Sundance Party Report: Zac Efron, Awkwafina, Jason Momoa and More on the Scene (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Big stars – and lots of those not-so-famous actors hoping to ride the Sundance Film Festival train to that same spot in the Hollywood firmament – descended on Park City for Sundance 2019 as the fest’s first weekend unfolded from Janua…

First Episode of ‘Jack Ryan’ Looks Like a Much-Needed Subversion of Its Source Material

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The first episode of Amazon’s Tom Clancy adaptation “Jack Ryan” saw its U.S. public debut Friday afternoon in Ballroom 20 at San Diego Comic-Con. And as it happens, the show works pretty well, not only as decent counter-programming for the convention, but if the episode is any guide, for the source material too.

Star John Krasinski turns out to be a very credible fit to play the lode-bearing Clancy-verse character. Co-star Wendell Pierce’s beleaguered, on-his-last-second-chance CIA official James Greer, is a good counterweight to Krasinski’s anxious yet mild-mannered approach to playing Jack Ryan.

On the other hand, given the show’s setting, legitimate concerns can be raised about the kind of roles actors of West Asian descent are offered, and how people from those cultures are portrayed. However, a last-minute reveal that felt askance of the worldview Tom Clancy expressed in his dozens of novels suggests the show has deeper things to say than just “fighting terror good, foreign terrorist people bad.”

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The episode begins with a flashback to 1983 as an American child is juxtaposed to similar-aged children in Lebanon. By contrast to the American child’s happy life, the impoverished Lebanese children fall victim to a stray bomb dropped on their home — presumably during the aftermath of the Beirut Marine barracks bombing.

Skip ahead to present day where we meet adult Jack Ryan (Krasinski), a seemingly chill D.C. bro who rides his bike to work (which happens to be at the CIA.) Fans of Clancy’s novels will immediately recognize the usual premise beats: Ryan is a well-educated, thoughtful former Marine and former stockbroker who left Wall Street to join the CIA; he goes from desk jockey analyst to field agent after he figures out something nefarious is going down; and as it turns out he’s still kind of a badass, albeit a mild-mannered one.

The Amazon show updates Clancy’s Cold War setting to the war on terror, making the incident that gets Jack out into the field his realization that a series of shady transactions suggests the rise of a new global terrorism mastermind. After some butting of heads with his new boss Greer (Pierce), it turns out Jack is correct. In short order he’s dragged to a military base somewhere in western Asia and asked to help interrogate a recently-captured banker and his pretending-to-be-regular bodyguard.

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In the middle of this comes an attack on the base by insurgents that is actually not what it seems — we won’t spoil it — and Jack comes face to face with the new Bin Laden who, clearly, is this season’s major antagonist.

You’ve seen this before, but what in our opinion keeps “Jack Ryan” from being just another “Homeland” or “24” is a crucial moment at the end that seems to contradict the more reactionary elements of Clancy’s oeuvre. It’s revealed that the two children we saw at the beginning of the episode, who survived that airstrike but with terrible injuries, are the modern-day terrorist leader and his brother. In other words, the serious problem Jack is trying to stop is a direct result of previous U.S. foreign policy decision-making. A far cry from the rather Manichean source material.

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There are some weaker points — there are a lot of jokes that feel like overdone bits better suited for broadcast procedurals or sitcoms, for example — but it’s a solid hour of geopolitical thrills that might have some ambition to be more.

The Amazon panel included “Jack Ryan” showrunner Carlton Cuse, “The Tick” creator Ben Edlund, “Homecoming” director Sam Esmail, “Good Omens” creator/writer/showrunner Neil Gaiman, “Lore” producer Gale Anne Hurd and Naren Shankar, showrunner of the recently saved-from-cancellation “The Expanse.”

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‘Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan’ Trailer: John Krasinski Is Amazon’s World-Saving CIA Analyst

Read on: Deadline.

So how does a desk jockey working on the State Department’s supply chain get mixed up in an international conspiracy that threatens the world? “I was just following the money, sir.”
Here is the first trailer for the Amazon Prime origi…

A&E’s ‘Generation KKK’ Docuseries Ignites Fiery Backlash

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

A&E has come under fire after announcing its new docuseries, “Generation KKK,” with stars and users on Twitter slamming the network for normalizing “hatred.”

“The Wire” actor Wendell Pierce asked for a boycott of the network and all of its sponsors, while other Twitter users stated that a show about the KKK is “not OK.”

There should be an immediate boycott of A&E and all of its sponsors as they normalize the KKK with a reality series. Abhorrent

Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) December 19, 2016

Time to boycott A & E. What the hey is Generation KKK?

— [ Go2HellTrump ] (@ctv556) December 20, 2016

The KKK murdered & terrorized thousands of African Americans from the 1866 to who knows when. This Generation KKK show is not ok @AETV

— Shashana (@1978BABY) December 19, 2016

However, civil rights activist Shaun King had been sent a screener of the docuseries, and pointed out that the show actually features “strong, important stuff” and they weren’t trying to normalizing “racism & bigotry.”

When watching the preview episode of Generation KKK, it was clear that it was NOT them normalizing racism & bigotry, but exposing it.

— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) December 19, 2016

Also Read: ‘Generation KKK’: New A&E Series to Explore Racial Hatred in America

Yesterday, A&E announced that it will launch “Generation KKK,” exploring the resurgence of the hate group in America.

Throughout eight hour-long episodes, the series follows four families: an “Imperial Wizard” who hopes to groom his teenage daughter to take his place; an Iraq war veteran and proud member of the Klan determined to raise his four-year-old son to embrace his views; a young man who sees his close friend and KKK leader as the father he never had, asked to pledge his loyalty to the Klan; and a fifth-generation KKK family struggling to keep up the legacy.

“This series gives viewers an unprecedented look at what it is like to be born into hate. Our producers gained access to Klan families allowing for full immersion into this secret world and its impact on the next generation,” said Rob Sharenow, executive vice president and general manager of A&E and Lifetime. “‘Generation KKK’ brings viewers inside the places where hatred and prejudice are born and bred, and carried forward or not.”

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A spokesperson for the network told TheWrap, “Generation KKK is a documentary series that exposes the ugly truth about how the hate group attempts to indoctrinate children. The series focuses on a team of activists working to prevent the next generation from continuing the cycle of hate.  The documentary series takes a clear stance against hatred of any kind.”

“Generation KKK” premieres Jan. 10 at 10 p.m/9c on A&E.

Read some of the backlash — as well as some of the show’s defenders — below.

Dear @AETV & @nytimesarts, I’m absolutely horrified that you would produce Generation KKK & that NYT would review as if this is all normal.

— Ellen Oh (@ElloEllenOh) December 19, 2016

I don’t know why people are so surprised about that new show on #AETV. “Generation KKK” has been on the air for years. It’s called Fox News

— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) December 19, 2016

This is not normal: A&E announces new series “Generation KKK” https://t.co/fKV7k9QBSz. THIS is why I don’t watch TV @janayetucker

— Leslie T (@LeslieRTucker) December 20, 2016

@AETV WHY ARE YOU GIVING A VOICE TO HATE with your KKK Generation documentary? You should instead be showing how this hate damages others!

— Pam G. (@Megson310) December 20, 2016

In Trump’s America, A&E creates a new tv series titled #GenerationKKK. ????????

— Bo (@VApoliticalnerd) December 20, 2016

@Disney you own part of A&E. WTH is with #generationKKK ????? I’m angry that you’re helping to normalize hatred. #ThisIsNotNormal

— Skypp Cabanas (@SkyppC) December 20, 2016

@AETV shame on you for bringing attention to a growing movement in the USA. #Boycott A&E for their show ‘Generation KKK’.

— Ryan Smith (@mrsmithnyc) December 20, 2016

Generation KKK should not be a show. Highly disrespectful.

— misty’s patience (@maulmall) December 20, 2016

Proud @ADL_National helped @AETV on their impt new doc series #GenerationKKK https://t.co/YEhrRumprk – more here: https://t.co/Li0nRdAOdU

— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) December 19, 2016

Inside the #KuKluxKlan, With an A&E Documentary Series – https://t.co/iapMSYc4n5 must watch TV #GenerationKKK https://t.co/fSl4MP6BjS

— David Johns (@MrDavidJohns) December 19, 2016

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A&E Studios Names Paul Buccieri as President

Leah Remini to Produce Scientology Reality Series for A&E

Ellen DeGeneres Docuseries ‘Little Funny’ Gets 10-Episode Order From A&E

‘Jack Ryan’: Wendell Pierce, Dina Shihabi & Ali Suliman Cast In Amazon Series

Read on: Deadline.

Wendell Pierce, Dina Shihabi and up-and-comer Ali Suliman have been cast opposite John Krasinski and Abbie Cornish in Amazon‘s straight-to-series drama Tom Clancy‘s Jack Ryan, from the Lost duo of co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and writer Graham Roland, Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, Skydance Media and Paramount TV.

Jack Ryan is a reinvention with a modern sensibility of the famed and lauded Tom Clancy hero. It centers on Jack Ryan (Krasinski), an up-and-coming CIA analyst…