It's been more than a decade since Paramount released the tepidly received The Sum of All Fears — which, in the modern Hollywood landscape, puts Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan franchise in prime reboot territory. But instead of remaking a past hit like The Hunt for Red October, producers are turning the clock back even further for the upcoming Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which serves as a kind of origin story for author Tom Clancy's most popular character on both page and screen.
Star Trek's Chris Pine stars as a young Jack Ryan, occupying a role that's previously been filled by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. The film visits Ryan in his early career as a CIA analyst, when he discovers a Russian plot to destroy the U.S. economy. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit costars Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner, and director Kenneth Branagh, who serves double duty as the film's primary villain (complete with dodgy Russian accent).
This is the first Jack Ryan movie that hasn't been directly adapted from a novel by Clancy, who died earlier this week. Instead, this trailer makes it obvious that Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is channeling another wildly successful spy movie reboot: Casino Royale, which single-handledy resurrected the James Bond franchise in 2006. (Jack Ryan even copies Casino Royale's brutal bathroom brawl.)
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is scheduled for a plum Christmas release date, which indicates that the film's creative team has a lot of faith in their ability to revive the fading character's mainstream appeal. We'll see if Jack Ryan can reclaim his place next to James Bond and Jason Bourne when Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit premieres in December.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like
- Driverless cars may be an environmental disaster
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why ABC threw its Bachelor under the bus
- Watch Zach Galifianakis get annoyed at President Obama on Between Two Ferns
- 4 easy ways to resolve life's toughest questions
Subscribe to the Week