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Actor Chris Pine once found himself portraying action hero Jack Ryan in the titular film Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. But he unfortunately never had the opportunity to revisit the character in any sequels.

Why Chris Pine did ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’

Chris Pine at the 'Outlaw King' premiere.
Chris Pine | John Phillips/Getty Images

Pine was on the rise as an actor when he did the 2014 movie Shadow Recruit. His starring role in Star Trek already significantly boosted his celebrity profile. But Jack Ryan offered Pine the opportunity to lead another film that was similar to movies like Damon’s Bourne franchise. Pine took the lead for the simple fact that he was glad for more work. He was also a fan of prior Jack Ryan movies that featured film legends like Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin.

“I’d just gotten Star Trek so it was a very exciting time in my career when I also got this. People ask why I took it and the simple answer is that I was offered work! Also, I love the Ryan franchise. I’ve always loved those films, and I love Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin and I’m a huge fan of spy fiction,” Pine once said in an interview with Den of Geek.

However, Pine felt a new pressure that came with being a leading man. He was already somewhat used to headlining films with Star Trek. But he considered Jack Ryan a different animal.

“A lot of people have opinions and a lot of people need it to do well, so of course there’s pressure. It’s different than Star Trek in the sense that I’m playing the title character. All you can do is surround yourself with people you trust and pray for the best,” he added.

Chris Pine once had deep regrets over ‘Jack Ryan’ franchise

As passionate as Pine was for Jack Ryan, he admitted that he was bothered by the film’s performance. The action thriller didn’t do too well as some would have liked at the box-office. Critically, it experienced a similar fate. It received a 55% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, which indicated only a very slight majority preferred the film. Its general audience score was a bit lower with a 53% rating.

The film’s critical and financial performance posed a threat to any potential Jack Ryan sequels.

“No, I don’t think it made enough money for that to happen,” Pine once said in an interview with Moviefone (via Variety).

Pine was met with disappointment that his Jack Ryan franchise would never seem to move past the first film.

“That’s one of my deep regrets, that we didn’t totally get that right. It’s a great franchise, and if it’s not me, then I hope it gets a fifth life at this point. It’s just great. I love the spy genre. I hope it’s done again and with a great story,” Pine added.

John Krasinski took over the Jack Ryan role after Chris Pine


‘Jack Ryan’: Everything We Know So Far About Season 3 of the John Krasinski Series

The Amazon Prime series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan has continued Jack Ryan’s story in a new way. The series premiered on August 31, 2018 and sees John Krasinski as the titular character after Pine’s portrayal. Krasinski was attracted to how real and grounded the character felt when compared to other modern and flashier heroes.

“I really loved the idea of playing a superhero whose only real superpower is using his brain, and his instincts,” Krasinski once told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s very inspiring in the world of superheroes and capes and flying and shooting things out of your hands. It’s nice to focus on real people and real heroes.”

Unlike previous movies, Krasinski also felt his Jack Ryan took the character in places that other films hadn’t. This was due to the TV series being potentially more complex than the movies.

“The movies kind of focused on Jack Ryan in that this guy’s good, this guy’s bad and that’s it. We get to be a little more sophisticated and a little bit more real,” showrunner Graham Roland said.