By Clark Collis
August 09, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

Chris Pine had some mighty big shoes to fill when he took over the role of Captain Kirk from William Shatner — but at least that was just the one pair. With Jack Ryan, he is occupying the footwear of three actors who have played novelist Tom Clancy’s CIA hotshot: Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, and, most successfully, Harrison Ford. As with the recent Star Trek movies, this reboot-cum-origin story follows Ryan at the start of his career. ”We go quite a long way back to understand his family background and who he is,” says director Kenneth Branagh. ”We look at how this man is drawn into the world of the CIA and of international financial intrigue. We hope the audience can see Jack finding himself and potentially being a character they might want to go with through other movies.”

Keira Knightley plays Ryan’s love interest, and Kevin Costner is a CIA recruiter named William Harper. Branagh cast himself as Russian oligarch Viktor Cherevin, who has an ”adversarial” relationship with Ryan. Is he the villain? ”You might say that,” says the director, paraphrasing a line made famous in his U.K. homeland by the original version of House of Cards. ”I couldn’t possibly comment.”

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 105 minutes
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