Relativity Media has acquired the rights to author Tom Clancy’s fictional character John Clark (aka. John Kelly) and will produce a movie version of the writer’s 1993 bestseller “Without Remorse” reports Variety.
The 1971-set book has Kelly, a former Navy SEAL returned from Vietnam, taking charge in two operations – an official military rescue of POWs, and a personal vendetta against the drug runners who raped, tortured and killed the first woman he became involved with since his wife’s death.
Stuart Beattie is penning the screenplay adaptation, a prequel to Clark’s later appearances. The hope is to turn it into a franchise series of movies, much like Paramount did with Clancy’s Jacky Ryan character.
Clark has been portrayed on-screen twice before by Willem Dafoe in “Clear and Present Danger” and Liev Schrieber in “The Sum of All Fears”. Attempts have been made to translate the book to film before, but have failed each time.
Earlier versions had Gary Sinise and Joaquin Phoenix attached to play Clark whilst another had John Singleton directing with Superman-himself Brandon Routh in the role. To this day ‘Remorse’ is said to have set the record for the largest book advance in history – $14 million.
Relativity will also fund and produce a movie for Capitol Films about Mary Queen of Scots, with Scarlett Johansson attached to play the ill-fated monarch. That project will be penned by Jimmy McGovern and directed by John Curran.