Amazon has netted another high-profile IP for its stable of original content. The streaming service announced this week that it has greenlit a new 10-episode Amazon Prime series based on Tom Clancy’s popular Jack Ryan character. The show will star The Office‘s John Krasinski in the title role.
This take on Clancy’s iconic character will introduce Jack Ryan at the beginning of his career as a CIA analyst, facing his first dangerous field assignment. Young Ryan stumbles onto a pattern in the terrorist communications he’s tasked with monitoring. This drops him right into the middle of “a dangerous gambit with a new breed of terrorism that threatens destruction on a global scale.”
Jack Ryan has a long and storied film history, but this will be the first time the character has ventured onto the small screen. First introduced in Clancy’s 1984 novel The Hunt for Red October, he’s featured in nearly two dozen books over the years. Alec Baldwin originated the role on screen in the film version of Red October in 1990. Harrison Ford then took over for three films beginning with 1992’s Patriot Games. Ben Affleck then played a younger Ryan in 2002’s The Sum of All Fears before Chris Pine picked up the baton for 2014’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Ford is easily the best-known incarnation, and neither of the attempts to revive the franchise worked particularly well. Hopefully the Amazon series will fare better.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan will be co-produced by Paramount and Skydance Television. Michael Bay (Transformers) is executive producing alongside TV veteran Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel) and Graham Roland (Almost Human). Cuse and Roland developed the story together, and Roland wrote the actual script.
Roy Price, Head of Amazon Studios, said in a statement:
We’re excited to add the Jack Ryan global franchise to our robust originals pipeline. Our customers will enjoy a compelling adaptation of the action-packed spy thriller book series, further raising the bar for the quality level of storytelling that has made Prime Video a leading destination for content.
Amazon has had a hit-or-miss track record adapting existing IPs. The Philip K. Dick adaptation The Man in the High Castle has been a huge home run, but their Zombieland pilot was an undead dud. There’s plenty of proven talent attached, with Cuse in particular having a knack for attaching himself to addictive television. Without strong writing to define the character, however, a young Jack Ryan could seem just as generic and forgettable as he did in his last two film outings. Fingers crossed that they’ll avoid that clear and present danger.