David Paymer has been cast in Paramount’s “Jack Ryan” opposite Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Costner.

The established character actor will portray an American diplomat in the thriller, directed by Kenneth Branagh and produced by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Mace Neufeld and Mark Vahradian. Story, based on characters created by Tom Clancy, takes place prior to the original Jack Ryan stories in which Ryan is a stockbroker working for a billionaire in Moscow before joining the CIA.

“Jack Ryan,” financed by Skydance, is set for release on Christmas 2013.

Paymer, repped by APA and The Susan Smith Company, most recently appeared in “Bad Teacher.” Other credits include “Drag Me To Hell,” “Ocean’s Thirteen” and “In Good Company.”