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Exclusive: A Working Title and Story Details Emerge on Chris Pine's Jack Ryan Film

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 11, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 11, 2010 |

We haven’t heard a lot about the next Jack Ryan film in the last few months, not since Chris Pine officially signed on to take over the role held by Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford, and Alec Baldwin before him. The last we heard about the project was that a largely unknown screenwriter, Adam Cozad, had stepped in to do a rewrite of Hossein Amini’s original draft. In December, producer Mace Neufield revealed only that it was not an origins story, it would not be based on a Tom Clancy novel, and that, in reference to the movie’s starting point, “We pick him up while he’s on Wall Street.”

Our insider source has just provided several more details which align well and expand on what had previously been reported. The movie will pick up with the Jack Ryan not long after his stint in the Marines, before he’s joined the CIA, while he’s a Wall Street stock broker, an occupation that will play heavily into the script. In the Clancy novels, Jack Ryan was a successful financial analyst in Baltimore for Merrill Lynch. In the new movie, he will have transplanted to Moscow to continue his financial advising, not for Merill Lynch (which has been absorbed by Bank of America), but for a billionaire employer. It is that billionaire employer who eventually sets Jack Ryan up to take the fall for terrorist plot designed to collapse the U.S. economy.

After that, Ryan must race against time to clear his name, reveal the terrorist plot, and save his wife, who has been taken hostage by the billionaire employer.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on here, but what’s most interesting is how closely the Jack Ryan script resembles Dubai, which was Adam Cozen’s first script deal — he sold it to Lorenzo Di Bonaventura back in 2007 (Di Bonaventura is a producer on the Jack Ryan film). Eric Bana had at one been attached to produce Dubai (and perhaps star), but it looks that now many of the elements from that script have been co-opted for the Jack Ryan flick (and Bana has since left the Dubai project). For instance, Dubai is about an American economist who moves to Dubai an uncovers a terrorist plot to cover a huge drop in the value of the U.S. dollar, leading to mass starvation. The Dubai script is also essentially a chase movie, which is what the Jack Ryan movie sounds like, as well.

Moreover, the title that Paramount is currently working on has some similarities to Dubai, too — a one word, city title. The new Jack Ryan movie is tentatively called Moscow, a shorter, sleeker title than the previous four versions. And we also now know that the young Chris Pine version of Jack Ryan will have a wife, opening up all sorts of possibilities for casting (Ryan’s wife had been previously played by Anne Archer and Bridget Moynihan).

It sounds like a solid blending of the old Jack Ryan into a more modern world: Gone is the Cold War. In it’s place: Economic terrorism. But the enemy, it seems, remains the same: The damned Russians.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.