Friday, August 14, 2009

Jack Ryan Goes Young

Trying to get another Jack Ryan story on the big screen has seemed to be a long process. There have been a number of rumors this year alone surrounding the Tom Clancy character. There has been open debate on who should play him this time around and also who will direct. This week MTV had a chance to sit down with G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Bonaventura told the news outlet some interesting news that rules out any of the previous Ryan stars or one big name that has been currently circling the project. To read the full article scroll down...

One thing is for sure George Clooney will not be Jack Ryan in the upcoming film. Bonaventura said, "I love George, but it's not written for a man of his age." With a Clooney out of the running just who would Paramount and Bonaventura be targeting. He explained to MTV, "It's for a young Jack Ryan...It's written for a guy in his early 30s." Okay so, a guy in his 30's. Ben Affleck is 37, could he return to the role? Or does this mean we can start think about Ryan Gosling who turns 30 this November? Lorenzo di Bonaventura's age stipulation does rules out the rumor of Aaron Eckhart who is 41. Unfortunately, Bonaventura did not give any names that he and Paramount are considering.

The one thing Bonaventura did confirm surrounding a new Jack Ryan film was the script. He told MTV that they just handed in a script to Paramount. The producer explained, "We submitted a script to Paramount recently. It was well-received and it's in the process." From Bonaventura's comments the earliest we could expect a new Jack Ryan movie would be late 2010, though it is more likely we'll see him in 2011. Although that is just by my math. Bonaventura closed his talks with MTV by praising the Ryan character. He said, "It's a great character. Very different [from] Bond or Bourne. It's the analytical side of him and the everyman side of him that makes him... special."

The MTV scoop makes me start considering who are top candidates for Paramount when approaching the youngest Jack Ryan story we've seen. Paramount has to be considering someone who has star potential as well as a demeanor that resembles the previous Jack Ryan actors. Below I have compiled and ranked 5 actors in their 30's who I would consider for Jack Ryan in the upcoming Paramount prequel and I'd be really happy with any of the 5.

5. James Marsden
James Marsden is a solid actor. He has been a supporting actor in a number of great films over the years and I think he could step into the lead as Jack Ryan perfectly. Marsden is the oldest on my list, being 37 and not much younger than Ben Affleck who last played Ryan, but he has the potenial to handle every avenue of the of the Jack Ryan character. Marsden unfortunately poses a problem for Paramount though, with not being a bigger name, selling the new Jack Ryan film could be tough.

4. Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck is the kid brother of Ben Affleck who last played Jack Ryan, so if the story is a prequel or origin story prior to The Sum of All Fears why not allow Casey to take on the role? Casey is 34 and recently shown the acting chops to handle a role like Jack Ryan. I think it would be fun to see another Affleck in the role and it would give the two brothers something they could potentially fight over. Outside of the brother gimmick, Casey is a credible actor and has impressed the hell out of me in recent roles like Gone Baby Gone and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, so seeing him take on Jack Ryan would be a nice choice. Casey Affleck probably has the least amount of star potential and I am not sure if Paramount would want to gamble on the new Jack Ryan film.

3. Jake Gyllenhaal
Gyllenhaal is 29 turning 30 this December, and also has the ability to fill out the role of Jack Ryan nicely. Gyllenhaal has both the action chops while being able to powerfully show Ryan's analytical skills. Gyllenhaal is a dynamic actor with incredible range and seeing him take on Ryan would be fun. He is a big name and would instantly warrant interest in a Jack Ryan film, but landing Gyllenhaal could be tricky with his shooting schedule. Gyllenhaal has both a untitled Joe Namath project and a film version of "Damn Yankees" upcoming along with two other roles currently in production.

2. James Franco
James Franco is an actor that has only gotten better with each new role he takes on and he would be a perfect fit for Jack Ryan in his 30's. Franco is currently 31 and has both the look and charm for the role. Franco is to a lesser extent a big draw name, but he definitely has a following. One that would get both women and men in theaters for another Jack Ryan film. Franco has shown his action skills with his work on the Spider-Man series, so there's no doubt he would work.

1. Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling seems like the best choice to re-boot the series. He is an amazing talent. He will be 30 come November, so he is the youngest and could really fill out the role. His work in Fracture shows he can easily handle the analytical stuff Bonaventura referenced in Jack Ryan's character. Gosling like the rest of the name above has the look and the acting chops, but I think his flare would take this role a whole new place for the better. He isn't nearly as big of a name as Gyllenhaal, but I bet his role in The Notebook still has enough women swooning so they would be sucked into wanting to see a new Jack Ryan film with Gosling in the lead. My biggest question is would Gosling sign on to star in a tent pole series for Paramount?

What say you? Who would you cast as Jack Ryan? Strikeback...