Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)


Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a 2014 American action thriller film based on the character Jack Ryan created by author Tom Clancy.

It is the fifth film in the Jack Ryan series but is presented as a reboot that departs from the previous instalments. Unlike its predecessors, it is not an adaptation of a particular Clancy novel, but rather an original story.

Chris Pine stars in the title role, becoming the fourth actor to play Ryan, following Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. The film is directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars alongside Kevin Costner, and Keira Knightley.

Part of the Jack Ryan Franchise.

Also known as Moscow (working title), Maryland (fake working title), and Dubai (original script title).


After the 9/11 attacks, Jack Ryan (Pine), studying at the London School of Economics, becomes a US Marine officer in Afghanistan, where his spine is severely injured after his helicopter is shot down. During a lengthy recovery back in the United States, he attracts the attention of Cathy Muller (Knightley), a medical student helping him learn to walk again, and Thomas Harper (Costner), a CIA official who recruits him.

Ten years later, Ryan is working on Wall Street covertly for the CIA looking for suspicious financial transactions that would indicate terrorist activity. When Russia loses a key vote before the United Nations and the markets do not respond in the expected manner, Ryan discovers that billions of dollars possessed by Russian organisations have disappeared. Most of these funds belong to Russian tycoon Viktor Cherevin (Branagh).

Ryan’s employer conducts business with Cherevin, so when Ryan finds certain accounts inaccessible to him as an auditor, he has reason to visit Moscow and investigate. After narrowly surviving a murder attempt by an assassin (Anozie) posing as his bodyguard, Ryan sends an SOS and is surprised to learn his backup is Harper. During their debrief at Staraya Square, Ryan explains how Cherevin’s shadow investments could make the United States vulnerable to complete financial collapse following a staged terrorist attack.

At his meeting with Cherevin the next day, he is told that the problem company and all of its assets have been sold, thus preventing Ryan’s audit. Meanwhile, Muller, now Ryan’s fiancée, suspecting him of having an affair, secretly flies to Moscow to meet him. Against protocol for unmarried couples, Ryan reveals his CIA employment, to her great relief. Improvising on the situation, Harper has Muller agree to be included in a plan to infiltrate Cherevin’s offices. Ryan and Muller meet Cherevin at an upscale restaurant across the street from Cherevin’s office. Over dinner, Ryan causes a scene and purposely insults Muller. Excusing himself, he gains access to Cherevin’s office where he downloads critical corruption files.

Ryan and the CIA discover Cherevin has secretly propped up the Chinese and Japanese economies for years, leaving the US economy vulnerable, as well as using a falsified death certificate to place his son, Aleksandr (Utgoff), in the US as a sleeper agent. Ryan uses his talent for pattern recognition to locate Aleksandr’s hideout and intended target, Wall Street. Returning to New York City, he locates and pursues a fake police response vehicle driven by Aleksandr. After Ryan catches up and engages in a physical confrontation with Aleksandr, he discovers a bomb in the rear of the vehicle. Unable to defuse it, he hijacks the vehicle and crashes it into the East River while jumping out, as the bomb detonates, killing Aleksandr. Cherevin is executed for his failure by his co-conspirators in Russia. Afterwards, Ryan, now married, and Harper are called to the White House to brief the President.


  • Chris Pine as Jack Ryan.
  • Keira Knightley as Cathy Muller.
  • Kevin Costner as Thomas Harper.
  • Kenneth Branagh as Viktor Cherevin.
  • Lenn Kudrjawizki as Konstantin.
  • Alec Utgoff as Aleksandr Borovsky.
  • Elena Velikanova as Katya.
  • Peter Andersson as Dimitri Lemkov.
  • Nonso Anozie as Embee Deng.
  • Colm Feore as Rob Behringer.
  • Gemma Chan as Amy Chang.
  • David Paymer as Dixon Lewis.
  • Karen David as FBI Lead Agent.
  • Eric Michels as FBI Operative.
  • John Schwab as New York DWP Worker.
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov makes an uncredited appearance as Interior Minister Sergey Sorokin.



After the financial success of their film The Sum of All Fears (2002), Paramount Pictures made attempts to continue the Jack Ryan film series, but nothing came to fruition. According to Mace Neufeld, Ben Affleck was not hired to reprise his role in future films after his involvement with the box office flop Gigli, stalling the series as the producers failed to recast the role. In 2008, the company engaged director Sam Raimi to spearhead a revival of the series, but he later dropped out due to focus on the development of the ultimately unproduced Spider-Man 4.

In October 2009, Paramount and co-financier Skydance Productions were negotiating with actor Chris Pine to portray Jack Ryan in a film based on Tom Clancy’s character, but not on any of the books. At the time, producers Mace Neufeld and Lorenzo di Bonaventura were working with an original concept drafted by Hossein Amini, with David Ready serving as co-producer for di Bonaventura. In August 2010, director Jack Bender was the frontrunner to direct the film, based on a script tentatively titled Moscow by Adam Cozad. The following month, writer Anthony Peckham was brought on to perform rewrites, and later Steve Zaillian, who wrote the screenplay for Clear and Present Danger (1994), was engaged to perform rewrites as well. However, Zaillian withdrew after a few weeks and the film was put on hold by Paramount for Pine to reprise his role as James T. Kirk in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). During this time, David Koepp was brought on to rewrite the script, with shooting scheduled to begin in the second half of 2012.

The film faced another setback in March 2012, when director Bender dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Paramount and Skydance Pictures quickly hired Kenneth Branagh to replace him, in order to start production after Pine was finished with Into Darkness around September 2012. “This script arrived and was un-put-down-able and I knew the previous films, I’d read some of the books and, simple as that, it came out of the blue”, said Branagh. “I was going to be making another movie, but it went away and this one came to me and I read it and responded very strongly and it’s the kind of the film that I go to see”.


Pre-production for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit took place at the production offices of August Street Films Limited, based at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. Months after signing on as director, Kenneth Branagh also made a deal with the studio to star as the film’s villain.

In early August 2012, Keira Knightley, Felicity Jones, and Evangeline Lilly were being considered for the female lead while Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel were approached but declined. Days later, Knightley won the role. That same month, Kevin Costner signed on to play Thomas Harper in a two-picture deal that will also see him play the character in a film adaptation of Clancy’s Without Remorse.

While images from the film’s production in Manhattan surfaced in late August 2012, Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions did not announce the start of principal photography on Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit until 18 September 2012. At that time, filming took place in Liverpool city centre, which doubled as Moscow. Filming in New York City had been completed earlier that month. Other shooting locales included London and Moscow. Later, reshoots were also done in New York City.


The musical score of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit was composed by Patrick Doyle, who has collaborated on many of Kenneth Branagh’s directorial efforts. Writing the score took Doyle up to seven months, which is more than usual. “In Jack Ryan, [Kenneth] wanted a piece of music for this scene and I had the theme the following day for it,” said Doyle on his relationship with Branagh. “I actually wrote the main theme of the movie, just sitting there watching it. This is the expectation of a person you’re very close to. There’s no pressure in that you’re so relaxed, especially someone like Kenneth. He brings out the best in you because he creates such a casual, relaxed, but hard-working environment at the same time.” A soundtrack album was released digitally by Varèse Sarabande on 14 January 2014 and in physical formats on 04 February.


The film was originally scheduled to be released on 25 December 2013, but was pushed back from its original release date to 17 January 2014, by Paramount Pictures to give the release date to Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.It then was slated for release on 17 January 2014, corresponding with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in the United States. In August 2013, Paramount began rolling out a trailer for the film to test audiences bearing the title Jack Ryan: Shadow One. On 02 October 2013, a day after the death of Tom Clancy, the first film poster was released, featuring the new title, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. The first trailer for the film was released the same day. In December 2014, Pine confirmed that there would not be a sequel to the film due to its lacklustre box office performance.

The film was later released in Video on Demand format for home media markets on 20 May 2014. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray formats by Paramount Home Entertainment on 10 June 2014.

Box Office

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit earned $5.4 million on its opening day in North American markets. and reached $17.2 million by the end of its opening weekend. The film opened below all previous Jack Ryan films despite a wider theatre count. Based on exit-polling service CinemaScore, more than a third of the film’s opening weekend audience was over the age of 50. With only 15% of viewers under the age of 25, the film failed to attract younger viewers despite the casting of Chris Pine. The film is the twenty-fourth highest grossing of 2014 and was the first film of the year to have reached over $100 million worldwide. During its theatrical run, the film had grossed $50.6 million domestically and $85 million in foreign business, for a worldwide total of $135.6 million.


  • This was the last movie to feature Tom Clancy’s fictional character Jack Ryan prior to the author’s death on 01 October 2013, of an undisclosed illness.
  • In the hospital scene where Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) is undergoing rehabilitation for injuries suffered in Afghanistan, the other patients are all actual Afghanistan veterans.
  • After having played British, German, Australian, Swedish, Danish, and American characters in his career, this was the first time that Sir Kenneth Branagh played a Russian character.
    • Branagh originally did not wish to portray the character and agreed to do so only if he was allowed to direct the film.
  • The original screenplay written by Adam Cozad was titled “Dubai” and was intended to be an action movie starring Eric Bana.
    • Paramount Pictures later asked Cozad to re-write his old script and to change the lead character to Jack Ryan.
  • Most of the movie was shot in London.
    • Only a minimal amount was shot in New York City.
  • The painting in Cherevin’s office is Bogdan Willewalde’s “Czar’s Guard Captures 4th Line Regiment’s Standard at Austerlitz”.
    • The Battle of Austerlitz was a victory for Napoleon, and the engagement depicted in the painting was the only major Allied success in the battle.
    • Ryan later alludes to the painting and wrongly connects it to the Battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon used cannon fire to distract attention from his attack.
    • Unlike Austerlitz, Waterloo ended in Napoleon’s defeat.

Jack Ryan Series

You can find a full index and overview of the Jack Ryan Franchise here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Kenneth Branagh.
  • Producer(s):
    • David Barron … producer.
    • Lorenzo di Bonaventura … producer.
    • Alexander Dostal … line producer: Moscow.
    • David Ellison … executive producer.
    • Dana Goldberg … executive producer.
    • Tommy Harper … executive producer.
    • Mace Neufeld … producer.
    • Linda Pianigiani … associate producer.
    • David Ready … co-producer.
    • Paul Schwake … executive producer.
    • Mark Vahradian … producer.
  • Writer(s):
    • Adam Cozad … (written by).
    • David Koepp … (written by).
    • Tom Clancy … (based on characters created by).
  • Music:
    • Patrick Doyle.
  • Cinematography:
    • Haris Zmbarloukos (Director of Photography).
  • Editor(s):
    • Martin Walsh.
  • Production:
    • Paramount Pictures.
    • Skydance Media (as Skydance Productions).
    • Di Bonaventura Pictures.
    • Mace Neufeld Productions.
    • Buckaroo Entertainment (uncredited).
    • Etalon Film (local production services provided: second additional unit).
  • Distributor(s):
    • Andes Films (2014) (Chile) (theatrical).
    • B&H Film Distribution (2014) (Ukraine) (theatrical).
    • CJ Entertainment (2014) (South Korea) (theatrical).
    • Central Partnership (2014) (Russia) (theatrical).
    • CinemArt (2014) (Czech Republic) (theatrical).
    • Intercontinental Film Distributors (HK) (2014) (Hong Kong) (theatrical).
    • Legend Cinemas (2014) (Cambodia) (theatrical).
    • NOS Audiovisuais (2014) (Portugal) (theatrical).
    • Paramount Pictures International (2014) (Argentina) (theatrical) (through United International Pictures).
    • Paramount Pictures (2014) (Australia) (theatrical).
    • Paramount Pictures (2014) (Canada) (theatrical).
    • Paramount Pictures (2014) (France) (theatrical).
    • Paramount Pictures (2014) (Germany) (theatrical).
    • Paramount Pictures (2014) (Italy) (theatrical).
    • Paramount Pictures (2014) (Japan) (theatrical).
    • Paramount Pictures (2014) (Norway) (theatrical).
    • Paramount Pictures (2014) (Spain) (theatrical).
    • Paramount Pictures (2014) (Sweden) (theatrical).
    • Paramount Pictures (2014) (UK) (theatrical).
    • Paramount Pictures (2014) (USA) (theatrical).
    • Ro Image 2000 (2014) (Romania) (theatrical).
    • Solar Entertainment (2014) (Philippines) (theatrical) (as UIP-Solar Entertainment).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (United Arab Emirates) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Argentina) (theatrical) (through).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Bulgaria) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Colombia) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Denmark) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Ecuador) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (South Korea) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Greece) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Hungary) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Indonesia) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Israel) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Iceland) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Malaysia) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Norway) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Peru) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Philippines) (theatrical) (as UIP-Solar Entertainment).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Poland) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Sweden) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Singapore) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Thailand) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Turkey) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Taiwan) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Venezuela) (theatrical).
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (South Africa) (theatrical).
    • Universal Pictures International (UPI) (2014) (Netherlands) (theatrical).
    • Westec Media Limited (2014) (Cambodia) (theatrical).
    • Canale 5 (2016) (Italy) (TV).
    • DirecTV Latin America (DTVLA) (2014) (Argentina) (TV).
    • DirecTV Latin America (DTVLA) (2014) (Colombia) (TV).
    • DirecTV Latin America (DTVLA) (2014) (Peru) (TV).
    • Film1 (2014) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited).
    • Paramount Home Entertainment (2014) (Argentina) (DVD).
    • Paramount Home Entertainment (2014) (Argentina) (Blu-ray) (DVD).
    • Paramount Home Entertainment (2014) (Germany) (DVD).
    • Paramount Home Entertainment (2014) (Germany) (Blu-ray) (DVD).
    • Paramount Home Entertainment (2018) (Germany) (all media) (Ultra HD Blu-ray).
    • Paramount Home Entertainment (2014) (UK) (DVD).
    • Paramount Home Entertainment (2014) (UK) (Blu-ray) (DVD).
    • Paramount Home Entertainment (2014) (Netherlands) (Blu-ray) (DVD) (through Universal Pictures Benelux).
    • Paramount Home Entertainment (2014) (Netherlands) (DVD) (through Universal Pictures Benelux).
    • Paramount Home Entertainment (2014) (USA) (DVD).
    • Paramount Home Entertainment (2014) (USA) (Blu-ray) (DVD).
    • Universal Pictures (2014) (Netherlands) (Blu-ray) (through).
    • Universal Pictures (2014) (Netherlands) (DVD) (through).
  • Release Date: 15 January 2014 (Philippines).
  • Running Time: 105 minutes.
  • Rating: 12A.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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