How Amazon’s ‘Jack Ryan’ Will Be Different
Amazon is moving forward with its Jack Ryan TV series. The company has issued a straight-to-series order for it’s upcoming adaptation of the Tom Clancy books, starring John Krasinski. But while the former The Office star will be the fifth actor to take on the character, it seems viewers can expect this interpretation of the CIA hero to be very different from what we’ve seen before.
As fans know, Clancy’s series of novels follow the story of Jack Ryan who, medically retired following a helicopter crash, works as an investment broker before taking a position at the U.S. Naval Academy. He later joins the CIA, rising through the ranks to Deputy Director eventually becoming the President of the United States.
Krasinski’s casting in the lead role was announced earlier this spring, several months after Amazon landed the project in a heated bidding war between multiple networks and digital outlets. The actor is the latest to portray the character on screen, following Alec Baldwin in 1990’s The Hunt for Red October, Harrison Ford in 1992’s Patriot Games and 1994’s Clear and Present Danger, Ben Affleck in 2002’s The Sum of All Fears, and Chris Pine in 2014’s poorly received Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
Krasinski’s take will be the first television adaptation, marking a new forum for the franchise, which has earned mixed results on the big screen over the years. But the TV format isn’t the only way that Amazon’s Jack Ryan will stand out. According to showrunner Carlton Cuse, audiences can expect the upcoming series to boast a more humorous tone than some of the past Jack Ryan adaptations.
As previously revealed, Amazon’s Jack Ryan won’t focus on one particular Clancy novel, but will instead provide a contemporary take on the character in his prime as a CIA analyst and operative. While Krasinski certainly looks the part, having bulked up significantly for his part in 13 Hours (above), that doesn’t mean that the series will be all action and no comedy. Per IGN Entertainment, Cuse has assured fans that Krasinski will have plenty of chances to show off his signature humor in his portrayal of Jack Ryan. As he explained:
Krasinski was the first guy that really came into our mind. We had seen him in 13 Hours, and he got kind of all jacked up for that movie. He looks fantastic. The character needs to be cerebral and also physical, and then John has the extra added benefit of being funny, and that’s something that I also think has not really been fully realized in the other incarnations of the character. That seemed like a really great opportunity was to bring his particular brand of humor to this iteration of Jack Ryan.
He went on to add, “It would be … a waste of John’s talents as an actor to not take advantage of the fact that he is a funny, charming guy as part of the way in which we make that character our own for this iteration of the show.”
It may be difficult for some to picture Jack Ryan with a sense of humor, but if anyone can pull it off, Krasinski likely can.
A premiere date for Amazon’s Jack Ryan series has not yet been announced. The show is expected to film in the United States, Europe, and Africa.
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