Well, well, look who's primed for a big screen comeback? With the mini-series "Hatfields & McCoys" bringing in massive ratings and critical acclaim, and a role in the upcoming "Man Of Steel," it seems studios are ready to be back in business with the man who was once a no-brainer box office draw. As reported a couple of weeks ago, Kevin Costner was kicking the tires on a role in Kenneth Branagh's untitled Jack Ryan reboot. Well not only has he signed on, taking the role of William Harper, who recruits and trains Chris Pine's Jack Ryan, if all goes according to the plan, it won't be the last we see of the character.
Deadline reports that Costner is working out a deal to star in "Without Remorse," spinoff movie that Christopher McQuarrie will write and direct. This film doesn't center on Jack Ryan, but instead on John Kelly (who later became John Clark, played by Willem Dafoe in "Clear And Present Danger" and Liev Schreiber in "The Sum Of All Fears"), a mercenary and Vietnam vet, who teams up with a prostitute/hitchhiker/ex-drug mule to take on the dealers that employed her. But when she gets kidnapped, gang-raped and killed, Clark goes on a quest for vengeance. Costner would reprise his role of William Harper, with Paramount eyeing Tom Hardy for what we presume is the lead role.
Of course, Hardy is currently sending chills up the spines of moviegoers as Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises," but he's not yet proven to be a box office draw all on his own. And we'd guess the studio wants the character of John Kelly/Clark to potentially go the franchise route, so it's an interesting gambit. That said, Hardy is currently filming "Fury Road" which should raise his profile even more, and will likely have a lot of options coming his way soon, but this could be a good way to take on another heroic franchise leading role, that could change the game for the actor.
Either way, it looks like Paramount doesn't want one, but two Tom Clancy properties on the go, with Kevin Costner as the connective tissue. It's an interesting development, and we'll see how it all goes.