Though he’s not set to return for the sequel to his big hit Thor, Kenneth Branagh is apparently not done stepping into the director’s chair behind very, very big movies. According to Variety, he’s been selected as the new director for the next movie about Jack Ryan, the character created by Tom Clancy who will be revived by Chris Pine. The untitled film will presumably be in the vein of previous Ryan adventures like The Hunt For Red October and A Clear and Present Danger, and really nothing at all like Branagh’s previous films Hamlet, Dead Again and As You Like It (among others).
Lost veteran Jack Bender was on board for a long time to handle this new spy thriller, but he backed out last week, making a lot of us believe the long-gestating project might just disappear. But with Branagh on board and on the heels of Thor, it could easily get going again quickly once Pine is done reprising his role as Captain Kirk in the currently shooting Star Trek sequel. And while I was curious to see Bender try out his feature-directing chops after such a successful stint on Lost, Branagh is an intriguing choice as well. He made the utterly goofy and insane-seeming Thor a nicely meditative and well-planned success, and he might be even better suited with the real-world milieu of a Jack Ryan thriller– though he might throw in some haughty Shakespeare speeches for good measure.
It’s been 10 years since Jack Ryan’s last onscreen adventure, which means a lot of the teenagers who came out for Thor may not even remember the character. Does that make Branagh the right guy to take on this challenge? Let us know if you’re excited about this turn of events in the comments below.