David Koepp has become the latest writer to take a crack at the screenplay for Paramount’s revival of their Jack Ryan franchise based on the series of techno-political thrillers from Tom Clancy. Koepp will be replacing Steve Zaillian on the project who was hired but then almost immediately left the project without turning in any work.
Deadline is reporting that Koepp will be getting a seven figure salary to “redraft the script by Adam Cozad.” But if you have followed the comings and goings of screenwriters on the project, you are probably asking yourself, “Which script by Adam Cozad?”
For the uninitiated, Paramount had been looking at reviving the franchise for a while, after it had crashed and burned with the 2002 Ben Affleck-starring installment The Sum Of All Fears. Hossein Amini had delivered a screenplay that the studio seemed to have liked, but they set aside when they bought the 2007 Black List spec script Dubai by Cozad, hiring Cozad to retool it into a Jack Ryan franchise relaunch vehicle.
After Cozad turned in his new draft, now titled Moscow, Anthony Peckham was brought in to do further work on it. Paramount brought Cozad back on board for another run through the script before hiring and then loosing Zaillian.
So which script of Cozad’s will Zaillian be working on? It is doubtful that the studio is backtracking all the way to the original Dubai draft, so that leaves the retooled Moscow or the post-Peckham draft.
It remains to be seen if Koepp will be the one to turn in a draft that the studio likes enough to give the greenlight to director Jack Bender to go ahead and get the film in front of the cameras. But if he is the one get the job done or if the studio has to go through another round of writers, I can only hope that the final project will be as entertaining as the Writers Guild arbitration for screen credits are promising to be.