Branagh to star in and direct Jack Ryan
The new Jack Ryan film is getting more and more interesting by the announcement. Originally I thought they were heading for rough seas when we heard that they were dropping the Tom Clancy side of the franchise and heading out on their own path, just taking the character of Jack Ryan with them. However when Kenneth Branagh was signed to direct I started getting interested, despite the going back to the beginning of Ryan and effectively re-booting the character.
Now there's even more interesting news in that Branagh is looking at carrying dual roles on the film and not only directing but also playing the leading villain.
Reports are that Kenneth Branagh is in discussions with Paramount to play the leading villain character for the film, setting himself up against Chris Pine who is set to play Jack Ryan as he leave the Marines behind him and becomes a financial analyst.
The Hollywood Reporter has more of the story that we've heard before. Ryan has left the Marines and has become a financial analyst of all things and is now working for a Russian billionaire and living in Moscow. It's here where the story finds him and sees him framed in a terrorist plot and forced to go on the run. I would assume that come the end of the film he's recruited for the American intelligence services.
They also have the news that Branagh is in negotiations to play the villain called Viktor Stazov who is a financial expert and also a rather fiendish man. He will have teamed up with the Russian government to create a plot which will devalue the American currency and destroy the country's economy. Great idea, although the ramification would plunge the world into financial ruin as well, just as we are seeing the merest hint of currently with the world financial crisis, but this is film.
I think this would be a great choice. Branagh is a superb actor and really good as a bad guy, stretching himself to act and direct is nothing new if you've seen any of his amazing Shakespearean adaptations, and it certainly would bring some depth to the Ryan film, mind you he's hopefully bringing plenty of that in his directorial role.
This could actually turn out well.