Initially developed and conceived as a franchise starter, Paramount Pictures has reportedly sold off their upcoming film Without Remorse starring Michael B. Jordan to Netflix. Variety brings word of this change as Paramount had previously scheduled the film for theatrical release on February 26, 2021, the film will now premiere on the Amazon Prime streaming service. Based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name, the adaptation sees Jordan take on the role of John Clark, one of the late author's most famous recurring characters. Should the deal be finalized, Jordan's film would join the John Krasinski-led TV series Jack Ryan on the service, putting Clancy's two biggest characters under one roof.
Paramount's initial plans for Without Remorse were to turn it into a major action franchise, with a sequel in the works as the first film began filming. The second planned film in this new franchise was supposed to be the highly anticipated, and long in-development feature adaptation of Rainbow Six, Clancy's 1998 novel that is best known for spawning the long-running video game franchise. It's unclear if this deal between Paramount and Amazon will allow for those plans to continue at the streaming service, should Without Remorse be a success, but it would explain their interest.
What's absent from Variety's report, and perhaps what Amazon hasn't yet figured out yet contractually, is how this new film and their hit TV show can co-exist. Ryan and Clark have crossed paths more than once in the pages of Clancy's books, and even on the big screen. Willem Dafoe played Clark opposite Harrison Ford's Jack Ryan in 1994's Clear and Present Danger while Liev Schreiber took the Clark part opposite Ben Affleck's Ryan in The Sum of All Fears. It's hard to imagine Amazon having both properties and not exploiting it, but time will tell.
Jordan will star in the film which is directed by Stefano Sollima (Sicario: Day of the Soldado) from a script by Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water). He's joined in the film by his Fantastic Four co-star Jamie Bell plus Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim), Luke Mitchell (Marvel's Agents of SHIELD), and Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead)
This latest sale by Paramount to Amazon marks the third transfer of one of their films to a streaming service, having previously pawned off both Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7 and the rom-com The Lovebirds to Netflix.