Middle-aged dads and spy-novel fanatics everywhere are foaming at the mouth; famed Tom Clancy spy character Jack Ryan looks to be getting his own TV show, according to Deadline.
The project is a popular one with the studios, especially because explosion specialist and miner of our childhoods Michael Bay is set to produce.
The show, which will be helmed by former Lost showrunner Carlton Cuse and writer Graham Roland, will focus on novel-influenced stories that take place in the middle of Ryan’s career as a CIA agent/analyst. The series, however, will be set in present day.
Ryan first appeared in Clancy’s best-selling 1984 novel The Hunt for Red October, and was then given a starring roll in eight other books by the author, who passed away in 2013. He starts as a marine officer who leaves the military following a helicopter crash, becomes a stock broker, then re-enters the military as a naval academy professor before being recruited by the CIA. Apart from the novels, of course, Ryan has been a profitable onscreen character, famously played by Harrison Ford, but also by a young Alec Baldwin, as well as Chris Pine, and Ben Affleck.
One thing about the new series is clear: if the producers are going to follow up Ryan’s excellent big-screen adventures — which include blockbusters like The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears, they are going to need one heck of a casting director. As the list above can attest, Ryan has only ever been played by A-listers.
Though any small-screen effort involving spies seems to be inevitably met with some level of success — just look at the fervor for shows like Fox’s 24 — the Jack Ryan franchise did experience something of a recent flop, with 2014’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Chris Pine’s turn) failing to live up to the high reputation of previous Clancy classics.
That said, most moviegoers were dedicated fans, and the film still grossed over $100 million worldwide, so all signs point to a TV show featuring Clancy’s premier character being a profitable one.