Sum of All Fears : Maligned?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Richard Harvey, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. Richard Harvey

    Richard Harvey Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I just finished watching the trailer for Sum of All Fears at quicktime.com, and I fear that they've absolutely butchered this Clancy novel. Maybe I remember reading the wrong book, but I could swear the book had the conflict originating from the Middle East (Israel/Palestinians). What little the trailer shows looks to be a complete rewrite of the book. If this was done for political correctness given the current climate, I wish they had just shelved the movie until they could do it right. I'm also less than enamored with seeing Afflecks acting in the trailer, and I really hope we're not in store for another Pearl Harbor caliber performance.

    The Clancy movies have been my favorites. I sure hope we don't see the franchise go down the tubes on this one.

    Rich
     
  2. Ben Osborne

    Ben Osborne Second Unit

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    I never read the book, but I read that bad guys were changed to a domestic militia group rather than Arab terrorists. Despite such obvious PC revisionism, the movie would still be salvageable as a political thriller if Harrison Ford was in it. Unfortunately he's not, and the actor taking his place is not a favorite of mine. So even though I loved the three other Clancy movies, I won't be seeing this one.
     
  3. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    Could it be that you simply cannot take an 800 page Clancy novel, with an average of eight subplots, and turn it into a two hour movie?

    Take the movie on it's own. We all know it's not going to be worth comparing to the novel.

    I still want to see an epic 20 hour miniseries that's an exact retelling of Red Storm Rising, though.
     
  4. Chuck Frady

    Chuck Frady Second Unit

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  5. Richard Harvey

    Richard Harvey Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I haven't written off the movie, but I'll side with Ben in the thought that Affleck really was a poor casting choice for this movie. The Ryan role really demands someone who gives you the impression of a 'smart' strategy mind, with a strong military background. Affleck has never pulled this off in a movie; most of his roles have been the boyfriend/roughhouse guy. His acting in Pearl Harbor was absolutely abysmal.

    I agree that ressurecting Baldwin in this role would have been nice to see, but I can't help but think that if he weren't available that there were many other suitable (and more talented) options available. Freeman will certainly be good in this movie; he almost always is. Affleck is the flavor of the month right now, so unfortunately he and others like him are landing roles not so much on their talent, but their perceived marketing muscle.

    Rich
     
  6. Allan Petersen

    Allan Petersen Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Brian_J

    Brian_J Second Unit

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    To use a term from last year, Affleck lacks the "gravitas" for this role. If they were going to go with someone of his ilk then an Edward Norton or Brad Pitt type or even a Matt Damon would have been a better choice. I just cannot take Affleck seriously in this role. To me, this series demands a very strong actor, and at this stage I just don't see Affleck filling that bill.

    Brian
     
  8. Hakan Powers

    Hakan Powers Stunt Coordinator

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    As a long time Clancy fan I'm looking forward to the movie, but with some reservation.

    As has allready been said here, it's impossible to turn a 800-page book into a 2.5h movie - especially books so complex as Clancys often are.

    Yes, they've changed the bad guys from militant muslims to neo-nazis but it still looks like they've managed to keep the most important parts from the book. IMO, the gist of the story isn't the nationality of the villains but rather how easy it is to get pushed over the brink. Nuclear bombers can be recalled, ICBMs can not. I believe that is the essense of the story that Clancy wanted to get through.

    Guess well have to wait until it opens but I'll be first in line.
     
  9. Ben Osborne

    Ben Osborne Second Unit

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  10. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

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  11. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    I have the Premiere magazina article from last year. When Harrison Ford turned down the chance to be Jack Ryan again, Tom Clancy was a bit happy.

    Tom Clancy was also willing to re-write or re-imagine Jack Ryan through The Sum of All Fears film.
     
  12. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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  13. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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    The aforementioned Premiere Magazine article is actually quite good, and leaves me with some hope that this film could turn out well.
    It also addresses the switch from Arab terrorists to Neo-Nazi's, and since this article is from July 2001, at least no one can claim it's post-9/11 hysteria.
    But definitely check out the article:
    http://www.premiere.com/PREMIERE/Fea...1/clancy1.html
     
  14. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    Hunt for Red October is a magnificant movie, adapted from the Clancy novel. It is engaging, tells the same story as the book, and keeps major events intact. It doesn't fiddle with novel's chronology or backstories, none of that. It twisted it somewhat differently, but it was good and kept the overall story together.
    The other two Clancy adapted films (Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games) were both extreme disappointments. I'd have to go rewatch both and write them up to list my specific complaints. My general complaints are that they were completely untrue to the novels, so much so that only the name on the movie (from Tom Clancy) indicated to me they were, in fact, supposed to be the same story as the novels.
    They weren't.
    They were slow, boring, droll, silly, stupid, radically different ... I could go on like this but again would have to go find both films to watch to back the noise.
    I'm not holding my breath for SoAF, especially as I begin to hear how they've AGAIN fiddled with the story basics. Sorry but no sale. Alec Baldwin was a great Jack Ryan I thought; I like Harrison Ford but he wasn't Jack Ryan in either film (though I did like the part in C&PD where he showed up at the gates with the line "no I don't have an appointment" but handed over his DDI CIA business card). I'm a big Afleck fan, definitely (Jersey, represent!), but the draw here would be the story not the actor.
    If the story isn't what it was in the book .... history indicates to me it'll just flat suck. Changing it from Muslims to Neo-Nazis sounds incredibly stupid to me; muslims as an organised group of revolutionaries, historically, have gone to greater lengths for their various causes than other groups. That's an extremely amatur observation, so please no flames from political science degree holders please! [​IMG] It just sounds incredibly stupid to base a story around a neo-nazi group using a nuke. Yes that's probably a personal preference, but if you want my ticket bucks my preference is what counts.
    Again I ask of the Studios; why pay for a property if you're going to change it? Just make your own and save the fee, don't disappoint the fans.
    And for the record, an HBO produced FAITHFUL mini-series of Red Storm Rising would totally utterly ROCK. And would perfectly tap into the current trend of 'war movies' that's going in Entertainment the past few years.
     
  15. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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  16. Tom-K

    Tom-K Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree, I feel that the changning of the villians is a bad idea. While most of you don't like Ford playing Ryan, I couldn't imagine anyone but Ford playing Ryan in Executive Orders. I wonder if they ever plan on making that book into a movie. By far my favorite Clancy novel. Red Storm Rising a close second.
     
  17. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    Read the article linked above, and it explains lots and lots of reasons and wherefores.



    Like the bit where they explain they're moving Ryan 'back in time' to a younger Jack, and adding the Morgan Freeman role.
     
  18. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    Okay I've not been keeping up with Clancy news to this degree (from the link above) … that mostly sounds good. They ditched the loser agent guy for a good agent guy (good defined as will move and shake for his client, which maybe is slimy sometimes but is necessary for it to work in Hollywood), and are trying. Glad to hear Clancy likes Afleck, good dead. Making the stories more action oriented will help them for the screen; and the 'exposition' kind of stuff in the novels can be handed off to other characters so the primary is more hands-on. Sounds good to me. Also article says "German Neo Nazi" … that sounds more plausible to me than some stupid American skinhead with a nuke.

    I did laugh at the "could do five or six movies with him" line; that's crap. NO way. Bond is only every 3-4 years; if they treated them like full time movie making jobs they could crank five in ten years; but they never seem to do it that way. Even Star Wars, guaranteed cash, is spreading them three apart; that's three per decade. Plus most actors get really pissy about "branching out" and refuse to lock into schedules where they only do one character.

    I'd really dig a GOOD movie series that refreshed with a cool movie every two years, but don't see it happening in current climates.
     
  19. PhilipW

    PhilipW Second Unit

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    If they really want to do a Tom Clancy action flick series, they should look at Rainbow Six.

    They could have locations from all over the world and different supporting actors in each film. Good shoot'em up fun with a mystery type plot to be solved.

    Although I think the Debt of Honor story would be good, it would be a little early to try to show something of that magnitude on screen right now.

    Oops! Guess I should have read the article first.

    The only problem I see with Matt Damon as John Clark is that there is probably about 20-30 years between Without Remorse and Rainbow Six.

    Without Remorse is where Clark is "drafted" into the CIA and in Rainbow Six he is the #1 agent in the CIA and is given his own black ops division (Rainbow 6).
     
  20. Ben Osborne

    Ben Osborne Second Unit

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    I just read the Premiere article. Matt Damon as John Clark and Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan? Here's what I say to that:
    [​IMG]
     

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