After a couple of false starts, it seems there’s finally good news on the horizon for Paramount’s Jack Ryan, which has now begun casting in earnest, with Keira Knightley, Felicity Jones and Evangeline Lilly making the short list for the possible female lead. The project has had Chris Pine attached to play the beloved Tom Clancy creation for years, but he’s been all by his lonesome while he waited for the rest of the production to catch up.
Things finally started moving again a few weeks ago when director Kenneth Branagh (who got the job back in March) cast himself as the villain. But who will he pick for out of these three possible leading ladies? At this point we can only speculate.
The three actresses are said to be vying for the part of Jack Ryan’s future wife, although apparently Knightley is the frontrunner so far. Out of the game altogether are Total Recall actresses Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel, who got as far as taking meetings about the role. The character has previously been played by Anne Archer in the Harrison Ford films (Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger), Gates McFadden in the Alec Baldwin-starring The Hunt for Red October, and Bridget Moynahan in Ben Affleck’s The Sum of All Fears.
Knightley is undoubtedly the biggest star of the trio, and she’s already got one successful action franchise behind her — the Pirates of the Caribbean series. In the past she’s had no trouble jumping between indie films, period dramas, and studio blockbusters, so she also seems the most adaptable of the three… But not so fast. Former Lost actress Lilly also seems like she’d be an excellent fit for the film, and she’s already proven she’s great at running around and shooting things, action-styley. So, Jones seems to be the outsider here – although lesser known, she’s still a good actress who would be able to make the most of the part. Hmmmm… decisions, decisions. We certainly don’t envy Branagh right now.
Although the Jack Ryan movies aren’t known for having an especially strong female presence, Deadline has described this part as “high profile” so perhaps the character will have a bigger presence in this instalment. One thing’s clear; whichever actress lands the lead will be signing on for two potential sequels beyond the first movie. Ooooh. The decision should be announced soon, so we’ll keep you posted.
Who would you choose to play the female lead?