15 Amazing Fictional Action Books, Movies, TV Shows, and Podcasts for fans waiting for Jack Ryan Season 3

What makes a character like Jack Ryan so compelling? With so many books in the Ryanverse, it's hard to keep track. Purists might count only the books where Jack Ryan (Sr.) is the central character, while more inclusive fans would curate the books where Ryan appears in the background while others — notably his son, Jack Ryan, Jr. — loom large over the page.

The first Ryan book, The Hunt for Red October, was published in 1984. The complex, nuanced protagonist was so popular that Tom Clancy continued to pen works featuring Ryan until his death in 2013. What drew many fans in — and continues to compel readers and viewers nearly forty years later — are the nuanced details.

Ryan is an imperfect hero, a subtle mix of brains, brawn, and bruise with a well-developed backstory and a thoughtful approach to every problem. He's an enduring archetype, portrayed by five actors over the years, with John Krasinski most recently assuming the mantle in Amazon's Jack Ryan.

The previous Jack Ryan actors — Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine — were well-received in their turns as the CIA analyst, but many are saying John Krasinski's Ryan is the best yet. Though there's no confirmed release date from Amazon Prime Video for the upcoming third season, we've got you covered while you wait it out.

The following books, movies, television shows, and podcasts capture Jack Ryan's energy, which makes the franchise so enduring. Like Ryan, the protagonists of these works have more than one tool to work with and use as much cunning as gunning to face their problems. Not all of these works are as fast-paced as much of the Jack Ryan oeuvre, but they move forward inexorably toward secrets, surprises, and stunning resolutions.


Read the Brief

Transfer of Power

This is Flynn's third Mitch Rapp novel, but some feel he didn't hit his stride until this one. The narrative hits the ground running, literally, as a terrorist group storms the White House, murdering dozens of tourists and staffers in search of their real target — the President. Though the Secret Service manages to 

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evacuate the President to a bunker deep below 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they fail to prevent the terrorists from taking hostages. Enter Rapp, the CIA's top counterterrorist operative, followed closely by some surprising and engaging complications. Read here.

Broken arrow plots, where the military has lost a powerful weapon — usually a nuke — are always fun. The action opens in the high tropical savanna outside Caracas, Venezuela, where the Army's most dangerous weapon has been spotted following his desertion and escape. They send a team of investigators, 

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brilliant loose cannon Scott Brodie and Maggie Taylor, a compelling and charismatic woman with more secrets than perhaps would prove helpful. Read here.

Jack Reacher enjoys a level of popularity relative to Jack Ryan. However, Child's headlining protagonist didn't enjoy the kind of out-of-the-gate acclaim that Clancy's eldest son secured. Those who may be familiar with later iterations of the Jack Reacher books and movies may want to revisit this title, published in

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1997, to see how it all began. Read here.

Ben Tyson has climbed the corporate ladder and is enjoying the fruits of his labor in his comfortable, well-appointed home with his adored family. It sounds like the ingredients of a tranquil life until Tyson's military command as a lieutenant in Vietnam comes back to haunt him. DeMille is a prolific writer. His

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writing is anything but lazy, and the pace and level of detail he provides will leave you wishing that this long book was longer. Read here.

Ludlum is better known for the Bourne franchise, but this somewhat overlooked novel has a well-deserved cult following. Villains from a bygone era, children of the Third Reich, secreted in hiding places all over the world, elaborate plans, $780 million in Swiss banks, and the American son of a high-ranking Nazi are 

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all poised to collide in surprising—and entertaining—ways. Read here.

Written by a former Navy Pilot, this book has all the well-written details that make a good Jack Ryan type character. Fend is thrilling to follow and is as clever as he is daring. It’s a shorter series, but it will keep you excited for the next book! Read here.

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Watch Your Six

You might have missed this one — everyone else did. Originally a Paramount property, Without Remorse was intended for wide theatrical release before being derailed by the Covid express. Now streaming on Amazon, it's a treat for Jack Ryan fans who may not be familiar with this second sibling. Tom Clancy's John 

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Clark (née Kelly) is played with charismatic intensity by Michael B. Jordan, joined by a surprisingly deep supporting cast — Lucy Russell as Director Dillard and Guy Pearce as Secretary Clark are standouts. Be aware that the movie has nothing in common with the book of the same name. Watch here.

Can't get enough of Krasinski? He's been reborn hard as Ryan, but his first post-Office role might surprise you. This flick depicts the 2012 attacks against the American diplomatic compound in the Libyan coastal city. Krasinski, bulked and bearded, plays Jack Silva, one of the six-man Annex Security Team tasked with 

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defending diplomatic personnel while local militants bring the boom. Don't get your Krasinski vehicles mixed up. Copious gunplay and a broad selection of explosions make this overlooked gem anything but A Quiet Place. Watch here.

Speaking of quiet … if you don't mind a more reflective slow-burn thriller, The Day of the Jackal (streaming on Amazon Prime Video) is a good bet. You want the 1973 film directed by Fred Zinnemann, not the pale 1997 remake. The earlier film, based on the novel by Frederick Forsyth, is a masterpiece of pacing and 

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structure that portrays Edward Fox as a professional assassin known only by a handful of noms de guerre. Stylish and sleek as the Deux Chevaux tearing around Paris in early sequences, this one's worth a watch — or a revisit, if you're lucky enough to be already acquainted. Prendre plaisir! Watch here.

4. The Spy

You're missing out if you only know him as the bumbling, blissfully unaware Kazhak journalist. Sacha Baron Cohen has disarmingly adroit dramatic chops and brings a smoldering, persistent presence to his portrayal of Eli Cohen in The Spy, a six-part Netflix series. Eli, an Israeli department store clerk, adopts the 

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persona of Syrian businessman Kamel Amin-Thabaath at the behest of his Mossad handler. Over the following five years, he goes deep undercover and through the highest levels of the Syrian government, eventually befriending the Syrian President.

Brendan Fraser is having a much-deserved moment, so it is a great time to mention his arguably overlooked performance in The Quiet American. Based on the 1955 novel by Graham Greene, the film takes place in French Indochina during the last days of Guerre d'Indochine, or the First Indochina War. Nothing

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is what it seems in this brooding, relentless adaptation, and grim surprises lurk just beneath the surface. Micheal Caine, playing London Times journalist Thomas Fowler, was nominated for an Oscar for his work in this one, but Fraser's brilliant and restrained performance as American economic aid worker Alden Pyle is no less impressive. Watch here.

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Listening Post

It's unclear how much of this podcast is embellished, but listen to a few episodes, and you'll find yourself hoping you're being lied to. Sam Walker, a former BBC journalist and investigative reporter, presents excerpts from long, meandering conversations with a man known only as "KC." He's intelligent, 

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funny, complicated, and vaguely terrifying. If even a little of what he's saying is true, our world is darker and more dangerous than most realize. Listen here.

2. The Playlist, Playlist.net

Though this podcast is always entertaining and frequently covers topics your average Jack Ryan fan would be interested in, this recommendation is for a specific episode. The hosts have a long, informal, and wildly entertaining chat with Stefano Sollima, the filmmaker behind Without Remorse, which appears 

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elsewhere on this list. Sollima talks about the narrative power of realistic violence — and hints at the possibility of Krasinski's Jack Ryan appearing in a Rainbow Six crossover.

Jack Carr could be a Clancy character. Twenty years a Navy SEAL, the former Task Unit Commander — and sniper — is the author behind the Terminal List series, on which the new Terminal List movie (which almost made this list) was based. Frank discussions and stories from conflict areas worldwide make this

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a must-listen for Jack Ryan fans. Listen here.

4. The Tao of Jack Ryan, Michael and Us

This podcast regularly covers "political cinema" and is intriguing and highly listenable — even more so to Clancy fans when the subject matter is Jack Ryan and the 1990 film adaptation of The Hunt for Red October. A nuanced and informed look at the mind of "right-wing legend" Clancy and the characters he 

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created, this 42-minute episode will give you new insights into your favorite character.

5. Unclear and Present Danger, Jamelle Bouie and John Ganz

Hosts Bouie and Ganz focus on "dad movies," the '90s post-Cold War thrillers through the lens of a world which has changed drastically since they were penned. Each episode focuses on a different movie and provides insight, critique, and perspective on the kind of movies they don't make anymore.

While we're still waiting for Jack Ryan Season 3, freshly intercepted SIGINT suggests this will be the penultimate season. Sources say the Krasinski-helmed series will wrap at the end of season four, which is currently filming. Fans are sure to be dismayed at the news, but additional intelligence hints at a further expansion of the Amazon Ryanverse.

Stefano Sallimo is on record hinting at a Rainbow Six property that would bring Krasinki's Jack Ryan and Michael B. Jordan's John Clark together. Yet another intriguing rumor suggests Michael Peña as Ding Chavez—another character from Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan literary milieu.

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