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Kenneth Branagh Directing Himself In Jack Ryan Series Reboot!!

The Kidd here...

It's a lot easier for a director to convey to an actor what it is that they want out of a character or a scene when they are one in the same person. Things just got a little easier today for director Kenneth Branagh today in helming Paramount's Jack Ryan series reboot, as he's in talks to pull double duty and play the film's villain himself. 

Branagh would be playing opposite STAR TREK's Chris Pine, the fourth such actor to tackle the character (Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck being his predecessors in the role), who would be showing Ryan before he became part of the C.I.A.

According to Variety, this time, Ryan would be "an ex-Marine who works as a successful financial analyst in Moscow. He discovers a plot by his employer to finance a terrorist attack designed to collapse the U.S. economy, and must race against time to save America and his wife."

As for Branagh's role in the plot, his goal is to collapse the American economy by bottoming out the value of the U.S. dollar. 

Branagh was last seen on-screen in MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, which scored him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. As for being behind the camera, his last directorial effort was THOR. 



-Billy Donnelly

"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"

Follow me on Twitter.


Readers Talkback
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  • July 19, 2012, 9:31 p.m. CST


    by Magregus

  • July 19, 2012, 9:31 p.m. CST


    by matchesmalone2380

    Hunt for Red October is still the best!

  • July 19, 2012, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Branagh as Osama Bin Ladin?

    by vic twenty

    My kingdom for a dialysis machine...

  • July 19, 2012, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Bin Laden's been lovin' all the bin ladies

    by ajit maholtra

    Bin! Bin! Bin!

  • July 19, 2012, 9:38 p.m. CST

    with Don Knotts as Dr. Bologna.

    by Mr Soze


  • July 19, 2012, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Kenneth Branagh left Thor for Captain Kirk...

    by ThulsaBoom

    ...I don't know about that one. Marvel must be stiffing the talent. Big shoes to fill, what with Ben Affleck's turn in the last one and all.

  • July 19, 2012, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Will it be 'Hunt for Red November'?

    by ThulsaBoom

    'Hunt for Blue October'? Sorry, that may have been my least creative joke ever (I wish).

  • July 19, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST

    must race against time to save America and his wife

    by Ed

    that doesn't feel the least bit tense, I must not care much for his wife

  • ...oh yeah, and Harrison Ford. Nevermind, still wouldn't do it.

  • July 19, 2012, 9:54 p.m. CST

    RE: thulsaboom Actually Branagh left Kirk senior for his son :-)

    by AnarchyWorldsEnd

    Hemsworth was Kirk senior before he was Thor.

  • July 19, 2012, 10:10 p.m. CST

    It's only a problem when he yells at himself

    by Teddy Artery

    Cut! Cut! Cut! Did you even read the script?!

  • July 19, 2012, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Only a lucky few will see it.

    by Queefer Sutherland

    Unless Chris Pine suddenly is able to attract people to a movie that doesn't have "Star Trek" in the title.

  • July 19, 2012, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Oh good, another prequel for the kids

    by Beezbo

    No thanks.

  • July 19, 2012, 10:24 p.m. CST

    So he's playing Ben Bernake?

    by BrandLoyalist

    What with the bottoming and the collapsing and the villainy and all

  • July 19, 2012, 10:25 p.m. CST

    When are they going to do "Without Remorse"?

    by Rob0729

    I always found John Clark to be a better character than Jack Ryan. Clark is Batman to Ryan's Superman. Ryan is ruled by a strong moral compass while Clark was never afraid to blur the lines of morality to do what was right. Without Remorse might be my favorite Clancy book.

  • July 19, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST


    by Rob0729

    Are you not saying that Hobbits, Elves, and Dwarves are not minorities?

  • July 19, 2012, 10:32 p.m. CST

    Alec Baldwin was easily the best Jack Ryan

    by blackmantis

    He gave the role a probing intelligence the other actors lacked. Never understood why he didn't continue on with the part.

  • July 19, 2012, 10:37 p.m. CST

    All they have to do is wait around, it'll happen on it's own

    by twogunjames

    The dollar isn't worth shit any more. I can't say I'm terribly excited to watch that plot line play out. I like Chris Pine as Jack Ryan though.

  • July 19, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST


    by Rob0729

    According to Baldwin, he was pushed aside to give it to Ford because the studio owed Ford a ton of money for a film that never got made and Patriots Games was a make up movie for that film that fell apart. The studio claims, Baldwin was asking for too much script control and they could never come to an agreement.

  • July 19, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST

    I thought the exact same thing, theseeker7.

    by detinue

  • July 19, 2012, 10:43 p.m. CST

    Does this mean Branagh will be playing George Soros?

    by detinue

  • July 19, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Hasn't this already been done??


    To our economy, I mean?

  • July 19, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Speaking of Tom Clancy

    by Chairman_Kaga

    Wasn't there a Rainbow Six adaptation in preproduction some years back?

  • July 19, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Some things in here don't react well to bullets

    by Eric Brown

    That's all I'm sayin'.

  • Also, there was a black man in the role of the sonar monitoring officer in The Hunt For Red October. Of course, if Peter Jackson were directing this, the big worry would be that he'd have Andy Serkis performance capturing his role as a fully CGI Jack Ryan.

  • July 19, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST


    by annie_michael_hall

    Kidd zigs when the rest of the AICN'ers zag so I predict a RAVE bordering on "one of the best films of the year".

  • July 19, 2012, 11:23 p.m. CST

    A plan to ruin the U.S. economy?

    by Raptor Jesus

    What, are they going to elect a black theology, anti-American, racist, narcissistic socialistic thug to the white house?

  • July 19, 2012, 11:34 p.m. CST

    ...and the Tea Party morons just arrived!

    by beamish13

    You can always count on these fucks showing up whenever something even tangentially related to politics is broached.

  • July 20, 2012, 12:01 a.m. CST

    Now THAT might be actual cool news...

    by Mike McCutcheon

  • July 20, 2012, 12:02 a.m. CST

    raptor_jesus, your ignorance is vast, and threatens to swallow the universe

    by Queefer Sutherland

    I suppose you like Romney? Hell, he's as bad as Obama. Neither political party is working for us, I hope you know. If you admit that, I'll take back what I said about your ignorance. Otherwise, it will still be an accurate statement.

  • July 20, 2012, 12:48 a.m. CST

    When movie villains plot hyperinflation...

    by eumaios

    That means that YKW expects deflation.

  • July 20, 2012, 12:51 a.m. CST

    Captain Underoos is as much a tool of the bankstas as Obama

    by eumaios

    Look into Romney's chief contributors. Second look at anti-usury laws?

  • July 20, 2012, 1:04 a.m. CST

    Chris Pine is just wrong

    by rost

    ...for everything!

  • July 20, 2012, 1:09 a.m. CST

    RE: anarchyworldsend- Touchet!

    by ThulsaBoom

    Thou art slyer than thee!!

  • July 20, 2012, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Chris Pine...

    by Kavalier

    He actually seems decent in the movies I've seen him in so far. I was very surprised about how entertaining This Means War was and I always smile at his part in Smokin' Aces. Especially when he places the car keys on the bitten off finger of the guy he left for dead earlier in the movie. Hopefully, he doesn't disappoint in this.

  • Pretty sure that they should be the other way around in terms of which came first?!

  • July 20, 2012, 1:45 a.m. CST

    Next seen on the small screen

    by Mastidon

    At the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics next week.

  • July 20, 2012, 4:57 a.m. CST


    by DC Films

    Check him out as Swedish Detective Kurt Wallander in the BBC series. He's fantastic - the ex theatrical shakespeare thesp has become a very good screen actor.

  • July 20, 2012, 5:04 a.m. CST


    by DrX

    I agree wallander is well worth watching. Beautiful shot and acted. The books are even better.

  • July 20, 2012, 5:58 a.m. CST

    I do like a bit of Ken.

    by jellypop

    Mr. Branagh is of my favourites in both acting and directing, though I haven't seen much of his output from his earlier days such as Peter friends or Henry. I did really like Dead again and Frankenstein and enjoyed Thor. I hope with him on board with this movie we may get a move away from the expected result and he think he will aim for a Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy type vibe rather than slam bang action. I'm fairly optimistic for this one now, I hope he doesn't bow out from the production.

  • July 20, 2012, 6:31 a.m. CST

    I love Hunt for Red October

    by Bass Ackwards

    and I really really dig Harrison Ford's Jack Ryan escapades. That said, Jack Ryan isn't much of a character for me, nothing bout him really registers other then he had some great actors playing him in some strong stories, but I've never been dying to see just Jack Ryan in more misadventures. So I do not at all see the point of "rebooting" the franchise to cast a new actor in a story that isn't based on any of Tom Clancy's novels. What's the point? Just make this an original story (which is what the screenplay originally was anyways) and don't waste time trying to needlessly retcon and rewrite stuff to force it into someone else's mythology.

  • July 20, 2012, 7:23 a.m. CST


    by JAMF

    is zachary quinto playing his wife?

  • July 20, 2012, 7:26 a.m. CST

    This is the same plot as THE IN-LAWS! SERPENTINE, SHEL, SERPENTINE!

    by m_prevette

  • July 20, 2012, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Chris Pine will be Fine as long as his head doesn't expand any more

    by Obi Wanna Cannoli

    That dude's head is freakishly big. "I am not an animal' freakishly big.

  • July 20, 2012, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Patriot Games & Clear & Present Danger

    by the new transported man

    are great films that really hold up. Strong pacing, score, performances, & plotting, & nothing really corny & "Hollywood" about them. Just a couple of righteous political action thrillers starring Indiana Jones. The machine is still on, Moira!

  • July 20, 2012, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Cool so the plot of the movie is everyday reality.

    by UltraTron

  • ...and it will pale in comparison to the original, which all these years later is still fantastic and compulsively watchable.

  • Google it.

  • July 20, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST

    I don't believe Chris Pine as a CIA analyst.

    by Royston Lodge

    Jack Ryan should be played by someone who appears nerdy and weak but who rises to the occasion as the shit hits the fan. I could someone like Joaquin Pheonix pulling off a great Jack Ryan. Matt Damon could have been a good Jack Ryan, but he's gotten old and fat. You know who I could see pulling it off? I know I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I think Zac Efron could pull it off. He could easily portray a weaselly little pencil pusher who gets thrown into the deep end.

  • July 20, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Branagh rules.

    by Knuckleduster

    Good to know this property is in good hands.

  • July 20, 2012, 12:36 p.m. CST

    I'm confused...

    by VideoFile

    ... is this based on an actual Clancy novel? I've only read the Hunt, Cardinal, and Patriot so I'm genuinely curious to know if this is truly a part of the Jack Ryan mythos. From what I remember of Cardinal and Patriot, though, it doesn't seem to be.

  • >> Rob0729 answered: "According to Baldwin, he was pushed aside to give it to Ford because the studio owed Ford a ton of money for a film that never got made and Patriots Games was a make up movie for that film that fell apart. The studio claims, Baldwin was asking for too much script control and they could never come to an agreement." Being old enough to remember things back in the day, the story that's recounted in the IMDB listing for PATRIOT GAMES -- in the trivia section -- is actually the truth: "Alec Baldwin bowed out when production was pushed back from '91 to '92. He had already committed to doing a revival of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE on Broadway and told then-Paramount President Brandon Tartikof to either work around him or find someone else to play Ryan. Ford was subsequently approached to play Ryan -- after having turned down the role in HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER because he felt the script focused more on Captain Ramius than on Jack Ryan." Pushing the film's start date back also affected Ryan's wife too. Gates McFadden was supposed to reprise her role as Ryan's wife, but by the time PATRIOT GAMES was up and running, she was too busy filming a new season STAR TREK: NEXT GEN -- hence the reason Anne Archer was brought in. Oh, and Baldwin's side of the story about Ford being owed money and what not is also total B.S. Back at the time, I remember that part of the hold up on getting a sequel instantly rolling is that it was BALDWIN who -- based on RED OCTOBER'S success -- was asking an absolute insane amount of money to come back. As I seem to recall, he basically outsmarted himself. He signed a one picture deal -- for OCTOBER -- figuring that IF the movie was a hit, it would give him leverage to ask for a much bigger paycheck the next time around. The only problem being that when he showed up to negotiate PATRIOT GAMES, Baldwin now had a chip on his shoulder. He claimed the movie's success was due to him, and as a result he should get some pie in the sky pay day to return. At which point Paramount told him to take a hike and signed Ford instead -- who, ironically even though he was clearly a bigger "star" at the time, agreed to take on the roll for far, far less than what Baldwin was demanding. And Paramount was ecstatic. In one swift blow, they had gotten rid of a prima donna like Baldwin... they finally had their sequel up and running... and best of all, they had a far more bankable star in the lead, to hedge box office bets. So from Paramount's point of view, it was instantly a win, win, win.

  • July 20, 2012, 8:24 p.m. CST

    Very interesting.

    by Sardonic

    It's certainly on my radar.

  • July 21, 2012, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Wait a minute: Branagh, Pine... But does it have more Tatum?

    by the tramp

  • But it will be fun to see him as the villian. Those are always the fun parts to play anyway.

  • Am calling him out and challenging him to take a role where he doesn't play the ubiquitous hero role so much as becoming the character he's playing, in a movie that isn't a necessarily a blockbuster wannabe, but a meaty role with meaningful character development to allow for a bar-raising performance. <p> Not asking to be Brando or anything, already done. Asking because aware there are way too many pretty boys now that all look the same and act the same. Break stereotype, find uniqueness of self and portray that into your character so that you become character, not actor playing character (portraying cliche hero beats, ie. pose, way of talking, walking, moving, etc.) Learn to be unique. Apply that acquired knowledge to well scouted role in order to better stock and raise bar for this generation of actors. <p> Have seen role as Kirk and am aware of talent for portraying complex roles. Choose complex and eclectic roles, also switch it up, do blockbuster stuff too, is good for people and positivity. However, find good balance between roles, be smart, challenge self, become major film star, make millions, then give back to others just as truth is being directed to you now.