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Tom Clancy’s best-selling novels have been adapted into a blockbuster film franchise, and there’s a new installment coming soon. The former insurance agent-turned-novelist who died in 2013, was known for recurring themes of espionage, Soviet operatives, military-inspired storylines, corrupt government agencies, and other makings of a gripping action film.
Jack Ryan, Clancy’s biggest novel-to-film character, is a CIA analyst whose various missions have been the premise for most of the films that his books were adapted from. Ryan was also the lead of the first novel he ever sold (“The Hunt for Red October”). Several actors have taken on the role of Ryan including Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine, and, most recently, John Krasinski.
And there’s an all-new Clancy adaptation: “Without Remorse” will premiere on Amazon Prime on April 30. Directed by Stefano Sollima, the action-packed thriller, based on the 1993 Clancy novel of the same name, adds another spinoff to the Ryan series. The plot centers around John Clark (Michael B. Jordan) an elite US Navy SEAL who uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife. Clark teams with fellow NAVY Seal Karen Greer (Jodie Foster Turner) and CIA officer Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell) and exposes a plot that could find the U.S. and Russia engaged in war.
Jordan is the first Black actor to take over the role, as Clark’s character has previously been played by William Dafoe and Liev Schreiber.
Amazon Studios described “Without Remorse” as an “explosive origin story of action hero John Clark — one of the most popular characters in author Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan universe.” The film was originally slated for a theatrical release through Paramount Pictures but was acquired by Amazon Studios amid film delays brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
For those of you who don’t have an Amazon Prime membership yet, the sign-up process is fast and easy and it’s just $12.99 a month. Becoming an Amazon Prime member grants you instant access to Prime Video, and a massive streaming library that includes original series and movies. The membership comes with free two-day shipping on select items, and you can cancel anytime. For Clancy fans, Amazon Prime is a one-stop shop destination for his novels — and films that include “Clear and Present Danger,” “The Hunt for Red October,” and “Patriot Games.” The Jack Ryan TV series is also streaming on Amazon Prime.
If you’re looking to stock up on physical copies, we put together a list of the best Blu-ray films adapted from Clancy novels. Check out the roundup below.
The suspense-filled submarine thriller adapted from Clancy’s 1984 best-selling novel marks the beginning of the film franchise with Ryan as protagonist. Ryan (Alec Baldwin) tracks Marko Ramius (Sean Connery), a renegade Soviet submarine captain who abandons orders and steers his ship (Red October) towards U.S. shores. James Earl Jones, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, and Tim Curry, round out the cast.
The action-packed film, directed by John McTiernan, earned $200 million worldwide to became one of the top-grossing blockbusters of 1990.
“Patriot Games” is a sequel to “The Hunt for Red October,” but with Harrison Ford replacing Baldwin as Ryan. The action thriller, directed by Phillip Noyce, picks up with Ryan thwarting a terrorist attack while on vacation with his family in London. Ryan kills one of the terrorists in a shootout, which in turn puts a target on his back after the dead man’s brother, Sean Miller (Sean Bean), escapes from prison and vows to get revenge. After his family is targeted in the revenge plot, Ryan rejoins the CIA and sets out to find Miller.
If you enjoy the premise of “Patriot Games,” then you may be interested in the sequel, “Clear and Present Danger.” Noyce returned to direct the 1994 political thriller with Ryan (Ford) becoming Acting Deputy Director of the CIA. But he soon discovers that his colleagues are involved in a covert war against Colombian drug cartels, and the White House is in on the plan. Ryan sets out to uncover who planned what, and whether the “clear and present danger” is an external, or internal threat.
Released in 2002, “The Sum of All Fears” is a prequel to the earlier films revolving around Ryan. This time around, Ben Affleck takes on the starring role of a younger Ryan on a mission to stop an impending nuclear war after Neo-Nazi scientists construct a bomb that destroys Baltimore (which is Clancy’s hometown, by the way). Affleck stars alongside Morgan Freeman, James Cromwell, and Schreiber in the spy thriller directed by Phil Alden Robinson.
To stock up on the aforementioned films, try the Jack Ryan Movie Five-Pack Blu-Ray sets featuring “The Sum of All Fears,” “Patriot Games,” “Clear and Present Danger,” “The Hunt for Red October,” and “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” which is an original story versus a novel adaptation like the others. In the film, Ryan uncovers a plot to crash the U.S. economy and he’s the only one who can stop it, before global chaos ensues. There’s also a four-pack film series that doesn’t include the Jack Ryan spinoff film.