NYCC 2017: Thank The CIA For Amazon's Jack Ryan Series

Danielle Mick writes from New York Comic Con 2017:

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan Panel
Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan Panel

"What is a Jack Ryan story without a threat on a global scale?" – Carlton Cuse

After doing the Jack Ryan Amazon Echo Escape Room, I had to figure out what this was all about. I made the last minute decision to jump into the Jack Ryan panel, which is a new series premiering on Amazon Prime in the summer of 2018, based on Tom Clancy's novels. There will be eight one-hour long episodes, and we were able to get a sneak peek at the season to come.

We were shown the first seven minutes of the pilot, which was unfinished and unedited. It was actually really interesting to see what was essentially a beta version of the episode, because we were able to get a glimpse into the post-production process. I have no spoilers to offer you, unfortunately, but I can say that the pacing of the scenes makes me want to get to know the characters. I would absolutely continue watching from the quick peek that we received.

The panel consisted of lead actor John Krasinski (The Office, 13 Hours), Abbie Cornish (Limitless, Sucker Punch), Graham Roland (Fringe, Almost Human), and Carlton Cuse (Bates Motel, Lost). Though Krasinski dominated the audience Q&A portion of the panel, it was Cuse who held the fort down for the moderator's interest in the new series. Cuse said:

"We approached this like making an eight-hour movie. The series has a very novel-like format. You get a chance to spend time with the bad guy and the systematic issues that plague his world."

He said it was important that the bad guy (of which we received no detail) had a life outside of their villainy — a life we get to see to grasp a deeper perspective of his actions. We are not meant to excuse his actions because of his normalcy, but we are to question the grey area that comes with good versus evil.

John Krasinski as Jack Ryan
John Krasinski as Jack Ryan

"[Tom Clancy] really brought you into that world because he researched a lot. We had some really great consultants, even someone who worked in the CIA and did what Jack is doing in the pilot," Cuse continued.

They made it unmistakably clear that the only thing that they pulled from the original novels and former films was the characters themselves. They abandoned the original tale in favor of something more modern, keeping up with Clancy's pinpoint accuracy of the time. Amazon's Jack Ryan is about terrorism, but Cuse promises that it goes deeper than that.

I was amazed to find out that they were able to actually work with the (surprisingly apolitical) CIA, where they were worked with real people who had been in the situations presented throughout the series. "They are the most amazingly normal and completely abnormal and extraordinary people who are on the front line for us every day." Krasinski explained.

Krasinski was quick to nerd out over his love for Jack Ryan, having grown up with the character, and explained his admiration for his characterization and his excitement about the project. He went on to compare the character to James Bond… just Americanized. He compared his new character to his most iconic role of Jim Halpert from The Office, as well:

"He and Jim are the same — if you liked Jim, you'll like Jack Ryan. I just went from salesman to super spy."

I am happy to announce that Krasinski is currently directing and starring in a movie with his wife (Emily Blunt). It will be released at some point in 2018. This is their first time working together.

About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.