Who is Jack Ryan?
John Patrick "Jack" Ryan, Sr., KCVO, (Hon) is a fictional character by Tom Clancy who appears in many of his novels and their respective film adaptations. The character is born in Baltimore in 1950 and grows up there. He earns an NROTC commission in the Marines at Boston College. Medically retired following a helicopter crash, he works as an investment broker. He meets and marries Caroline "Cathy" Mueller, a medical student and later an ophthalmic surgeon, with whom he has four children. He returns to academia eventually accepting a position at the U.S. Naval Academy. Later he is recommended to the CIA, eventually spending a short period there writing a position paper as well as developing a counter-espionage mechanism. He returns to the Academy and while on a history research trip to London, he interrupts an assassination attempt on the Royal Family. After his return to the States, he eventually accepts a position with the CIA. He rises rapidly through the ranks in a variety of covert operations against the USSR, eventually becoming the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. As DDI, he begins having political battles which eventually lead to him becoming President in two separate terms where the international confrontations are now from the Pacific area.
The Jack Ryan film series is an American series of thriller films, based on the fictional character of Jack Ryan, who originally appeared in a series of books by Tom Clancy. In the series of five films, four actors have portrayed Ryan.
Five films based on Clancy novels featuring Jack Ryan have been produced. The movie portraying the earliest incarnation of Ryan (fifth film chronologically) is titled Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit which was released on January 17, 2014 with Chris Pine in the which Ryan moves from his accident in the Marines into his CIA career involvement. Other Jack Ryan based films are portrayed by Alec Baldwin in the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, Harrison Ford in Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994), and Ben Affleck in the 2002 film The Sum of All Fears.
Despite inconsistency with its lead actors and crew members, the series has been distributed solely by Paramount Pictures since its inception. Mace Neufeld has produced every film in the series, with producing partner Robert Rehme co-producing Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger and Lorenzo di Bonaventura co-producing Shadow Recruit. With a combined unadjusted worldwide gross of $788.4 million to date, the films constitute the 57th highest-grossing film series. The films have been nominated for four Academy Awards, winning one for Sound Effects (now Sound Editing) in The Hunt for Red October (at the 63rd Awards).
The continuity of the films differ from the novels. In the novels, Patriot Games occurs before The Hunt for Red October, though the order was reversed in the film versions. Additionally, The Sum of All Fears is not part of the Baldwin/Ford series, but rather an intended reboot of the franchise, and therefore departs significantly from the chronology of the novels. It takes place in 2002, whereas the novel takes place in 1991/1992. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a second reboot of the franchise that departs from all previous films.