Jack Ryan (film series)

Jack Ryan is an American series of action thriller films based on the fictional character of Jack Ryan, who originally appeared in a series of books by Tom Clancy. In the series of five films, four actors have portrayed Ryan.

Despite inconsistency with its lead actors and crew members, the series has been distributed solely by Paramount Pictures since its inception. Mace Neufeld has produced every film in the series, with producing partner Robert Rehme co-producing Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger and Lorenzo di Bonaventura co-producing Shadow Recruit. With a combined unadjusted worldwide gross of $788.4 million to date,[1] the films constitute the 57th highest-grossing film series.[2] The films have been nominated for four Academy Awards, winning one for Sound Effects (now Sound Editing) in The Hunt for Red October (at the 63rd Awards).[3]

The continuity of the films differ from the novels. In the novels, Patriot Games occurs before The Hunt for Red October, though the order was reversed in the film versions. Additionally, The Sum of All Fears is not part of the Baldwin/Ford series, but rather an intended reboot of the franchise, and therefore departs significantly from the chronology of the novels. It takes place in 2002, whereas the novel takes place in 1991/1992. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a second reboot of the franchise that departs from all previous films.


After viewing galley proofs of Tom Clancy's 1984 novel The Hunt for Red October, producer Mace Neufeld optioned the rights to the novel in 1985. Despite the book becoming a best seller, no Hollywood studio was interested in purchasing the film rights because of the high cost of trying to condense the book's massive content into a two-hour film. "This book doesn't condense well into two or three pages", said Neufeld. "I read some of the reports from the other studios and the story was too complicated to understand. Fortunately, I was able to get a major executive at Paramount to read the book and he said: 'I think this can make a great movie. Let's see if we can develop it'".[4]


Film Ryan Actor Director Writer(s) Producer(s)
The Hunt for Red October (1990) Alec Baldwin John McTiernan Larry Ferguson
Donald E. Stewart
Mace Neufeld
Patriot Games (1992) Harrison Ford Phillip Noyce W. Peter Iliff
Donald E. Stewart
Mace Neufeld
Robert G. Rehme
Clear and Present Danger (1994) Donald E. Stewart
Steven Zaillian
John Milius
The Sum of All Fears (2002) Ben Affleck Phil Alden Robinson Paul Attanasio
Daniel Pyne
Mace Neufeld
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) Chris Pine Kenneth Branagh Adam Cozad
David Koepp
Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Mace Neufeld


Paramount Pictures bought the film rights to Without Remorse soon after the novel was released. There were several attempts to start work on the film, but it was always dropped soon after, along with attempts to adapt Clancy's hit novel Rainbow Six into a film.

Without Remorse is currently in development with no release date set. According to Deadline Hollywood, Paramount is courting Tom Hardy into playing the lead role of John Kelly. Christopher McQuarrie was in talks to direct as well as co-write the screenplay with Shawn Ryan and Stuart Beattie. He has since stated that the project was "long dead[5]" for him. Actor Kevin Costner is also rumored to portray William Harper.[6] Once Costner was confirmed as Harper in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, reports indicated he would reprise the role in a Without Remorse adaptation.[7]

In July 2017, Paramount Pictures announced new plans to make a film adaptation of the novel Rainbow Six with Akiva Goldsman as producer. Reports indicated that Ryan Reynolds was in loose discussions to portray John Clark in the film,[8] but Michael B. Jordan was confirmed to portray John Clark.[9]


Jack Ryan (2018–Present)

Cast and crew


Characters Films Television series
The Hunt for
Red October
Patriot Games Clear and Present Danger The Sum of All Fears Jack Ryan:
Shadow Recruit
Jack Ryan
1990 1992 1994 2002 2014 2018–Present
Jack Ryan Alec Baldwin Harrison Ford Ben Affleck Chris Pine John Krasinski
Catherine Ryan / Muller Gates McFadden Anne Archer Bridget Moynahan Keira Knightley Abbie Cornish
James Greer James Earl Jones   Wendell Pierce
Sally Ryan Louise Borras Thora Birch  
John Clark   Willem Dafoe Liev Schreiber  
Marko Ramius Sean Connery  
Bart Mancuso Scott Glenn  
Vasily Borodin Sam Neill  
Andrei Lysenko Joss Ackland  
Kevin O'Donnell   Patrick Bergin  
Sean Miller   Sean Bean  
William Holmes   James Fox  
Robby Jackson   Samuel L. Jackson  
Félix Cortez   Joaquim de Almeida  
Ernesto Escobedo   Miguel Sandoval  
Bob Ritter   Henry Czerny  
Bennett   Donald Moffat  
Domingo Chavez   Raymond Cruz  
William Cabot   Morgan Freeman  
J. Robert Fowler   James Cromwell  
Anatoly Grushkov   Michael Byrne  
Olson   Colm Feore  
Viktor Cherevin   Kenneth Branagh  
Thomas Harper   Kevin Costner  
Dixon Lewis   David Paymer  
Rob Behringer   Colm Feore  
Joe Muller   Victor Szelak
Matice   John Hoogenakker
Harriet "Harry" Baumann   Noomi Rapace
Mike November   Michael Kelly
Marcus   Jovan Adepo
Nicolas Reyes   Jordi Molla


Crew/Detail Film
The Hunt for Red October Patriot Games Clear and Present
The Sum of
All Fears
Jack Ryan:
Shadow Recruit
1990 1992 1994 2002 2014
Director John McTiernan Phillip Noyce Phil Alden Robinson Kenneth Branagh
Producer Mace Neufeld Mace Neufeld
Robert Rehme
Mace Neufeld Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Mace Neufeld
Editor Dennis Virkler
John Wright
William Hoy
Neil Travis
Neil Travis Neil Travis
Nicolas de Toth
Martin Walsh
Director of
Jan de Bont Donald McAlpine John Lindley Haris Zambarloukos
Composer Basil Poledouris James Horner Jerry Goldsmith Patrick Doyle
Screenwriter(s) Larry Ferguson
Donald E. Stewart
Donald E. Stewart
Steven Zaillian
Paul Attanasio
Daniel Pyne
Steven Zaillian
Adam Cozad
David Koepp
W. Peter Iliff John Milius
Based on The Hunt for Red October
by Tom Clancy
Patriot Games
by Tom Clancy
Clear and Present Danger
by Tom Clancy
The Sum of All Fears
by Tom Clancy
Jack Ryan
by Tom Clancy
Production Company Mace Neufeld Productions
Nina Saxon Film Design
Mace Neufeld Productions Mace Neufeld Productions
MFP Munich Film Partners
S.O.A.F. Productions
Skydance Productions
Di Bonaventura Pictures
Distributor Paramount Pictures
Release date March 2, 1990 June 5, 1992 August 3, 1994 May 31, 2002 January 17, 2014
Running time 134 minutes 117 minutes 141 minutes 124 minutes 105 minutes[10]



The Hunt for Red October (1990) is set in 1984. Central Intelligence Agency analyst Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) must track down the Red October, a technologically superior Soviet nuclear submarine heading to America's east coast under the command of Captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery), and prove to the American government his theory that the sub's mission is to defect rather than attack the American coast. After being boarded by Ryan, the American submarine USS Dallas will try to assist the Red October in escaping from attacks by the Soviet submarine V.K. Konovalov so that it may be brought safely into US waters.

Patriot Games (1992) begins with former CIA analyst, Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford), now a professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, who was badly wounded after intervening in an attack on the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in London and killing one of the assailants. The remaining attackers were able to escape, including Sean Miller (Sean Bean), the brother of the man Ryan killed. Miller now vows to hunt down and kill Ryan, no matter how long it takes or what he has to do. Eventually Ryan and his family are attacked in two separate, but simultaneous attempts. Ryan decides to rejoin the CIA so that he is able to learn more about Miller and his group of Irish revolutionaries and protect those he loves.

Clear and Present Danger (1994) has Jack Ryan appointed as acting CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence, as Vice Admiral James Greer (James Earl Jones) has become sick with cancer. When a family close to the President is murdered in their sleep, by what appears to be a drug cartel, Ryan is called in to investigate. Unknown to him, the CIA sends in a secret field operative to lead an illegal paramilitary force against the cartels in Colombia with the help of John Clark (Willem Dafoe). Risking both his life and his career, Ryan will try to expose the truth.

The Sum of All Fears (2002) departs from the chronology of the previous three films and is set in 2002. After the President of the Russian Federation dies and is replaced by a man with a mysterious past, the United States goes on a Cold War-like state of alert. CIA director William Cabot (Morgan Freeman) recruits young analyst Jack Ryan (Ben Affleck) to supply insight and advice on the situation in Russia and discover whether the paranoia is founded. Ryan soon discovers that a neo-nazi terrorist group is planning to provoke a war between the U.S. and Russia, by detonating a nuclear bomb at a football game in Baltimore.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) is set in a fictional universe apart from the previous four films and the year is 2013. After the events of the September 11 attacks, Jack Ryan (Chris Pine), studying at the London School of Economics, becomes a Marine second lieutenant in Afghanistan, where he is critically injured when his helicopter is shot down. Twelve years later, Ryan is a covert CIA analyst and is working on Wall Street with a cover job as a compliance officer at a stock brokerage. He quickly discovers that certain accounts are inaccessible to him as auditor, which leads him to Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh). With Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner), Jack works to stop a plot to collapse the dollar.


Box office performance

Film U.S. release date Box office revenue Budget Reference
United States Foreign Worldwide
The Hunt for Red October March 2, 1990 $122,012,643 $78,500,000 $200,512,643 $30,000,000 [11]
Patriot Games June 5, 1992 $83,351,587 $94,700,000 $178,051,587 $45,000,000 [12]
Clear and Present Danger August 3, 1994 $122,187,717 $93,700,000 $215,887,717 $62,000,000 [13]
The Sum of All Fears May 31, 2002 $118,907,036 $75,014,336 $193,921,372 $68,000,000 [14]
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit January 17, 2014 $50,577,412 $84,933,618 $135,511,030 $60,000,000 [15]
Total $497,036,395 $426,847,954 $923,884,349 $265,000,000

Critical and public response

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
The Hunt for Red October 88% (69 reviews)[16] 58/100 (17 reviews)[17]
Patriot Games 73% (37 reviews)[18] 64/100 (23 reviews)[19]
Clear and Present Danger 80% (41 reviews)[20] 74/100 (14 reviews)[21]
The Sum of All Fears 59% (173 reviews)[22] 45/100 (35 reviews)[23]
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit 55% (179 reviews)[24] 57/100 (36 reviews)[25]

Home media

On February 7, 2003, Paramount announced a box set entitled The Jack Ryan Special Edition DVD Collection, which includes new editions of The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger as well as the special edition of The Sum of All Fears.[26] Both the set and the individual editions of each film were released on May 6, 2003.[27] While the four films were originally intended to be released in a Blu-ray collection entitled The Jack Ryan Collection, the films were later broken up into separate releases for the high definition format on July 29, 2008.[28] On December 3, 2013, The Jack Ryan Collection was finally issued on Blu-ray.

Other media

Video games

The film series has spawned three video games for various systems. Two side scroller games were produced in 1990 to coincide with the release of The Hunt for Red October, one for computer systems was released by Grandslam Interactive Ltd. while another was released for Nintendo consoles by Hi-Tech Expressions, Inc.[29] In 2002, the video game The Sum of All Fears was released by Ubisoft for the PC, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube.[30]

Domingo Chavez (as Ding Chavez) and John Clark both appear as a member and the leader of Team Rainbow in the older Rainbow Six games, these characters also appeared in the book.

Cancelled projects

A film, based on the novel The Cardinal of the Kremlin, was planned. It was to involve Harrison Ford and William Shatner.[31] It was never released and the idea was most likely scrapped.


  1. "Jack Ryan Movies". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  2. "Movie Franchises". The Numbers. Nash Information Services. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  3. "The 63rd Academy Awards (1991) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  4. Thomas, Bob (March 2, 1990). "High-Tech Novel Took Five Years to Reach Screen". Associated Press. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  5. "ChristopherMcQuarrie on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
  6. Jr, Mike Fleming (7 August 2012). "Paramount Confirms Christopher McQuarrie Taking On Tom Clancy's 'Without Remorse'".
  7. "Tom Hardy up for Jack Ryan Spinoff WITHOUT REMORSE; Kevin Costner to Play CIA Liaison [sic] in Both Movies". 20 August 2012.
  8. Fleming Jr., Mike. "Akiva Goldsman Moves To Paramount; 'Rainbow Six,' 'Ologies' & 'Avengelyne' On Menu". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  9. Kroll, Justin (20 September 2018). "Michael B. Jordan to Play Tom Clancy Character John Clark in New Film Series (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  10. "JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT - British Board of Film Classification".
  11. "The Hunt For Red October (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  12. "Patriot Games (1992)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  13. "Clear and Present Danger(1994)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  14. "The Sum of All Fears (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  15. "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  16. "The Hunt for Red October". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  17. "The Hunt for Red October (1990): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  18. Patriot Games, retrieved 2018-07-27
  19. "Patriot Games (1992): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
  20. "Clear and Present Danger". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  21. "Clear and Present Danger (1994): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  22. "The Sum of All Fears". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  23. "The Sum of All Fears (2002): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  24. "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  25. "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
  26. Conrad, Jeremy (February 7, 2003). "The Jack Ryan Special Edition Collection". IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  27. Bernardin, Marc (May 9, 2003). "The Jack Ryan Special Edition DVD Collection (2003)". Entertainment Weekly. CNN. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  28. Dreuth, Josh (May 28, 2008). "Jack Ryan Gets Split for Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  29. "The Hunt for Red October for Amiga (1990)". MobyGames. GameFly. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  30. "The Sum of All Fears for GameCube (2003)". MobyGames. GameFly. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  31. "Tos TrekMUSE Interview with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley". Archived from the original on October 22, 2004. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
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