Tom Clancy dies, but his blockbuster empire lives on


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    Author Tom Clancy, pictured in 2004, died Tuesday in Baltimore at age 66.

    - Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

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    Chris Pine will be the latest actor to play Clancy's popular character Jack Ryan in the forthcoming movie "Jack Ryan: Shadow One."

    - Paramount Pictures/IMDb

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    A collection of Tom Clancy novels.

    - Chris Drumm / Creative Commons

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    Harrison Ford played the most beloved Jack Ryan in 1992's "Patriot Games" (above) and "Clear and Present Danger" in 1994.

    - Paramount Pictures

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    Sean Connery played a renegade Soviet submarine captain in 1990's "The Hunt for Red October," the first Jack Ryan movie and the first Clancy book to be adapted into a motion picture. Alec Baldwin played Ryan.

    - Paramount Pictures

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    A screenshot from "Tom Clancy's Politika," the first video game made by Red Storm Entertainment based on a Clancy book. The game, which was released for PC in 1997, resembled Risk.

    - Ubisoft Red Storm

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    A shot from Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Released in 2012 from Ubisoft Red Storm, the game is a first-person shooter that follows a group of elite soldiers in the year 2024.

    - Ubisoft Red Storm

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    A gameplay shot from "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six." Released in 1998 from Red Storm Entertainment, the game was the first in the popular "Rainbow Six" series.

    - Ubisoft Red Storm

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    The board game "Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising." Based on the novel of the same name, the game was released in 1989.

    - TSR, Inc./eBay

Tom Clancy, master of the political thriller, has died.

Many of his best-selling novels became box-office gold; he lent his names to videogames.

Tom Clancy was a brand. One of the very first authors-as-brand. 

People wanted what Clancy had, says Jim Milliot with Publishers Weekly. "They want to go to the movies because it’s a Clancy movie. They want to play the video game because it’s a Clancy video game.”

And the Clancy name is going strong. A new Clancy video game is coming out next year. In December, there will be a both a new novel and movie about Jack Ryan, Clancy's best known character.

As an analyst-turned-reluctant-hero-turned-president, Jack Ryan may just be the next James Bond. He’s cool. He’s likeable. He’s all over the world. A combo which could add up to movie-theatre longevity.

“It’s really global political thriller that we’re talking about,” says USC film professor Jason E. Squire, “and what could be better in this age of global blockbuster movies.” 

Squire thinks it’s up to the estate and the studio to stay true to the character that Tom Clancy created.


Doing the numbers on Tom Clancy:

4: Actors who have portrayed Clancy's character Jack Ryan -- Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine.

736: Pages in what is to be Clancy's last published book, "Command Authority," set for release on Dec. 3, 2013.

3: Board games based on Clancy works -- "The Hunt for Red October," "Red Storm Rising" and "Tom Clancy's Politika."

19: Total number of novels published by Clancy.

1996: The year Clancy co-founded the video game developer Red Storm Entertainment, which put out a number of successful video games  including the "Rainbow Six," "Ghost Recon" and "Splinter Cell" series.

$215,000,000: Box office total for the 1994 film "Clear and Present Danger," based on the novel of the same name and starring Ford.

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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