In Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan Season 1, the sixth live-action adaptation of the titular hero, creators Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Graham Roland (Fringe), successfully breathe new life into a screen franchise that hasn't been relevant since the early '90s, when the character was portrayed by actors like Harrison Ford (Patriot Games) and Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October).
This time around, we're given a much younger version of Jack Ryan, played by John Kransinki (A Quiet Place), who goes from a lowly analyst sitting behind a desk to an action-oriented field operative, trying to take down the world's most dangerous terrorists.
For two-thirds of the season, the series succeeds in differentiating itself from other titles within the genre by giving the story a compelling antagonist, named Suleiman (Ali Suliman), and two likable heroes, in Krasinski's Ryan and Wendell Pierce's James Greer -- Jack's new boss at the CIA. Towards the end of the season, however, the series devolves into the standard "let's kill the evil terrorist" tropes and forgets what made the first 6 episodes so enjoyable.
A big reason for the show's success is Suleiman, an Islamic extremist who's hell-bent on making the West pay for a crime they committed against his country when he was a boy.
Instead of simply making him into a caricature, writers Cuse and Roland build an intriguing backstory around him, through the use of flashbacks and the interactions he has with his present-day wife and children.
The unsung hero and matriarch of the Suleiman Family, Hanin, is played by Saudi actress Dina Shihabi (Madam Secretary). Hanin gives us an inside perspective of what it's like being married to a terrorist. She also helps to humanize her husband, who at times is very loving, but can also be scary when he needs to.
As good as most of Suleiman's backstory is, there could have been even more. We're never given a sense of why he turned out the way he did, or how he and Hanin became romantically involved. There's nothing wrong with a little ambiguity, but the final episodes take a break from Suleiman's character development and focus more on Jack Ryan saving the day, which is exciting to watch but lacks the narrative depth established in those first few episodes.
In a strong show of confidence, Amazon has officially renewed the Tom Clancy-inspired series Jack Ryanfor a third season months ahead of the premiere of Season 2.
The renewal announcement was made by Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke at a Television Critics Association press presentation earlier today.
This echoes a similar move by Amazon last year, which saw the premium streaming service renew the then-unaired series for a second season more than four months before the series premiere this past August.
Properties based on Tom Clancy novels have seen a renewed push for major adaptations this past year with Paramount optioning a two-film deal to adapt Clancy's novels Without Remorse and Rainbow Six this past September. The planned adaptations have signed Michael B. Jordan to star as Clancy's popular recurring literary character John Clark though no writers or director have officially been announced as attached to either production.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint wasn't the only Tom Clancy-related game Ubisoft showcased at its E3 event. It revealed the trailer for Tom Clancy's Elite Squad, a mobile RPG that pulls together characters from Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, The Division and Splinter Cell to form a spec-ops dream team.
In Elite Squad, you'll take part in 5v5 battles on maps from across the various Clancy game franchises. Battles will play out in real time. You can improve your squad over time through training, and pick from hundreds of different weapons and pieces of gear to kit them out with.
There's a story-driven campaign mode, in which you'll guide the likes of Attackers from The Division, Guardians from Rainbow Six and Sam Fisher from Splinter Cell to save the world. Naturally, you'll be able to take on other players too. You can battle it out in the PvP Arena and try to rise up the leaderboard. You'll also have the option of teaming up with your buddies for guild battles.