EW is reporting Kenneth Branagh is in talks to helm Paramount’s untitled Jack Ryan project. I’d like to say this is good hire (it is) but I kinda feel bad for the dude. He’s basically taking control of an already sinking ship.
Jack Bender (of LOST fame) was the original hire to direct but bowed out due to problems with the studio, lead Chris Pine and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Word has it Bender wanted to make a traditional Ryan pic (more in tune with THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER and PATRIOT GAMES than the previous reboot THE SUM OF ALL FEARS), Pine wanted a character-driven piece, Lorenzo was pushing for a full-on action epic and the studio wanted a glossy thriller. Suffice to say, nobody backed down and Bender bailed.
Enter Branagh. I’m guessing Paramount is hoping he’ll be able to convince everyone to play nice and work together to craft the most profitable blockbuster they can. Reminds me a bit of what happened when they hired him for THOR. Flick was plagued with tons of problems (which ranged from the script to casting to tone to character to pretty much every other little thing) and should’ve been a massive flop. But Branagh rolled in, rallied the troops and managed to make that flick one of biggest hits of 2011. Here’s hoping he can do the same here.