Paramount has hired Sicario: Day of the Soldado director Stefano Sollima to helm Without Remorse. Michael B Jordan will star as John Clark, an ex-navy deal turned CIA operative. This comes two and a half months after we first reported that Jordan had been tapped to lead this Tom Clancy thriller, with the hope that it’d become a spy franchise for the Creed star.
John Clark, formerly John Terrence Kelly, first appeared as a shadowy CIA field agent in Clancy’s The Cardinal of the Kremlin, the third book in Clancy’s bestselling Jack Ryan series. Clark quickly gained popularity with Clancy’s readers and got his own origin story in Remorse and was also the focus of the novel Rainbow Six.
Without Remorse takes place during and after the Vietnam War, while Rainbow Six takes place in the 90s, so there’s going to have to be some updating for Jordan to portray Clark in both films, as is the plan.
Jordan isn’t the first actor to tackle the role of John Clark. In 1994 Willem Dafoe played Clark opposite Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan in Clear and Present Danger. Then in 2002 Liev Schreiber played Clark in The Sum of All Fears, which saw Ben Affleck take on the role of Ryan.
Clark often appears as field support to CIA analyst (and eventually U.S. President) Ryan. Ryan is only a teenager during Without Remorse and has a brief cameo, but he doesn’t appear in Rainbow Six. Still, as someone who’s read all of Clancy’s books, it’s hard for me to separate Clark and Ryan, so it’ll be interesting to see if Ryan ever factors into Jordan’s Clark films. John Krasinski is currently playing Ryan on Amazon’s Jack Ryan, so maybe we could get a crossover at some point?
Paramount plans to have Sollima start filming in 2019, for a release in 2020.
Jordan is producing with Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, and Akiva Goldsman.