Having been a devoted reader of the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan novels since their original release, I’ve also been a fan of the films. Alec Baldwin and then Harrison Ford both did a great job of recreating the character from the novels and added the usual Hollywood touch. 

When the Amazon Prime series with John Krasinski was released last year I was immediately intrigued, mainly because I thought that Krasinski would bring realism to the character that was just a bit missing from the big screen. Ryan, in the Clancy novels, was a classic gray man, an analyst who was a former Marine grunt officer who was hurt just a few years into his career. So, while he wasn’t a super soldier or SOF badass (like Geo), he knew enough to be able to function when the shit hit the fan. 

And in the original film, Baldwin (in his younger days) was just a bit too movie star pretty-boy. Harrison Ford was just too big a star; but when making big-budget studio films you need that box office draw — and Harry is exactly that. 

But Krasinski? I thought he’d be the perfect Jack Ryan, an analyst geek who works in a cubicle at Langley but has the background to be a grunt’s grunt. Essentially an everyman — something that Krasinski pulled off extremely well in The Office. What makes Jack Ryan such a great character, after all, is his normality. He’s a guy who totally believes in what he’s doing and feels like he can make a difference. He’s willing to risk his career and his own ass in doing so. And that’s what resonates with the audience.