Director Kenneth Branagh in Talks to Play the Villain Opposite Chris Pine in Jack Ryan Reboot

     July 19, 2012

kenneth-branagh-jack ryan slice

Director Kenneth Branagh is looking to pull double-duty on Paramount’s untitled Jack Ryan reboot.  We learned this past March that Branagh had entered negotiations to direct the thriller, and now Variety reports that the Thor director is also in talks to star as the film’s villain.  Chris Pine takes over the franchise that has been toplined in the past by Alec BaldwinHarrison Ford and Ben Affleck.

Pine stars as an ex-Marine who now works as a financial analyst in Moscow.  “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.”  Hit the jump for more.

kenneth-branagh-imagePer Variety, Branagh would play the Russian villain, whose plot involves devaluing the American dollar.  I understand the desire to make the film relevant, but the financial plot sounds slightly ridiculous (not to mention Goldfinger-esque).  The Jack Ryan films have all been deeply grounded in reality, so hopefully the script and/or Branagh’s direction makes this dastardly plan seem a bit more plausible.

Last we heard, there was some internal dissension over the direction of the pic.  Pine apparently wanted to make the film a character-driven espionage movie, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura wanted an action pic, and Paramount executives were in favor of turning the untitled reboot into a thriller.  The key was finding a screenwriter who could come up with a fair compromise of all three, and David Koepp was the most recent scripter brought on to do rewrites.

Lost director Jack Bender was previously poised to make his feature directorial debut on the Jack Ryan film before subsequently dropping out.  Paramount had been hoping to get production going on the film once Pine wrapped Star Trek 2, and now it appears things are finally moving forward.

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