michael-bay__120523233151carltoncuse copyIn a competitive situation, Jack Ryan, Paramount Television’s hot TV series project based on Tom Clancy’s popular CIA hero, has landed at Amazon. I hear the streaming service has given a series commitment to the drama, from the former Lost duo of co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and writer Graham Roland, Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, Skydance Media, as well as Paramount TV. Everyone’s intention is to go straight-to-series on the project, which would be done based on completed scripts and a bible.

Amazon_Studios1.jpg.644x300_q100Amazon is considered a suitable home for Jack Ryan as the online retailer sells Clancy’s books as well as the Jack Ryan movies on DVD and is the streaming home for most or all of them, creating opportunities for a multi-platform push for the show. Paramount TV already is in business with Amazon, developing a series adaptation of the Paramount movie Galaxy Quest.

roland copyConceived by Cuse and Roland based on Clancy’s novels, I had heard that the show is not a direct adaptation of the books as were the first Jack Ryan movies but a new contemporary take on the character in his prime as a CIA analyst/operative using the novels as source material. Roland executive produces with Cuse and Lindsey Springer of Carlton Cuse Prods. as well as Platinum Dunes’ Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form and the movie franchise’s producer Mace Neufeld.

I hear Paramount TV first teamed with Platinum Dunes for the project, extending Transformers director-producer Bajackryannovelsy’s existing relationship with the studio on the feature side where he has a first-look deal. Cuse, a big fan of the books, and Roland then came on board and developed their idea for a Jack Ryan TV series.

I hear Roland was drawn to the project in part by his background as a veteran US Marine. Roland actually was inspired to became a TV writer by watching a season of Lost on DVD while deployed in Iraq on one of three combat tours. He taught himself to write using Lost as a guide, wrote a spec that landed him an agency representation (WME) and ultimately got a writing gig on Lost where he and the show’s executive producer/co-showrunner Cuse hit it off. The two have stayed close, with Roland recently serving as co-executive producer on Cuse’s A&E drama series The Returned.

In the novels, Ryan, medically retired following a helicopter crash, works as an investment broker before taking a position at the U.S. Naval Academy and later joining the CIA, rising through the ranks to Deputy Director and eventually becoming President of the United States.

Unlike some classic literary/schuntredoctoberreen characters that are closely identified with the actor who has portrayed them, thus making a TV adaptation challenging to cast, the Jack Ryan movie franchise has seen four different actor take on the role — Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and, most recently, Chris Pine. That would make it easier for a new Jack Ryan to be introduced to TV audiences.

jack-ryan-shadow-recruit-6Paramount’s Jack Ryan feature franchise spans five movies — from The Hunt For Red October starring Baldwin in 1990 to the 2013 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit starring Pine, which Skydance co-produced. It has grossed almost $1 billion worldwide.

Cuse has three series on the air that he co-created and executive produces: A&E’s Bates Motel, FX’s The Strain and USA’s upcoming Colony. The prolific writer-producer has a first-look deal at A+E Studios for his Carlton Cuse Productions. In features, he wrote this summer’s tentpole San Andreas. 

paramounttvSince Paramount TV’s launch two years ago, the company has landed multiple series and pilot orders for series adaptations of movies from the Paramount library as well as original concepts. Those include series Minority Report at Fox, and the upcoming School Of Rock at Nickelodeon, Alienist at TNT, based on the book, and spy thriller Berlin Station at EPIX; as well as pilots Shooter at USA and Urban Cowboy at Fox.

Platinum Dunes’ TV slate includes Starz drama Black Sails and TNT’s The Last Ship. Skydance’s series portfolio includes Grace And Frankie on Netflix and Manhattan on WGN America.

Cuse and and Bay are repped by WME. Roland, who also wrote Mile 22, Peter Berg’s upcoming movie starring Mark Wahlberg, is repped by WME, Rain Management Group and Bloom Hergott.