Is James Franco The New Jack Ryan?

Whenever an iconic role gets recast, there’s always wild rumors floating around. While he may not have as high a profile as Ian Fleming’s British super spy James Bond, author Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan nevertheless has a lot of fans… and a wishlist of potential actors to play him.

CHUD has reported the rumor today that director Sam Raimi wants his “Spider-Man” co-star James Franco to play the lead role in his relaunch of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series for Paramount. Their source goes on with the word that the studio doesn’t think Franco is suitable and so they and Raimi are clashing over the casting – to the point that Raimi may walk away from the project altogether.

Raimi became attached to the project back in March when it was indicated that the studio wanted to restart the franchise with a film that didn’t use one of Clancy’s books and again recast Ryan as a young CIA analyst which they did in 2002’s “The Sum of All Fears”.

The catch is that casting is crucial. ‘Sum’ financially scored the same as the other films in the series, but the casting of Ben Affleck in a role previously occupied by Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford drew a lot of criticism. There’s also been various other actors linked to the role in recent months including the highly acclaimed young thesp Ryan Gosling and even Ford himself potentially returning to the role.