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The film, which debuts on Amazon Prime on Friday, stars Jordan as John Kelly (later known as John Clark), a Navy SEAL who avenges his wife’s murder only to find himself inside a larger conspiracy. It is based on the character in Clancy’s Jack Ryan Universe, something Jordan came to know growing up thanks to the popular Rainbow Six video game.
The actor, who also produced Without Remorse, saw the film an opportunity to “take a familiar character and breathe some fresh air into it.” One of the ways to give the film that fresh feel was to modernize Clancy’s story, including introducing a female, high-ranking Navy SEAL commander into the story, Jodie Turner-Smith’s Karen Greer.
“We took Greer’s character and wanted to make her capable and badass and a soldier that was able to be in the boardrooms with the high brass and generals, but also be in the field next to Kelly and be just as capable,” Jordan tells Jordyn Rolling in the latest episode of Heat Vision Breakdown.
Jordan is the first Black actor to take on this role, previously played by Willem Dafoe (1994’s Clear and Present Danger) and Liev Schreiber (2002’s The Sum of All Fears). He is well aware of what representation can mean for audiences, particularly younger viewers.
“It’s important for people to see themselves in roles that they normally wouldn’t see,” says Jordan. “What that does to the next generation, to a kid or somebody that didn’t think that is something that they could achieve — now they’re thinking about it and daydreaming about it.”
Jordan pushed himself to do his own stunts for the film, with the physically demanding role requiring military-style training and a boot camp with his fellow actors.
“I wanted to dive into all the action opportunities that were there,” says Jordan. “The opportunity to be a little bit more physical and do my stunts in a real way.”
Jordan’s acting chops and action experience have audiences wondering if there’s another big role in his future: Superman.
Acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is penning a Superman script for J.J. Abrams and Warner Bros. It’s a film that sources previously told THR will center on a Black Superman. Sources noted Jordan tried to develop a Black Superman movie in 2019 when he began his deal at Warner Bros. The actor and producer also has ties to Coates, as the writer’s run on the Black Panther comics helped convince Disney’s Bob Iger to greenlight the film, which saw Jordan play the villain Killmonger.
Jordan acknowledges he is excited to see what Coates has in store for Superman, but suggested he will not be suiting up.
“It’s smart of DC to grab Ta-Nehisi to go ahead and adapt that project,” says Jordan. “He’s incredibly talented. It’s going to be worth checking out. I’m flattered that people have me in that conversation. It’s definitely a compliment, but I’m just watching on this one.”
Regardless of any Superman involvement, the actor is juggling a jam-packed slate through his Outlier Society banner. Coming down the pipeline for the actor is a Muhammad Ali project for Amazon, season two of Netflix’s Raising Dion, Warner Bros.’ Denzel Washington-directed A Journal for Jordan, and his directorial debut in Creed III, which will see him star once again as Adonis Creed and is set for release Nov. 23, 2022.
“That’s something that has a lot of my attention and time going into,” the actor says. “I’m just really excited about stepping behind the camera and being able to tell a story from my perspective.”
As far as moving on with the Creed franchise without Rocky mastermind Sylvester Stallone, who announced he will not be returning for the third film earlier this month, Jordan calls it bittersweet but a necessary evolution.
“I think you’re always going to get a little bit of that residual Rocky-isms that’s been instilled into Adonis,” says Jordan, “but at the end of the day this is a Creed franchise moving forward and I’m looking forward to people enjoying the story of Adonis Creed.”
Watch the video above (or here) for more on this interview. Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, from director Stefano Sollima, debuts on Amazon Prime on Friday.
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