Kenneth Branagh Shakespeare1BELFAST thespian and director Kenneth Branagh has revealed he wants to bring Shakespeare back to the big screen. The star, 53, who is currently appearing in and directing new movie Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (released January 24th) starring Chris Pine as Jack Ryan as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack said he would like to return to his Shakespearean roots.

Watch these two new videos for the much-anticipated action thriller also starring Keira Knightley and Kevin Costner.

At just 29 Ken starred and directed in the 1989 movie Henry V and his theatre roles have included the 1996 four hour show of Hamlet.

Since then he’s taken to the big screen where he has acted in and/or directed many films including 2011’s blockbuster superhero movie Thor.

But despite the love of all genres Ken’s big dream is to cause a resurgence in his favourite playwrite Shakespeare.

He revealed: “I would love to make another Shakespeare film. But I’m very aware the way people watch such things are very different now.”Kenneth Branagh1“It’s very hard to get people out to the cinema to see something like a Shakespeare film, though new hybrid versions like the one I did – with a stage filming of Macbeth last year, which played in theatres worldwide. But I personally would love to get back to Shakespeare in the cinema, and I hope to do so at some point soon.”

And as for the particular production he’s keen to do, Ken admitted that as he’s got older new roles are now available to him.

“As to which production I would like to do It comes and goes” he said, adding: “You have a flirtatious relationship with them. A Winter’s Tale is a one I’ve wanted to do all of my life. And now I’m getting old enough to think about King Lear as well, a play I’ve been in many times. Times change and you respond to the times. And sometimes plays and their subject matter just scream out. I love getting that language out there.”

For Ken, his love remains on the stage and in producing and directing classics but as with his latest project Jack Ryan he said some opportunities are just too hard to turn down.Kenneth Branagh Shakespeare2He confessed: “In 2008 an email came onto my desk, asking, ‘Would you ever be interested in directing Thor? Do you even know what Thor is about?’ Of course, I knew, I read the comic as a kid.

“I was genuinely surprised and excited, not because it was going to be a huge franchise thing, but simply the fact that it was going to be Thor.

To me it was about: How do we make the guy fly? How do we make the hammer? How do you put it in a contemporary world?

How do you handle visual effects that would mean going into outer space and, as I recall, there’s a rainbow bridge thing? How on earth do you do that? All of those things I got caught up in.” Then the Jack Ryan character crossed his desk.

“I wasn’t particularly looking to continue to do big movies” said Ken.KennethBranagh1Kenneth Branagh as Viktor Cherevin alongside Kiera Knightly as Kathy Ryan in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

“But once again it started with an idea, and the idea was the script coming through the door and I started reading it and I was hooked by it.

“The Jack Ryan character, he’s this everyman with a brilliant mind who gets out of his depths and drawn into covert operation.

“I loved those early ‘70s movies like Three Days of the Condor, The French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon — these gritty, atmospheric movies that combined great action with great actors.

“I did my second movie at Paramount 20-some years ago, called Dead Again. While I was making that they were making The Hunt for Red October. I saw that when it came out and I really, really liked it.

“I liked the fact that [the Ryan movies] were real movies, entertainments, pictures I wanted to go see — mainstream movies that had something to say and had some detail.

“For me it was the sort of relative normality of Jack Ryan, and yet that brilliant mind. The clash of the ordinary with the extraordinary, the everyman in trouble, was I think great for fish-out-of-water action.”

As well as directing Jack Ryan, Ken will also star as Viktor Cherevin.KennethBranagh2Speaking of the role he said: “I was cast as the director first, then worked on the screenplay. The Cherevin character developed alongside the other characters.

I loved the idea of playing his stillness, his quiet, his threat, his hurt, his tragic melancholic quality and this romantic Russian thing that gets him into trouble.

Suddenly in the moment of his greatest triumph he’s talking poetry with Jack’s would be wife. I felt that was an interesting thing to try and make credible at the centre of a movie like this.”

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit infiltrates UK cinemas on January 24th 2014 and will also be released in IMAX

By Tina Calder ©