EXCLUSIVE: Jack Ryan, Tom Clancy’s popular CIA hero, is heading to television with a TV series from former Lost duo of co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and writer Graham Roland, Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, Skydance Media and Paramount TV. There has been a lot of interest in the project, with multiple outlets bidding.
Conceived by Cuse and Roland based on Clancy’s novels, I hear the show is not a direct adaptation of the books as were the firsts 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. and Platinum Dunes’ Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form.
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 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/screen characters that are 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.
Paramount’s Jack Ryan feature franchise spans 5 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 glossed almost $1 billion worldwide.
Cuse has 3 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.
Roland and Cuse hit it off while working together on Lost and have stayed close, with Roland recently serving as co-executive producer on Cuse’s A&E drama series The Returned. Roland also wrote Mile 22, Peter Berg’s upcoming movie starring Mark Wahlberg.
Since Paramount TV’s launch two years ago, series adaptations of movies from the Paramount library by the TV production company have yielded two series orders, for Minority Report at Fox and School of Rock at Nickelodeon, and two pilot pickup, for Shooter at USA and Urban Cowboy at Fox. Additionally, a Galaxy Quest series is in development at Amazon.
Platinum Dunes’ TV slate includes Starz drama Black Sails and TNT’s The Last Ship.
Cuse, Roland and Bay are repped by WME.