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About The Story
"We live in dangerous times," says producer Mace Neufeld. "The number of bomb-like devices floating around the world is of very legitimate concern. The possibility of a clandestine terrorist attack gets stronger all the time, as reflected in newspaper headlines, which, on a daily basis, seem to get closer to our story. Hopefully, they won't catch up."

"When I read the script. I was struck by how smart it was, which is a touchstone of all the Tom Clancy movies," says director Phil Alden Robinson. "They're smart action films. They're about the issues of the real world, treated in an intelligent manner. In the post Cold War world, with regional conflicts becoming more prevalent and the proliferation of technology and information, the threat of someone using weapons of mass destruction in a populated area, has increased tremendously. This is a movie that shows the danger of how fear can drive our reactions and lead us to the wrong conclusions and responses.

"The film is intelligent, detailed and realistic," Ben Affieck concurs. "I've always been a fan of Tom Clancy's novels and the movies that are based on them."

In the succession of Clancy's Jack Ryan books, Ryan works his way up from a young analyst in the CIA to the agency's deputy director, and then to the director of intelligence. Eventually, he ascends to the presidency of the United States. The challenge facing Neufeld and his team in adapting The Sum of All Fears was how to get the Ryan character back into action when he'd clearly reached the pinnacle of his career. To do so, the filmmakers kept the setting contemporary, but rewrote the script to accommodate a 28-year-old Ryan. who recently joined the CIA.

Casting someone to fill that role, which Harrison Ford had portrayed with such success, wasn't easy, until one of the most talented young actors working in Hollywood today, Academy Award® winner Ben Affleck. came to mind.

"When Ben expressed interest in playing the role, we didn't look any further," recalls Neufeld. "He's one of the most exciting actors of his generation and the perfect choice. Besides being an attractive leading man, he looks the part physically, so you can believe him when he gets into action. He's also got a great sense of humor, which I think plays well."

"I'm delighted to have Ben play Jack Ryan. He's talented, smart and articulate," says Tom Clancy. "He's also a writer himself. In fact, he won his Oscar, for writing. Therefore, he brings a whole new dimension to the role."

Director Phil Alden Robinson agrees: "In addition to being a gifted actor, Ben is a very appealing guy with a tremendous native intelligence. He's got a great curiosity, a winning way with people and a good heart. I think he's a great Jack Ryan. In the world that Ryan inhabits the world of the CIA and the secrets of privileged information Ben's a person who lets the audience in. He's a way for us to get into Ryan's world and understand it better."

In describing what attracted him to the role of Jack Ryan, Affleck states: "Ryan is a very believable hero. He's moral; he has a strong sense of ethics and he loves his country. The other thing that was really interesting to me was Phil Robinson's take on the material," Affleck points out. "He's a very politically involved guy who wasn't interested in making just an action movie. He was looking to make a smart, suspenseful film that reflected the dangers of the current political climate. This appealed to me tremendously."


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