Keira Knightley has emerged victorious and is in negotiations to star opposite Chris Pine in Kenneth Branagh’s reboot of the “Jack Ryan” franchise, according to THR. Knightley had been vying for the part of Caroline Muller along with “Lost” actress Evangeline Lilly and Sundance breakout star Felicty Jones, but she had been the frontrunner all along and now it’s just about official.
The character of Jack Ryan first appeared in Clancy’s novel “The Hunt for Red October” and he was portrayed in the film of the same name by Alec Baldwin. The ex-soldier, CIA operative and all-around American superhero has also been played by Harrison Ford (“Clear and Present Danger”, “Patriot Games”) and Ben Affleck (“Sum of All Fears”). Each incarnation features a slightly different version of the prolific action hero, and Pine’s is an ex-Marine who’s working as an analyst in Moscow. There, he “discovers a plot by his employer to finance a terrorist attack designed to collapse the U.S. economy, and must race against time to save America and his wife.” Branagh will also be playing the villain role in addition to directing Pine and Knightley.
Knightley shot to fame as the star of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, though she has mostly stuck to high profile prestige projects since, and has earned many accolades, including an Oscar nomination, working with Joe Wright in “Atonement” and “Pride and Prejudice.” The duo are teaming up for a third time in the releasing-this-fall “Anna Karenina”, though it appears Knightley is ready to dip her toe back into studio fare.