EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has scrapped a tentative plan for Chris Pine to resuscitate the Jack Ryan franchise before he reprises his James T. Kirk role in a Star Trek sequel. The slow process of nailing the Ryan script has prompted the studio to focus on getting Pine at the helm of the USS Enterprise first, even as the studio waits to see if JJ Abrams will reprise as Trek director.
This comes after the Ryan picture suffered another creative setback. Steve Zaillian, who wrote the 1994 Ryan film Clear and Present Danger and did uncredited rewrite work on Patriot Games, made a deal last month to rewrite the reboot script but had a change of heart and withdrew within the last two weeks. The studio has begun interviewing other writers. Lost‘s Jack Bender is still aboard to direct, but he isn’t pay or play and could walk. Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing. Ryan was created by Tom Clancy in his bestselling book series, but the new film is an origin story that started with screenwriter Hossein Amini. Paramount then acquired the Adam Cozad spec script Dubai and hired Cozad to redraft it to be the Ryan relaunch. Anthony Peckham then came on to do a pass, and then Cozad was brought back to a project that by then was being called Moscow. The launching point of the film is one that gets a mention in Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October, in the book and the original film that starred Alec Baldwin. It has to do with a terrifying helicopter crash that nearly killed Ryan when he was a 23-year old platoon leader in the US Marines. He was the only member of the platoon to survive. Insiders tell me that an OK version of Ryan could have been put into production this year, but the priority is more about launching a new franchise then filling a release slot.
Paramount’s expectation is for the Star Trek sequel to start production by the fall so that the studio can keep that film’s projected June 29, 2012 release date. Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof are are working on the script.