John Krasinski Admits It's 'Super Intimidating' to Step into Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford's Shoes as New Jack Ryan
John Krasinski tells PEOPLE he's "thrilled" to portray author Tom Clancy's iconic character Jack Ryan
Krasinski’s turn as the CIA agent will headline a new, 10-episode Amazon series. Ryan has previously been brought to the big screen by Harrison Ford in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October, Ben Affleck in The Sum of All Fears and, most recently, Chris Pine in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
“People say there’s nothing like your first, so the first time I saw Jack Ryan it was with Alec Baldwin,” Krasinski tells PEOPLE. “And then Harrison Ford, I don’t know if you can get better than him. And Ben Affleck and Chris Pine are huge superstars of our current day.”
Krasinski knows that he has some big shoes to fill, but is “thrilled” for the challenge: “It’s super intimidating coming behind them to add something new and something fresh. They are just going into the writers room now so it’s very new.”
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No premiere date has been set, but the new Jack Ryan comes from the minds of executive producer Michael Bay, co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and writer Graham Roland.
The Amazon series will follow Ryan in the middle of his career – before his turn as POTUS. Krasinski’s Ryan will be on a CIA field assignment, encountering danger after he discovers a worldwide terrorist plot.
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“I’ve been a huge fan of Jack Ryan forever,” he tells PEOPLE. “The books are incredible, and the movies are fantastic.”
He’s excited to tell Ryan’s story in a “new format,” explaining that Cruse (of Lost fame) helped pique his interest.
“[Cruse] told me, ‘Listen, it’s not really a TV show, it’s basically a 10-part movie that we are going to do every year,’ ” says Krasinski. “I said, ‘Yeah, explain that to me.’ ”
Krasinski says that Cruse outlined why a series is better for the long-form storytelling used in Clancy’s novels.
Cruse explained that “Jack Ryan is an analyst and his superpower, if you will, is his intelligence. So it’s going to be more drawn out, slower, more involvement with his spy stuff.”
And The Office alum definitely sees the potential: “I think it’s actually going to be a really cool, exciting way to explore this character.”