If this news had shown up about twelve days later I’d call it an April Fool’s joke.
Variety’s reporting that Sam Raimi and Paramount Pictures are planning to bring Tom Clancy’s seminal hero back to the big screen. Apparently Raimi loves the character and the studio loves Raimi’s box office draw, especially with franchises. That first point I get… the Jack Ryan character was pretty interesting once upon a time. But Raimi’s box office success is really limited to the Spiderman movies, and I think that has more to do with Mr. Sticky Fingers than with Raimi. Not a single one of his pre-Spidey films have done well theatrically. For the Love of the Game? Even this Costner fan was revolted by that poofest. The Quick and the Dead? So much on-screen talent… none of it on-screen. Even The Gift was only relevant for Katie Holmes’ pre-scientology breasts. A Simple Plan was a great movie, but I think Paramount is hoping for more than just critical acclaim. And the Evil Dead movies are cult hits… only profitable because they cost a buck fifty to make.
That aside, could Raimi do something interesting with the Tom Clancy universe and Jack Ryan in particular? I think so, but I can’t say as I’m excited about the prospects. Paramount wants to skew younger “featuring Ryan at a younger, more formative point in his career than previously depicted.” Didn’t they try that once before with The Sum Of All Fears? (Or do they plan to go even younger… if so, I vote for Michael Cera as Jack Ryan!) No word yet as to the plotline of the first movie or if it’ll be based on an existing Clancy book or not. Paramount owns the Ryan character so they may even develop an original story. And by ‘original’ I mean something involving Al Qaeda obviously.
Sound Off: Sam Raimi bringing back Jack Ryan: good idea or bad idea?