Update: Deadline is now reporting that Costner is locked and Paramount is putting the pieces in place to have Kenneth Brangh put Jack Ryan out in late 2013 with Chris Pine and Keira Knightley starring, followed by Without Remorse and the as-yet-undecided film based around Costner's Harper character. David Koepp has re-written the Ryan film and Tom Hardy has been offered Remorse, which Christopher McQuarrie has rewritten to direct.
It looks like Paramount is hoping to turn their Tom Clancy properties into something of an Avengers-style shared universe, with films planned around both Jack Ryan (the Chris Pine-starring film currently still called, er, Jack Ryan) and fellow CIA operative John Kelly, who will feature in Without Remorse. And the Nick Fury of this particular plan, who will crop up in both those movies and possibly beyond? William Harper, played by Kevin Costner.
The studio is now making a deal with Costner to play American patriot and idealist Harper, who recruits both Ryan and Kelly in their respective movies and mentors them. According to Deadline, he may also then headline his own movie, but that particular possibility is still just vapourware for now.
As of right now, Kenneth Branagh is both directing Jack Ryan and playing the villain, with Keira Knightley rumoured to be Pine’s love interest.
Over on Without Remorse, Christopher McQuarrie is re-writing the film with an eye to directing and Tom Hardy is being courted to take on the role of Kelly, previously played by Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber. It would seem like a good fit for the actor, who has the necessary physical presence for Kelly (and then some) but also the wit. And hey! If it all works out, we could end up seeing a truly exciting This Means War reunion! All right, okay, stop throwing things at the screen. The idea of Pine and Hardy in a serious spy combo certainly does have an appeal.
It's an ambitious plan, and one that could all fall apart. But we like a lot of the elements in place already.
Costner, who recently found small screen success with Hatfields & McCoys, will next be seen in a little movie called Man Of Steel, due to land (from Krypton) here on June 14 next year.