount tried a couple years ago to restore the Jack Ryan franchise with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and came away with a painfully forgettable spy flick that failed to connect with audiences, probably because Jack Ryan is a glorified desk jockey who’s not common enough to be an everyman but not special enough to be extraordinary. However, because the studio was able to get some successful films out of Tom Clancy’s bestselling novels over 20 years ago, they’re not letting the character vanish. They’re moving him to TV.
Deadline reports that Carlton Cuse (Lost) and writer Graham Roland (The Returned), Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and Paramount TV have set off a bidding war with their new take on the character. According to Deadline, this show won’t be a direct adaptation of any of the books, “but a new contemporary take on the character in his prime as a CIA analyst/operative using the novels as source material.
There’s no word yet on which network might get it, but since Ryan is such a milquetoast character, he could easily fit into a procedural that broadcast networks love or into a more serialized story for cable. Either way, here’s hoping that Cuse and Roland bring something new to the table because while The Hunt for Red October works as a taunt submarine tale and Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger have the benefit of Harrison Ford, the Jack Ryan character desperately needs an interesting take, especially if they expect people to tune in every week.