Paramount Pictures is hard at work trying to reboot the Jack Ryan franchise with Chris Pine at the center. The most recent effort brought Steve Zaillian (American Gangster) on board to rewrite the script. However, Zaillian had a “change of heart” in recent weeks and withdrew from the project. Paramount has begun interviewing new writers, but the departure sets off a noteworthy ripple.
The original plan was to get the Jack Ryan reboot (formerly titled Moscow) in the can before Pine filmed Star Trek 2. Given the scripting hiccup, the studio will put a pin in Jack Ryan’s return to the big screen to keep Star Trek 2 on track. The sci-fi sequel is expected to commence production this fall with eyes to a June 29, 2012 release date. More after the break:
Sources tell Deadline that Paramount could have put together an acceptable film based on current drafts, but “the priority is more about launching a new franchise then filling a release slot.” If true, that’s refreshing. Unfortunately, they could lose their director in the process. Emmy-winner Jack Bender (Lost) is signed to make his feature debut with Jack Ryan, but his deal is such that he is free to walk during the delay.
Zaillian was the fourth writer to have his hands on the script after Hossein Amini, Adam Cozad, Anthony Peckham. The latest iteration of the story stems from an incident referenced in The Hunt for Red October. Per Deadline:
“It has to do with a terrifying helicopter crash that nearly killed Ryan when he was a 23-year old platoon leader in the US Marines. He was the only member of the platoon to survive.”
The punctual Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof are currently scripting Star Trek 2, but that project too is subject to ambiguity. Star Trek director J.J. Abrams has yet to confirm whether or not he’ll return to helm the sequel, or if he’ll merely produce.