As director Kenneth Branagh moves closer to production on his Jack Ryan reboot, it appears that the female lead role has now been filled. We previously reported that Keira Knightley, Felicity Jones, and Evangeline Lilly were in the running to star opposite Chris Pine in the reboot of the classic Tom Clancy character. Now Heat Vision reports that Knightley has entered negotiations to star as Pine’s wife in the film, which the report now refers to as Jack Ryan. Hit the jump for more.
Pine inhabits the character of Jack Ryan, which has previously been played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. This franchise-starter that finds the ex-Marine and Moscow-based financial analyst uncovering a plot by his employer to finance a terrorist attack designed to collapse the U.S. economy. Branagh will be pulling double-duty as the film’s director and villain, and now Knightley is stepping into her first franchise post-Pirates of the Caribbean.
Per Heat Vision, Branagh and producers auditioned a number of actresses for the role a few weeks ago before “re-engaging” Knightley, whom they had initially approached for the part. The actress moved back to smaller-scale films once she wrapped the third entry in the Pirates franchise, and she’s had memorable turns in recent dramas like Never Let Me Go and A Dangerous Method.
She most recently took a stab at a more comedic character in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, but one assumes Branagh’s strong theater background attracted her to the large-scale actioner Jack Ryan. She’ll next be seen collaborating once again with Atonement and Pride and Prejudice director Joe Wright in the ambitiously gorgeous Anna Karenina. Production on Jack Ryan begins next month.