Becoming Jack Ryan
U.S. Release Date: 1/17/14
Now the actor is trying hand at a re-imagining of Jack Ryan, the CIA agent created by Tom Clancy.
“In the landscape of action heroes Jack is different,” says Ryan. “He’s someone you might know in your regular life. He’s a very smart guy, but now he’s put in this situation where he doesn’t really know what he should do. So he has to think on his feet in a way he has never had to before.”
Scripted by Adam Cozad and David Koepp, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit portrays Ryan as a marine – injured in Afghanistan – who is recruited into the CIA.
Under the auspices of the agency, Ryan is discreetly placed undercover at a Wall Street bank, and discovers a Russian plot to buy up treasury bonds. These, he believes, will be sold off amid an act of currency devaluation and terrorism.
Kenneth Branagh, who also doubles as director, plays Viktor Cherevin, the Russian oligarch who is ultimately behind the plot
“Jack Ryan is really a decent man,” says Pine. “There’s a kind of goodness to his soul so he’s the kind of man who you want to see take the lead.”
In previous big screen outings, Ryan has been played by Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October), Harrison Ford (Patriot Games, and Clear and Present Danger) and Ben Affleck (The Sum of All Fears).
“Ryan is a mirror image to Captain Kirk,” says Pine. “Kirk is brash and arrogant, and its because of those faults that he learns about selflessness. Jack, on the other hand, comes into this mission as a very grounded, centred man.”
To prepare for the role, Pine toured through the London School of Economics, consulted with military experts, dove into the world of banking and trading and focused on Ryan’s relationship with Cathy (Keira Knightley) – his fiancé.
“Jack is kind of a loner, but the one strong connection he has is with this woman,” the actor states. “I think he sees Cathy as a kindred spirit, and in the course of this story she proves to have as much backbone and courage as he does.”
Meanwhile, veteran CIA agent Thomas Harper, played by Kevin Costner, is the man responsible for recruiting Ryan into the world of international espionage.
Curiously, Costner had briefly been considered for the role of Jack Ryan during the early stages of the aforementioned The Hunt for Red October. However the actor took a rain-check in order to concentrate on Dances with Wolves, a film that would eventually earn him an Oscar.
“Harper becomes such an important anchor for Jack,” says Pine. “He constantly reminds Jack who he is and why he was picked for this mission in the first place.”
As for Branagh, Pine says the director is constantly prepared when he walks onto the set, and is crystal clear about his goals.
“I’ve never done a film that moves as fast as this one, but Ken always had it going on. And then he would jump, with the greatest ease, from behind the camera to in front of it.”
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Chris Pine, Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightley and Kevin Costner
Screenwriters: Adam Cozad and David Koepp. (Based on characters created by Tom Clancy).
Producers: Mace Neufeld, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, David Barron and Mark Vahradian
Executive Producers: David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Paul Schwake.
Source: Paramount Pictures
Image Info: Chris Pine is Jack Ryan in JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. © Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Photo credit: Anatoliy Vorobev