For Kenneth Branagh, there is life beyond the realm of Asgard.
Paramount is looking to the "Thor" director to revive their on-again, off-again attempt to bring CIA superstar "Jack Ryan" back into action, according to Vulture.
"Star Trek" star Chris Pine is attached to play the title role in the reboot of the Tom Clancy spy franchise, which has been in development for several years. Jack Bender ("Lost") had signed on to direct the project but recently dropped out due to the endless creative differences over what direction the film should go in.
Luckily, David Koepp recently turned in a draft of the screenplay that manages to be the character-driven espionage story that Pine wants, the action movie that producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura wants and the smart thriller that Paramount executives want. No small task -- and the final piece of the puzzle seems to have fallen into place with Branagh being approached to direct.
Branagh's "Thor," arguably the most interesting (and gonzo) of the Marvel superhero movies that serve as precursors to this summer's mashup, "The Avengers," proved that he could handle franchise-sized source material (that wasn't Shakespeare, anyway) as he brought a classy, theatrical edge to what could've been just another summer popcorn movie. He's a great fit for "Jack Ryan," which will reportedly be a non-canon prequel set in the present day that traces the government agent's origins.
The Jack Ryan role was previously played by Alec Baldwin in "The Hunt For Red October" (1990), Harrison Ford in both "Patriot Games" (1992) and "Clear and Present Danger" (1994) and Ben Affleck in "The Sum of All Fears" (2002). It might be just the part to turn Chris Pine into the big movie star he's been threatening to be since his turn as James T. Kirk in "Star Trek" (2009), as he certainly already knows how to play various spy games after starring in "This Means War" and can handle grungier kind of action after taking on a runaway train in "Unstoppable."
Our spies tell us that "Jack Ryan" will begin production in September.