Kenneth Branagh in Negotiations to Direct Jack Ryan Movie

The helmer takes over from Jack Bender, who exited the Paramount project last week.
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Just a week after Paramount’s untitled Jack Ryan project lost Jack Bender as its director, leaving its future a little in doubt, the project has found new life with Kenneth Branagh.

Branagh, who last directed Thor, is in negotiations to helm the action movie based on the Tom Clancy spy novels.

The Jack Ryan character from the novels by Tom Clancy is being refashioned as a star vehicle for Star Trek actor Chris Pine. The long-in-development reboot is being produced by Paramount and Skydance Pictures and is expected to begin filming this summer, once Pine finishes Star Trek 2.

Bender had been attached to the project since last year but last week departed the project. His commitments to television pilots were one reason for the departure.

Branagh, repped by WME, has been an actor-director since the late 1980s and despite showing the occasional flair for populist fare stuck mostly to Shakespearean adaptations. Last year’s Thor changed the town’s perception of his abilities and sources say he brings a sophistication to the project that seeks to redefine the character.