Sam Raimi Helms New Jack Ryan Series

Paramount Pictures is in negotiations with “Spider-Man” helmer Sam Raimi to revive the studio’s Jack Ryan franchise reports Variety.

The Tom Clancy-created CIA analyst character appeared in four hit movies for the studio from 1990’s acclaimed “The Hunt for Red October” through to 2002’s “The Sum of All Fears”.

The plan is Raimi would develop and direct several films featuring Ryan at a younger, more formative point in his career than previously depicted. One idea is that the studio is considering setting the film in the present, with the action triggered by a global threat.

The move is considered highly risky. Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford’s turns as the character in ‘Red October,’ “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger” followed the books reasonably well and took into account the character’s age.

2002’s “The Sum of All Fears” however tried this trick of a modern-day reset which followed Ryan in his early days. The film scored decent reviews, but Ben Affleck’s performance in the role, the reset aspect, and the frequent deviations from the novel were the most heavily criticized elements of the film.

Clancy himself was famously upset about the changes to ‘Sum’, whilst his next novel is considered un-filmable in the post-9/11 world as the ending involves a passenger jet being deliberately crashed into a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill.

Clancy is currently completing another Ryan novel so the studio hasn’t decided if it will use the new book or come up with an original story. Paramount controls rights to the Ryan character and gets first look at the new novel.

Paramount will draft a screenwriter to write a Ryan movie that Raimi would shoot after he completes the Universal horror film “Drag Me to Hell”. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Josh Donen would produce and a Summer 2010 release date is being targeted.