George Clooney Is Not The Next Jack Ryan, Says ‘G.I. Joe’ Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura

A few weeks back, some rumblings made the Internet rounds concerning the possibility of George Clooney stepping in as the next Jack Ryan. The Tom Clancy character has been previously played by Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin, and Clooney seemed like a perfectly viable fourth. With no “Ocean’s” movie on the horizon and the actor’s remaining 2009 projects serving up quirkier fare, Ryan’s smooth government official would put Clooney back in the leading man saddle.

So when I sat down to chat with “G.I. Joe” producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura two weekends ago, I couldn’t help but ask him for an update on his Jack Ryan project. Specifically, how Clooney factors into it. Di Bonaventura had just two words for the actor: “Sorry George.”

Di Bonaventura actually went into a bit more detail than that. Clooney may be out, but there is progress on Jack Ryan. “We submitted a script to Paramount recently,” the producer said. “It was well-received and it’s in the process.”

Clooney being out isn’t anything personal; he just won’t fit the part. “It’s for a young Jack Ryan. I love George, but it’s not written for a man of his age. It’s written for a guy in his early 30s.”

Interesting. I’m in my early 30s Lorenzo… how about me? In all seriousness, an early 30s Jack Ryan means we’re talking even younger than Affleck was in “The Sum of All Fears.” I wonder how they’ll play it, if this new movie will follow the established chronology or set up a new, young Ryan in the modern era.

Whatever’s in store, di Bonaventura is clearly excited. “It’s a great character. Very different [from] Bond or Bourne. It’s the analytical side of him and the everyman side of him that makes him… special.”