Chris Pine Reveals His Politics Amid High-Risk 'Jack Ryan' Play

"I think we had a moment when we said to ourselves, 'Does the fact that he's Capt. Kirk create a problem for us?' And, our conclusion was no," says di Bonaventura. "I think the audience is savvy enough to see the difference."

But unlike with Star Trek, the pressure solely is on Pine to deliver. Paramount has high hopes that Jack Ryan will launch a new franchise and as a result will compensate him better than any Marvel player not named Downey. (Details of his payday emerged when his former agency SDB Partners sued him in 2012 for unpaid commissions. That lawsuit, which was settled, claims Pine's Star Trek Into Darkness salary was $1.5 million plus as much as $500,000 in backend compensation and possibly $3 million plus $500,000 in backend for a third film. "It wasn't the best time in my life," says Pine, who now is repped by CAA and attorney Michael Gendler and continues to be managed by Carrabino.)

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Perhaps the more pressing question is whether Pine even wants to be a movie star, a prospect that leaves the actor a little cold. Pine's tastes run decidedly indie: He says he lobbied to play the lead in Jeff Nichols' Mud, a role that went to Matthew McConaughey. He desperately wants to work with director Spike Jonze, Gary Oldman, Sam Rockwell, Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve and French helmer Jacques Audiard (A Prophet). He seems reluctant to embrace superstardom.

"I think the accoutrement of being famous isn't of any use to him," explains Carnahan. "But the actual work itself I think is everything. And that, I think, is a major point of delineation and separation from his peer group."

Pine's next few gigs speak volumes about his all-encompassing approach. He is shooting Horrible Bosses 2 and will follow that with Craig Zobel's postapocalyptic sci-fi film Z for Zachariah opposite Amanda Seyfried and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Then, the hope is to film passion project Mantivities (he co-wrote and will produce), about a group of friends who attempt to shake their adolescent behavior. And though Star Trek 3 is a go, there's no start date yet -- or director, as Abrams is locked up in a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: Episode VII.

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Most of all, the actor covets the role of Frank Sinatra (Scorsese is developing a biopic on the iconic crooner that Billy Ray is writing). Ironically, Pine sang Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon" when auditioning for the role of Cinderella's prince in Into the Woods.

"I never expected him to have that talent," recalls Marshall. "His look belies his talent in a funny kind of way. He could coast on those amazing looks, but he's so much more than that."

And yet, Pine has a scattershot approach to bringing those talents to bear. "Unfortunately, I really don't have a strategy -- I have no desire at all to produce on a micromanaging level," he says of the idea of starting his own production company. "For me, I love exploring ideas and throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what fits, and if I had a really nice collaborative team around me who could deal with the more day-to-day minutia, that would be fun. And directing sometime in the future and writing … yeah, I can see that all in my future."

Then he adds, smiling, "But I can be incredibly lazy."

E-mail: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com
Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27

 

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