EXCLUSIVE: John Krasinski is the next Jack Ryan. The Office alum has closed a deal for the title role in Jack Ryan, the TV series project based on Tom Clancy’s popular CIA hero, which is set at Amazon through Paramount TV. In a competitive situation, the package, which includes the former Lost duo of co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and writer Graham Roland, Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and Skydance Media, landed at Amazon with a series commitment and the intention to go straight-to-series. While there is no official green light yet, the casting of Krasinski, who had been highly sought after by TV casting directors, would likely tip the scales and help net a series order. The project reunites Krasinski with Bay who recently directed him in the 13 Hours feature.
Conceived by Cuse and Roland, a former U.S. marine, based on Clancy’s novels, 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.
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/screen characters that are closely identified with the actor who has portrayed them, the Jack Ryan movie franchise has seen four different actors take on the role — Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and, most recently, Chris Pine. The quartet will now joined by Krasinski.
Paramount’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.
A Jack Ryan order would give Cuse four series on the air; he also has A&E’s Bates Motel, FX’s The Strain and USA Network’s Colony.
If Jack Ryan gets a series order, it would be Paramount TV’s sixth since launching less than 3 years ago, joining Minority Report at Fox, School Of Rock at Nickelodeon, Alienist at TNT, Berlin Station at EPIX; and Shooter at USA. 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.
Krasinski, who became a household name with his role as the lovable heartthrob Jim from The Office, has been focused on features after the end of the Emmy-winning NBC series, most recently starring in Bay’s gritty drama 13 Hours. Over the past couple of years, he expanded into feature writing with Promised Land, which he co-penned and co-starred in alongside Matt Damon, and into feature directing with the Sundance entry The Hollars, which he also executive produced and stars in. Additionally, Krasinski is an executive producer on upcoming drama Manchester By The Sea, starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler, which is being released by Amazon. In TV, he executive produces with Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Merchant Spike TV’s hit reality series Lip Sync Battle. Krasinski is repped by WME.