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New Jack Ryan pic attracts scribe

Hossein Amini to pen Tom Clancy character's next vehicle

Is there such a thing as too many franchises?

Screenwriter Hossein Amini has been hired to tackle a new Jack Ryan movie for Paramount Pictures. The erstwhile intelligence analyst and all-American do-gooder created by novelist Tom Clancy has not appeared onscreen since 2002's "The Sum of All Fears."

Mace Neufeld and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura are producing the project for Paramount. "Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi was on the hook to direct and produce a new Ryan installment, but his packed schedule made his involvement unworkable.

Other producer credits remain undecided.

With a new Jack Ryan installment in the pipeline, Paramount is establishing a muscular franchise lineup: "Iron Man" and "Transformers" are moving toward sophomore editions; "Star Trek" and "G.I. Joe" will launch in the summer as potential multifilm properties; and "Tintin," "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and "Beverly Hills Cop IV" are in development.

Amini is best known for his literary adaptations of Henry James, Thomas Hardy and Elmore Leonard. His new Ryan film is planned as an origin story, not derived from Clancy's novels and ultimately featuring a new, younger star.

The first onscreen Ryan adventure, "The Hunt for Red October," grossed $199 million worldwide in 1990 with Alec Baldwin in the role. "Patriot Games" (1992) and "Clear and Present Danger" (1994) brought in $178 million and $208 million worldwide, respectively, with Harrison Ford playing Ryan.

Ben Affleck took over the role in a sort-of prequel in "All Fears," which grossed $177 million worldwide.

Amini, repped by Endeavor, was nominated for an adapted screenplay Oscar in 1998 for "The Wings of the Dove." His other credits include "Jude" and "The Four Feathers." He has "Golden Compass" sequel adaptation "The Subtle Knife" in development at Warner Bros. and the Weinstein Co. drama "Shanghai" in postproduction.