With “The Avengers” paying off hugely for Marvel and Disney, it appears other studios are looking to cash in on the cross-over franchise idea. Warner Bros is prepping its long-gestating “Justice League”, and now Paramount is jumping into the fray with something a bit more grounded. Chris Pine is already set to play CIA operative “Jack Ryan” in Kenneth Branagh’s reboot of the franchise based on Tom Clancy’s book series, and now, before a frame has been shot on that project, a spin-off movie is already in the works as well.
Clancy’s “Without Remorse”, now in the hands of director Christopher McQuarrie, features Ryan-esque badass John Kelly, and Deadline reports Paramount would like Tom Hardy to play him. John Kelly, who eventually is known only as Clark, journeys through your typical man-who-loses-everything-goes-on-a-revenge-rampage story, and is aided by his CIA liaison William Harper, to be played by Kevin Costner. The cross-over potential begins right there as Costner will make his first appearance as Harper in Branagh’s Ryan reboot opposite Pine. On top of mentoring Ryan and Kelly, Costner’s Harper could also end up headlining his own film. Franchise!
Hardy and Pine, should all the little pieces here come together and the films get to a point that see their characters on screen together, would be reuniting after co-starring opposite Reese Witherspoon in a decidedly lighter CIA actioner, “This Means War.” That out-of-character jaunt aside, Hardy has stayed much more on the darker side of stories in films, having broke out in Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” and then playing the villainous Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises” for the director. He’ll next be see in John Hillcoat’s Cannes premiere “Lawless” and has just signed on for what appears to be a match made in heaven, opposite Michael Shannon in literary adaptation “The Long Red Road.”