Knightley to take lead in Ryan prequel

Knightley to take lead in Ryan prequel

Keira Knightley is in talks to star in 'Jack Ryan'.

The 27-year-old actress is set to play the lead female role opposite 'Star Trek' actor Chris Pine in Kenneth Branagh's new chapter of the popular thriller franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

'Lost' actress Evangeline Lilly and 'Like Crazy''s Felicity Jones were auditioned for the part before Kenneth approached Keira, who Paramount had initially considered.

The film is a prequel to Tom Clancy's 'Jack Ryan' novel series and will see Chris play a Moscow-based financial analyst who must race against time to save America and his beloved wife, played by Keira, from a terrorism plot which threatens financial chaos.

Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck starred in the titular role in the first four films, the last of which - 'The Sum of All Fears' - was released in 2002.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mace Neufeld and David Barron are on board to produce the prequel and David Ellison has been named as executive producer.

Keira currently stars in 'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World' with Steve Carell, and the brunette beauty can next be seen in 19th century drama 'Anna Karenina' as an aristocrat who enters into a tumultuous affair.

'Jack Ryan' begins shooting in September.

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