The saga of the tentatively-titled Moscow, Paramount’s much talked about reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise, has been the ultimate ‘will they/won’t they’ story, making Ross & Rachel look like a one-night stand. Directors have come and gone, writers have whirled around on a revolving door, but one thing has remained steady: Chris Pine.
Pine has been attached to the reboot of Tom Clancy’s cerebral spy series since 2009, and when we spoke to him in Cannes, we asked him for the latest. “The latest is that it looks like it’s happening,” he said. “We have a script [by, among others, David Koepp], and the beginnings of the production are happening.”
Kenneth Branagh is going to sit in the hot seat for the movie which, rumour has it, will see Ryan – working in Russia – framed as an American spy and forced to go on the run, Bourne-style. Which, for a character as famous for his smarts as for his hurts, is an interesting direction. That's something that Pine seemed to acknowledge. “The trick with that one is to try to find a way to make an American spy movie in 2012 that’s just as current and apropos to the world situation, what it means to be an American spy, as it was in the Cold War era. It’s a little bit more difficult now, and tricky, but if we get that right, we’ll make an intelligent thriller.”
Pine was in Cannes to promote his forthcoming animated film, Rise Of The Guardians, which pairs him with Alec Baldwin, who was, of course, the first Jack Ryan in 1990’s The Hunt For Red October. Pine admitted that he’s tapped Baldwin up for advice. “We have definitely talked about Jack Ryan and his experience with it,” laughed Pine.
No wonder – for Baldwin’s experience was not a happy one; despite being critically acclaimed, he was replaced by Harrison Ford for the sequel, Patriot Games. So, what advice did Jack Ryan Mk I give Jack Ryan Mk IV? “He urged me to hold onto it,” added Pine, “and to attack it.”
Filming could start soon, with a probable release next year.