John Krasinski’s ‘Jack Ryan’ Will Be Darker and More Intense

John Krasinski arrives at the premiere of The Hollars
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Actor/director John Krasinski arrives at the premiere of Sony Pictures Classics' "The Hollars" at the Linwood Dunn Theatre on August 22, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

There have been several incarnations of Tom Clancy’s famed hero, Jack Ryan, through the years and yet another one is due to arrive in 2018, this time on TV. Amazon is launching a new Jack Ryan series, appropriately titled Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Series star John Krasinski was on hand at New York Comic Con Saturday to talk about the show along with fellow star Abbie Cornish and executive producers Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland.

Yes, Krasinski (Jim from The Office to many) is indeed joining the likes of Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine, and Ben Affleck in playing the reluctant spy, but this is, Saturday’s panelists offered, a new sort of Jack Ryan tale. Krasinski said when he was pitched the story he was told it would be a different thing than people have seen before—darker, grittier, and more intense.

Those present in the audience for Jack Ryan got to see some of the intensity in a trailer, and an unfinished version of the first seven minutes of the show was also screened. In the latter, the Ryan present was definitely not yet a superspy (a term bandied about during the audience Q&A portion of the panel). The move from CIA analyst to spy (or wherever the show chooses to go) is something that we will see over the course of the series, and which begins here in the first season.

Along the lines of doing something different, Cuse said that while they may have started out by trying to adapt one of Clancy’s books, producers realized that wasn’t the best course of action, that Clancy’s stories very much dealt with “issues of the day.” Cuse went on to explain that the tale they’re telling is a new one in the same sort of world, with the same sort of style, and with “slightly different incarnations” of Jack Ryan, Dr. Cathy Mueller (Cornish), and James Greer (Wendell Pierce).  For instance, the Greer we will see here is Jack’s immediate boss (as opposed to being several levels up). We will also get to see early moments of Cathy and Jack’s relationship.

A wholly unrelated, but fascinating tidbit came up when the panelists discussed their trip to the CIA, a trip taken so they could better understand the characters. There is, it seems, a Starbucks at the CIA, but a Starbucks where the employees are not allowed to ask for names.

All in all, the Comic-Con crowd certainly seemed enthused by what they saw, and Krasinski gracefully accepted a number of comments and questions about Jim Halpert. He even offered up similarities between Jack Ryan and Jim—both are true to themselves, know what they’re not good at, and try to improve. He jokingly added, “If you love The Office, you’ll love Jack Ryan.”

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Series Premiere, 2018, Amazon Video