It’s almost surprising this movie hasn’t happened yet.
[Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse]
At the end of Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, our hero John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) has been given a new identity. He is now John Clark, a name that will sound familiar to fans of other Tom Clancy adaptations as the character previously popped up in the Jack Ryan films Clear and Present Danger (played by Willem Dafoe) and The Sum of All Fears (played by Liev Schreiber). He’s basically the character who’s willing to get his hands dirty and go to the dark places that the more clean-cut Ryan never visits. However, if you’re familiar with Clark’s place in the “Ryan-verse” books and what Clancy constructed, you’ll get a thrill at the scene that comes during the credits.
In the credits, we fast forward a year after the final scene of the movie. Clark is in Washington, D.C. and meets up with Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell), who is now head of the CIA. Clark proposes a new, multi-national counter-terrorist unit comprised of soldiers from around the world. The unit will be dubbed “Rainbow”, which in the film is referenced by the rainbow Clark saw when he thought he was going to drown and be reunited with his late wife. However, fans will know it’s also a reference to the 1998 book and sequel to Without Remorse, Rainbow Six.
Rainbow Six is arguably the most successful Clancy property after Jack Ryan mainly due to the many video games that have followed in its wake. The first video game in the series, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, was released only two weeks after the book and relies more on tactical thinking and strategy rather than run-and-gun shooting. Since that game’s release, Rainbow Six was a mainstay video game franchise pretty much throughout the 2000s. However, the series has been fairly dormant since 2008’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 with Rainbow 6: Patriots being canceled and 2015’s Rainbow Six Siege being released as an online-only reboot.
However, the “Rainbow Six” name carries a lot of brand recognition, and if Without Remorse is a hit (although “hit” is a fungible term since it will depend on how Amazon recognizes a hit for a film released only on their platform), then Rainbow Six could be a massive follow-up that gets people excited for how Tom Clancy’s Ryan-verse could expand on screen. At the very least, Rainbow Six could be a unique entry among Clancy adaptations, and I hope that we get to see it realized.
The final 10 episodes premiere in May.
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