Tom Clancy died today. The former insurance salesman turned his obsession with the Navy, the Cold War, espionage and military tactics into bestselling novels.
His debut, The Hunt for Red October, introduced the world to CIA analyst Jack Ryan. in his career Ryan took on Cold Warriors, terrorists, druglords, and crooked politicians.
He seems to be the only member of the CIA who knows how Russian submarine commanders think.
Harrison Ford originally turned down the role because he didn’t want to be second-billed to Sean Connery. When Alec Baldwin famously said ‘no’ to playing Ryan again, Ford got the chance. In Patriot Games Jack Ryan is pursued by renegade IRA men (a fictional precursor to the Real IRA?) Cue dodgy Oirish accents
Jack Ryan returned once more to hunt down South American druglords in Clear and Present Danger. But how can Ryan fight the ‘war on drugs’ when he’s hamstrung by office politics?
At this point Ford said goodbye to Ryan. Perhaps he’d simply had enough of thsi sort of thing:
Ben Affleck took over the role in The Sum of All Fears. He spoke Russian and saved the world in a film that was not well received by critics.
No matter: Hollywood made a lot of money from Ryan, so it’s not surprising that they’re bringing him back: