New photos and details on Chris Pine in ‘Jack Ryan’ and Cold War angle from Tom Clancy
Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck have taken a turn at Tom Clancy’s CIA analyst Jack Ryan. Now Chris Pine takes the character from the beginning in “Jack Ryan.”
“It’s always a bit overwhelming,” admits Pine, 32. “What I do know is my job is to do my best to bring whatever new colors I have to these franchises.”
In Jack Ryan, directed by Kenneth Branagh, Pine takes the character to its beginning, where the injured Marine is recruited by CIA vet Kevin Costner to work as a high-level analyst. The two are pitted against a Russian oligarch (played by Branagh) who is pulling the strings of the financial market and delving into international terrorism with potential global catastrophic results. (USA TODAY)
The Russian angle might seem about or just classic Clancy, who set his novels during and in the shadow of the Cold War, but the new film, this original story has been brought to the present.
“We cheated a little,” says Branagh. “Mr. Clancy is very aware of and very behind the concept, but we put Jack Ryan in the here and now.”
“We take the fundamentals of the myth of Jack Ryan and do an original film that was never a book,” says Pine. “We’re making our own story in a modern-day 2013.”
Ryan is no James Bond, with a gadgets team, but rather the “everyman” with a keen and great mind.
“He doesn’t drive great cars, he doesn’t know five different martial arts,” says Pine. “He works in the CIA, but he’s a normal guy with a normal wife (fiancée, actually) thrown into these extraordinary circumstances.”
“Costner’s character “shows him right away that it’s not physical prowess or shooting a gun that’s Jack’s weapon, but it’s how smart he is,” adds Pine.
“We’re probably not going to be James Bond or Jason Bourne or Ethan Hunt,” says Branagh. “The audience feels they could just be Jack Ryan and they like him for that. If you ever wanted to be involved in global conspiracies and espionage, then Jack Ryan is the way in. And it puts us in the center of the story.”
Branagh, as Viktor Cherevin, was eager to take on the villain role even if it meant juggling his directing duties while tangling with the difficult Russian language and its Cyrillic alphabet.
“That was certainly challenging. I’m not a man who is good with languages,” says Branagh. “But I enjoyed going up against the Cyrillic alphabet. I think the alphabet probably won. But I had fun trying to hold my own.”
The film also stars Keira Knightley as Ryan’s fiancée, Cathy, who does take away, slightly, from the everyman concept
“That part is about aspirations,” says Branagh about casting her. “I was thinking if Jack Ryan can get Keira Knightley, maybe we all have a chance.”
The CIA analyst role has been played by a who’s-who of Hollywood leading men, from Alec Baldwin (1990′s The Hunt for Red October) to Harrison Ford (1992′s Patriot Games, 1994′s Clear and Present Danger) and Ben Affleck (2002′s The Sum of All Fears).
“Jack Ryan” comes to theaters on Chrismas Day, December 25, 2013.