Sir Kenneth Branagh will star and direct in Tom Clancy’s forthcoming US thriller franchise Jack Ryan, and also plans to adapt a Shakespeare play in 3D.
The British actor and director is best known for his Shakespeare adaptions. He was nominated at the Oscars for Henry V and Hamlet, both of which he directed, and has also made adaptions of Othello and Much Ado About Nothing.
He told Collider.com: “As a filmmaker, I would like to do an IMAX 3D Shakespeare film.
“Instead of going to some strange part of the world and it’s a rainy afternoon and you’re looking for something to do, you go to the IMAX theater, but you’re always watching the story of wolves or something. I fancy a 40-minute A Midsummer Night’s Dream in IMAX 3D.”
Branagh has began to clinch regular supporting roles in high-production Hollywood films, including the Marilyn Monroe biopic My Week With Marilyn and the Tom Cruise vehicle Valkyrie, as well as his role in the Harry Potter franchise.
Jack Ryan – in which he will play a Russian villain who plots to wreck the US economy in an ‘origins’ film based on Clancy’s original books – will be the first time he performs in a no-holds barred thriller.
Branagh told Collider.com: “Jack Ryan is a very fast-paced, very contemporary, very action-driven thriller. I don’t tend to think of him as a villain, but if you’re playing a villain, you don’t think of him as a villain. You just think, ‘My guy’. The character is a great anti-thesis, but it isn’t as simple as that.
“It’s great to see a character in this film with Jack Ryan. It’s just a very strong, very interesting, complicated, complex character.
“When the project first came my way, it was really to do that. I had a long time to think about that prospect, before actually eventually having them ask me to direct it. And then, we put aside the issue of me being in it for a while because there were so many other things to deal with. Literally, months later, Paramount said, ‘Well, do you think you might?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I think I’d like to.’ “