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Jack Ryan helmer Branagh also in talks to star

Would play villain in action thriller reboot starring Chris Pine

Paramount didn’t have to look far for the villain in its untitled Jack Ryan reboot, as the studio is in negotiations with Kenneth Branagh — who’s also directing the film — to star opposite Chris Pine in the action thriller that aims to reinvigorate the blockbuster franchise.

Paramount had no comment on the casting.

Pine’s Jack Ryan is an ex-Marine who works as a successful financial analyst in Moscow. He discovers a plot by his employer to finance a terrorist attack designed to collapse the U.S. economy, and must race against time to save America and his wife.

Branagh is making a deal to play the Russian villain, who with the help of the local government, masterminds a plot to destroy America’s economy by making the dollar worthless.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing with Mace Neufeld and David Barron. David Ellison, whose Skydance Prods. banner is co-financing the film, will exec produce the pic, which is based on the Jack Ryan character created by author Tom Clancy.

Branagh is coming off an Oscar nomination for his perf as Sir Laurence Olivier in “My Week With Marilyn.” He landed the job directing the Jack Ryan pic after helming “Thor” for Paramount. He’ll also serve as a producer on Marvel’s sequel “Thor: The Dark World,” which is being directed by Alan Taylor.

Branagh is repped by WME, Hofflund/Polone and Troika.

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