Anne Thompson draws our attention to a tidbit buried deep at the end of a Kim Masters article about Sony: George Clooney is apparently interested in taking over the Jack Ryan role in Paramount’s Tom Clancy movies should the studio ever get around to starting them up again.
I like most of the Jack Ryan books; once he becomes president Ryan gets less interesting and Clancy’s neolithic politics get way too much screentime (seriously, fuck a flat tax in my technothriller, Clancy), but there are still good, exciting stories to be mined. And while I would have liked to see Ben Affleck get another chance after the sorely underrated The Sum of All Fears, Clooney’s as good a choice as any.
Of course this would mean that Paramount has to get back in the Jack Ryan business. The studio has been seeing some shifts in power lately; Paramount has produced relatively few films per year, instead coasting on a lot of Dreamworks material, but now that is over and they must start looking for a good tentpole franchise that can appeal to adults as well as younger audiences. And Clooney needs the commercial success to continue doing things like taking massive paycuts to star in Jason Reitman’s new indie, Up in the Air.
Will this go anywhere? Is it a big Oh Don Piano story? I hope not; Sam Raimi has expressed interest in hopping on the series, and who wouldn’t love to see Raimi and Clooney working together? It would be like Old Hollywood coming back to life.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey