Ever since scoring the biggest hit of his directing career with last summer’s thunderous Marvel Comics spectacular Thor, Kenneth Branagh has gone from being a prestigious filmmaker to an in-demand Hollywood talent. Despite having opted out of the Thor sequel (which is currently on its third attached director, Alan Taylor, and is set for release next year), the actor and director best known for his acclaimed film adaptations of Shakespeare works like Henry V and Hamlet (and for playing Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) has locked up another high-profile gig behind the camera.
Branagh has signed on to direct the still-untitled reboot of the Jack Ryan film franchise for Paramount Pictures, taking over for departing television director Jack Bender (Lost), whose most notable directing career was 1991’s Child’s Play 3. Chris Pine remains on board the project as the latest actor to portray Tom Clancy‘s heroic CIA agent and should be ready to begin filming once production on Star Trek 2 wraps. Jack Ryan has previously been portrayed on the screen by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck.
The choice of Kenneth Branagh to direct a major studio franchise picture was practically inconceivable before the release of Thor as he has always seemed to gravitate towards darker and more literate features. However, there were some mighty impressive battle sequences in a few of his Shakespeare films that vividly demonstrated his knack for valuing the importance of character and action. He managed to make the potentially silly Thor sing with spectacular adventure and somber drama and the result was one of the best comic book movies made in recent years. The Jack Ryan novels would be an interesting yet appropriate territory for Branagh to flex his filmmaking muscles in since Clancy’s characters operate in a morally complex world where the good guys and bad guys aren’t always as easily defined. With the cast Kenneth Branagh could make this new Ryan movie his Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, only with more chases and explosions.
[Source: Cinema Blend]