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Kenneth Branagh to Direct Chris Pine in Jack Ryan Reboot

Kenneth Branagh on the set of 'Thor'
Paramount Pictures

After director Jack Bender left the project to pursue more television, it looked like Paramount’s Chris Pine-starring reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise (with the character previously played Harrison Ford in ‘Clear and Present Danger’, Alec Baldwin in ‘The Hunt for Red October’ and Ben Affleck in ‘The Sum of All Fears) was on the ropes. Not so, as Kenneth Branagh is now in talks to helm the as yet untitled Ryan adventure, with a script being currently reworked by David Koepp (‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Carlito’s Way’)

This is good news for Branagh, as he was brought in for ‘Thor’ and it’s now resurrected his directing career after a string of art-house failures. Though his work on ‘Thor’ on a visual level might be questionable (the film has its fans, but they too apologize for the amount and severity of its Dutch Angles), Branagh managed the cast well for what was a blockbuster movie done on a budget.

What this report – courtesy of Vulture – also suggests is that Branagh is turning into a gun for hire, happy to do studio work that gets good work out of the actors and with most of the action determined by the pre-viz. Ultimately there are very few directors who get to work on films that are budgeted at over $100 million, and by turning in ‘Thor’ on time and on budget Branagh can now make those movies – at least on a short leash. Whether this eventually leads to him making more William Shakespeare adaptations is unknown.

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