Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan became a top Hollywood star
05:00 AM, Oct 02, 2013
Tom Clancy’s fiction has had a hugely successful life on film. His techno-thrillers were always commercially successful, earning around $200 million globally.
His iconic character, Jack Ryan, starts as a CIA analyst and goes on to higher posts, topping out at U.S. president. One of the best-known recurring movie characters in contemporary films, Ryan has been played by Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck.
Clancy’s second most famous character, ex-Navy SEAL and CIA operative John Clark, has been played by Willem Dafoe and Liev Shreiber.
Ryan also made a presence in TV movies and miniseries such as NetForce, which starred Scott Bakula, and Op-Center, starring Harry Hamlin.
An upcoming film, Jack Ryan, a prequel about Ryan’s pre-CIA days, is scheduled for release on Christmas Day, starring Chris Pine as Ryan and co-starring Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner and Kenneth Branaugh, who also directed.
The following Clancy books were adapted into big-screen espionage thrillers:
The Hunt for Red October (1990). Ryan (Alec Baldwin) aids the defection of a respected Soviet naval captain, who brings with him the Soviet Union’s most advanced submarine. But is he defecting or trying to start a war? Co-starring Sean Connery, Scott Glenn, James Earl Jones, Sam Neill and directed by John McTiernan. Earned $200 million worldwide.
Patriot Games (1992,) Ryan (Harrison Ford) thwarts an attack in London on the Prince of Wales by an IRA splinter group. Then Ryan and his family in Maryland are targeted for revenge. Co-stars Samuel L. Jackson, Anne Archer, James Earl Jones, Thora Birch and directed by Phillip Noyce. Made $178 million worldwide.
Clear and Present Danger (1994). Ford reprises his role as Ryan. Here he’s drawn into an illegal war fought by the U.S. government against a Colombian drug cartel. Co-starring Willem Dafoe, Anne Archer, Thora Birch and directed by Phillip Noyce. Made more than $215 million worldwide.
The Sum of All Fears (2002). Ben Affleck plays a younger Ryan, tracking a sinister plot by terrorists to lure the U.S. and Russia into a world war. With the threat of a nuclear bomb detonation on American soil looming, Ryan must track down who is behind this massive conspiracy and avert disaster. Co-starring Morgan Freeman, James Cromwell and Liev Schreiber and directed by Phil Alden Robinson. Grossed $194 million worldwide.