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Paramount Wants Michael B. Jordan to be Their ‘John Clark’

The actor is being lined up by Paramount for two Tom Clancy adaptations.
By  · Published on September 21st, 2018

Michael B. Jordan is having a great 2018. He kicked off the year with a show-stealing outing in Black Panther, which was a massive hit and one of the best MCU movies to date. Elsewhere, he was unveiled as the new face of Coach menswear and now his wardrobe will be filled to the brim with cool threads. And to round things off, he’s putting the gloves back on for Creed 2 this November.

A good year indeed, but what about the future? What are Jordan’s upcoming plans? What will be the next stop on his incredible journey? Well, the rumor mill is buzzing with speculation that he will don Superman’s cape in the upcoming DCEU movies. That would be interesting for sure, but nothing is set in stone yet by any means. In the meantime, his true calling could be spearheading Tom Clancy adaptations.

Following the success of Amazon and Paramount’s Jack Ryan TV series, Clancy live-action adventures are hot right at the moment. Now Variety has learned that Paramount has more plans to bring Ryanverse stories to the screen by producing two feature films focusing on John Clark, the agent’s trusted right-hand man. The best part: they want Jordan to be their Clark.

The franchise will launch with an adaptation of “Without Remorse”, based on the 1993 novel which delved into Clark’s past and chronicled how he came to be. The second film will be based on the 1996 novel “Rainbow Six”, in which Clark heads a shadowy government organization comprised of only the best soldiers. The latter novel also spawned a popular video game series.

Clark is widely regarded as the second most popular character in Clancy’s Ryanverse. He debuted in the author’s 1987 novel “The Cardinal of the Kremlin” and has remained a series regular since then, appearing in 17 stories. He has a bit of a mean streak and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. In “Without Remorse” he wages war on a drug ring while avenging his girlfriend’s rape and murder. The body count is high. Don’t expect a goody two-shoes hero here, folks.

But who wants one of those heroes anyway? Especially when you have an actor like Jordan — with his flair for playing dramatic characters with action prowess — at your disposal. John Clark is a well-intentioned kinda guy with a moral code, but he’s controversial. This is a role Jordan can really sink his teeth into.

It’s actually not too dissimilar to his character Black Panther. In that movie, Killmonger is sympathetic but mean. In fact, he’s arguably an anti-hero. His father was taken from him, so his vengeful motivations are understandable and quite justified, depending on how you look at it. Additionally, his end goal — to liberate black people — is noble. His methods in trying to achieve that goal, however, are debatable.

This burden of grief, stemming from the loss of loved ones, is another thing Killmonger has in common with Clark. Like Killmonger, Clark losing people he cared about through various tragic circumstances bestowed him with some undesirable qualities. Both men could probably empathize with each other if they ever met.

In that sense, a character like Clark is familiar ground for Jordan — at least thematically — and will play to his sensibilities. The actor flourishes playing characters with darkness in their hearts. That, coupled with his ability to kick some ass, is why he’s perfect to lead this upcoming franchise. Let’s just hope they let him showcase the savage side to Clark.

Right now Jordan is in an interesting position. He’s a burgeoning superstar with some impressive roles under his belt already. At the same time, it feels like his career is just starting to take off. If these Clancy movies go ahead and live up to their potential, the blossoming talent will be one step closer to world domination.

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.