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Jack Ryan Season 3 Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

Tom Clancy's reluctant analyst rides into battle once again, or so says Amazon. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the political spy thriller Jack Ryan has already been renewed for season 3.

The expensive action series (each episode costs a reported $8-10 million) has been a huge streaming hit. The show has also provided some much-needed closure for fans concerned about the fate of Jim Halpert after leaving his stable job as a paper salesman at Dunder-Mifflin Scranton: Apparently, he changed his name to Jack, did at least one tour in Afghanistan, and joined the CIA as a financial analyst. Quite the second act.

Since the series' bow back in 2018, the leading pair of Jack Ryan (John Krasinski) and James Greer (Wendell Pierce) have foiled a bioterror plot targeting American leaders in a Washington hospital and beheaded a corrupt Venezuelan political machine indirectly responsible for the assassination of a U.S. senator. In other words, Ryan and Greer have been busy. Each season so far has focused on a single self-contained mission — one story told start to finish over eight episodes, with season 2 featuring several characters and thematic elements carried over from the first season. This format leaves plenty of room to speculate about what might be forthcoming.

When we left Jack, his season 2 story had reached a satisfying denouement with the election of left wing populist Gloria Bonalde (Cristina Umana) to the Venezuelan presidency, followed by her tearful reunion with her intellectual husband, a political prisoner held for years by the prior administration. With accounts settled in South America, what could possibly be left for Ryan to do in season 3? Here's everything we know.

What is the release date of Jack Ryan season 3?

Jack Ryan has been a tremendously efficient production, especially considering the large budgets and vast array of challenging locations at issue. Season 1 premiered on August 13, 2018, and was followed expeditiously by season 2, which debuted on October 31, 2019. While getting one season per year to screens used to be the norm in television, the streaming revolution has seen distributors like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu take a much more lax approach with the schedule. It's no longer unusual for popular shows to wait months for a renewal order, and then take years to actually produce the ordered content (we're looking at you, Rick and Morty). Fans everywhere are appreciative when a hit like Jack Ryan keeps things annual.

Amazon announced Jack Ryan's third season renewal back in February 2019 during the Television Critics' Association press tour. According to The Hollywood Reporter, showrunning duties have passed to Star Trek: Discovery veteran Vaun Wilmott. Even though no official announcement has been made about a potential release date for the new set of episodes, history suggests that fans shouldn't have to wait too long. 

Unfortunately, Jack Ryan has fallen victim to the industry-wide production halt caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In early 2020, it looked like season 3 was on track for a fall 2020 bow, but that timeline now appears overly optimistic. The release will ultimately depend on when the production team can safely return to work. Even if the Jack Ryan team manages to get the new season in the can by Q4 of 2020, the show still may be impacted by the cascading effects of other scheduling shifts. All that bad news suggests viewers will be lucky to see Ryan's next adventure in the name of national security by early 2021, but don't be shocked if the release date slips even later. Some outlets are already speculating fans might have to wait until 2022.

Fortunately, the production team has recently been spotted filming for season 3 in Italy. Krasinski himself was seen in a few iconic locations in and around Rome including the Hotel St. Regis and the Piazza di Spagna Square. Assuming the crew doesn't meet with any more pandemic related setbacks, a 2021 release remains a possibility.

Who is in the cast of Jack Ryan season 3?

The only character confirmed to return on season 3 so far is... well, Jack Ryan. Viewers will remember that Wendell Pierce's Greer threw in the towel at the end of season 2, due to a heart condition that compromised his ability to do the job. Does that mean the end of the dynamic duo of Ryan and Greer? Maybe not. Greer may be tapping out of field duty on a medical discharge, but that doesn't mean fans won't see Pierce return to provide a supporting role from behind a desk. Audiences will just have to wait and see if the office life agrees with the veteran CIA officer.

Another open question is the status of Ryan's season 1 flame, Dr. Cathy Mueller, played by Abbie Cornish. Mueller notably didn't appear on season 2. When viewers reconnected with Jack a few months after the season 1 resolution, he was single again and celebrating his birthday with his boss' family — like a proper introvert. The show didn't provide any answer as to what became of Mueller and Ryan's budding romance, and even though Jack had moved on by the start of season 2, the storyline certainly felt unfinished.

Mueller is an important canonical character from the Clancy book series on which Jack Ryan is based. In the books, she and Jack start a relationship, get married, and have a couple of kids. She even serves as First Lady when Jack is elected president. It seems odd that the show would introduce such a key character from the source material only to let her vanish without explanation. A quick glance at Cornish's IMDb suggests that she should be available to film season 3. Season 2 may have conflicted with her production obligations on Secret Bridesmaid's Business, thus explaining her absence. Fortunately for fans of Cornish's Dr. Mueller, no such conflict currently exists. Cornish's only project listed for 2020 — the feature film Virtuoso – is already in post-production.

Interestingly, on the show, Mueller is the daughter of Ryan's former Wall Street boss, a dangling connection to Ryan's under-explored private sector past. It seems like a missed opportunity not to bring her back in some capacity.

Despite the show's unnerving radio silence, one bit of casting information did slip out amidst the blackout: Oscar nominee Marianne Jean-Baptiste has apparently been tapped to step into the role of Elizabeth Wright, a series regular who serves as "Station Chief" (via Deadline). This designation suggests she is a high-ranking member of CIA stationed somewhere abroad, an intriguing nugget of info about the new season, which is apparently still awaiting the commencement of formal production.

What is the plot of Jack Ryan season 3?

Jack Ryan takes place in Tom Clancy's "Ryanverse" — a complex continuity of thrillers realized across novels, films and TV. The late, prolific author published 17 Jack Ryan novels between 1984 and 2014. Since Clancy sadly passed in 2013, several other authors have taken up the baton, adding another 12 novels to the universe with a thirteenth forthcoming in 2020 (Mike Maden's Firing Point).

While info on season 3 is scarce, Krasinski, who also serves as executive producer on the series, did offer Digital Spy some kernels of insight into the aspects of his character's journey that appealed to him in season 2. "My favorite part of season 2 was the change in Jack," Krasinski said. "I think that Jack Ryan, in the beginning of the first season, you see him as... He tells you, like, 14 times that he's just an analyst. That, I think, is what he always wanted to be — just the guy who delivers the information, and never gets into the fight."

Fans combing the Jack Ryan novels for clues as to the next season's plot are unlikely to turn up anything noteworthy. As with previous seasons, season 3 is unlikely to stick to the letter of its source material. Former EP Carlton Cuse (Lost, Locke & Key) has said in interviews that he was less interested in exploring the Jack that would be President from the novel and film The Hunt for Red October, and more intrigued by the drama of an analyst thrust back into the field (via IndieWire). This seems to jibe with Krasinski's affinity for the character.

With the Blu-Ray and DVD release of season 2, we got a look at an intriguing deleted scene from the finale that pretty explicitly sets up season 3. Here it is:

The scene depicts a civilized meeting between Jack and Greer in the aftermath of the bloody events in Venezuela. Jack suggests to Greer that he's ready to come off the bench and get back into operations. His timing is apparently good. Greer's assembling a team for "some work" and he needs somebody to lead it. With Greer retired from ops, it sure seems like Jack is the obvious candidate to carry that torch.

We'll keep our ears to the ground for more details, and you may want to bookmark this page — we'll be updating it as soon as they become available.