Kenneth Branagh is apparently in negotiations with the studio to take on the film, which we'll refer to as Jack Ryan for the sake of expediency. That's according to Vulture, in an article that points out that Branagh delivered a summer blockbuster to Paramount and Marvel Studios with Thor before Disney bought Marvel.
Branagh, an actor with a Shakespearean pedigree, was just nominated for an Oscar playing Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn. As a director, he's probably best known for Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet. He opted against returning to the Marvel universe with Thor 2, and given the first film's success, it's understandable that he's now a desirable studio commodity.
Frequent Lost director Jack Bender was attached to make his feature debut with Jack Ryan for a year and a half, but departed due to scheduling conflicts with his SyFy project Rewind. Initially, Paramount's plan was the get production underway before Pine went back to the Enterprise on the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek sequel, but last year, they sensibly swapped the order rather than rushing Jack Ryan.
The project has seen plenty of screenwriters come and go, starting with Drive scripter Hossein Amini. He was followed by Adam Cozad, who Paramount tasked with rewriting his original script Dubai into an origin story for the character. Anthony Peckham was next, then Oscar-winner Steve Zaillian came aboard but jumped ship before actually contributing significant rewrites. Vulture reports that each writer has been attempting to juggle the conflicting interests of major players. Paramount, it seems, is looking for a thriller, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura wanted a more straightforward action movie, and Chris Pine was hoping an espionage tale with solid character work.
Last April, heavy-hitting script doctor David Koepp was hired in the hopes that the Jurassic Park and Spider-Man writer could accommodate all those demands. He turned in a draft last week, and the swift move to get Branagh on Jack Ryan indicates everyone might be happy.
If this reboot goes ahead, Pine will be the fourth leading man to play the CIA analyst who was first seen onscreen in The Hunt for Red October, where he was played by Alex Baldwin. Harrison Ford then starred as Ryan in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. In 2002, Ben Affleck played a younger Ryan in the prequel/reboot The Sum of All Fears.