May 25, 2017

Paramount’s Jack Ryan reboot may have found its director

By Sean O’Connell Jack Bender might be the hardest working, most talented storyteller in Hollywood, and yet very few know him by name. That all may change if news we’re hearing eventually comes true.

First, a look at Bender’s credentials. He’s an Emmy winner who has directed multiple episodes of “Lost” (including the finale), “The Sopranos,” “Alias,” “Ally McBeal,” “Felicity” and plenty more. As an actor, he appeared in such classic television shows as “Ironside,” “Mary Tyler Moore,” “All in the Family” and “The Mod Squad.”

And now, according to Vulture, Bender might be tapped to helm Paramount’s planned reboot of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan franchise, with “Star Trek” star Chris Pine in the lead role.

The site colorfully reports that Bender is “a cat’s breath away from landing the job as the director of Moscow, in which a fresh-from-the-Marines Jack Ryan goes to work as an analyst for a Russian billionaire, but winds up on the run after being implicated in a terrorist plot. “

It’s possible Bender’s frequent collaborator, J.J. Abrams, helped him land the spot. But with his experience helming both “Alias” and “Lost” means he’s more than equipped to handle a full-scale action thriller. And anyone who watched Bender’s work on those programs also know that character comes first … a good sign for any action franchise in the making.

This is great news. Let’s hope it pans out.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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