John Krasinski is Having His Best Year

From directing ‘A Quiet Place’ to becoming a bona fide action hero, we can expect big things from Krasinski.
Jack Ryan John Krasinski
By  · Published on April 25th, 2018

From directing ‘A Quiet Place’ to becoming a bona fide action hero, we can expect big things from Krasinski.

Calling John Krasinski a “rising star” feels a little weird seeing as how he’s been around in the movie and television industry for almost two decades. Once just easily recognized as Jim Halpert from The Office, Krasinski has refashioned his brand into something with a darker sensibility ever since he directed and starred in this years sci-fi horror hit A Quiet Place. Krasinski can add another huge TV credit to his resume, too, once Jack Ryan hits Amazon Prime this August.

But awaiting the premiere of a fresh new show based on a well-known series of spy novels isn’t enough. Deadline reports that Jack Ryan — “a reinvention with a modern sensibility of the famed Tom Clancy hero” — has already been renewed for a second season by Amazon Studios. Yes, that’s three whole months before the series’ actual premiere.

The writers of the first season of Jack Ryan have already been hard at work crafting scripts for a second season under showrunners and creators Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland (both of whom worked on Lost). Paramount and Skydance Television have also sent out location scouts on international trips to figure out where in the world this iconic CIA agent will go next.

I say “next” as if we’ve seen much footage from the first season of Jack Ryan to begin with. Pretty much everything about this series is built on good faith at the moment, especially for people like me who aren’t overly familiar with the character or Clancy’s work.

People are undoubtedly excited about Jack Ryan though; when the series’ Super Bowl teaser dropped, Amazon Prime witnessed a 400% increase in members putting the show in their watchlists. The teaser itself — which you can watch below — doesn’t reveal very much, but it sure is slick and features Krasinski looking all pensive and CIA agent like. Though known for his comedic skills, the actor is certainly in full action hero mode here.

Season 1 of Jack Ryan takes Krasinski’s eponymous protagonist through Europe and the Middle East in hot pursuit of an international terrorist who is plotting an attack on the United States and its allies. Season 2, on the other hand, will move its base of operations to South America; Colombia is said to be a potential filming location for the show. Per Deadline, the briefest of summaries about a second season goes as follows: somewhere in South America, a dangerous democratic regime is crumbling and Jack Ryan will face new challenges as he goes up against those in power.

This wouldn’t be the first time Krasinski has filled a more action-oriented role, although it could be a more successful attempt at kickstarting that career trajectory. Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi springs to mind as Krasinski’s premiere lead role in an action venture. The movie received a lukewarm response upon release. However, whatever people feel about Bay’s general disregard for the audience’s eardrums in many of his blockbusters, 13 Hours is at least praised for being a more restrained effort on his part. But its script also notably gave Krasinski little to work with.

Still, despite the underwhelming partnership that resulted in 13 Hours, that film ultimately led to A Quiet Place, which Bay helped to produce and Krasinski helmed to perfection. A Quiet Place didn’t just ease Krasinski into the spotlight; it catapulted him into stardom faster than anyone really imagined. 13 Hours could have feasibly been Krasinski’s rebranding away from being sweet Jim from The Office. Instead, he did that all on his own in A Quiet Place. The film has everything — strong emotional beats, bone-chilling scares and even a couple of thrills — while crucially being far removed from Krasinski’s comedic roots as well. A Quiet Place allowed him to flourish as a filmmaker and actor and showcase more talents in his wheelhouse.

Krasinski can continue to ride the high of A Quiet Place‘s success for a while longer as the film has found its way back atop the domestic box office in its third week out. He’s also lined up another sci-fi feature with the Quiet Place producers that could keep him in the spotlight for championing more awesome female protagonists on the big screen. Nowadays, Krasinski has much more on his plate. He’s everywhere, and no one is complaining.

Jack Ryan debuts on Amazon Prime Video on August 31st.

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Sheryl Oh often finds herself fascinated (and let's be real, a little obsessed) with actors and their onscreen accomplishments, developing Film School Rejects' Filmographies column as a passion project. She's not very good at Twitter but find her at @sherhorowitz anyway. (She/Her)