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Clancy's War Over 'Patriot Games' Ends

May 23, 1992|ROBERT W. WELKOS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

With the $40-million film version of his novel "Patriot Games" scheduled for release in two weeks, author Tom Clancy announced Friday that he had resolved his differences with Paramount Pictures, ending months of bitterness in which he had criticized various aspects of the script and the production.

"We've made a real peace and the credit goes to Brandon Tartikoff," Clancy said, referring to the chairman of Paramount Pictures. "The whole idea of the agreement with Mr. Tartikoff is so we can work together in the future. I fully intend to do that."

He said he hoped to work closely with Paramount on the making of "Clear and Present Danger," the third Clancy novel that the studio plans to film.

Clancy, in a telephone interview, said he and Tartikoff saw a rough cut of "Patriot Games" last month in Washington and that the novelist came away impressed with how the movie depicted the CIA's intelligence-gathering process.

"There are some good things in the movie," Clancy said. "I identified a few areas I thought needed a little work. They reshot the ending, but that wasn't my doing. That was the work of Paramount. Not many people liked (the ending)."

Earlier this year, Clancy stunned Hollywood when he said in press interviews that there were few similarities between his best-selling novel and the film starring Harrison Ford. He vowed never to work for Paramount again and announced that he was writing an original screenplay for Universal set in the Persian Gulf War.

Among the criticisms he leveled were that the script called for coral reefs in Chesapeake Bay, where none exist; that an aerosol canister with explosives was to be shaken; and, that Ford, at 49, might be too old to play the leading role of CIA analyst Jack Ryan, who had been played by Alec Baldwin in Paramount's earlier box-office hit "The Hunt for Red October."

Producer Mace Neufeld said that some of the scenes Clancy complained about were not shot at all and noted that Clancy had previously voiced approval of Ford for the role.

On Friday, Clancy said Ford is "a helluva nice guy" but stopped short of retracting his previous criticisms. "Retracting a statement is like putting toothpaste back in the tube," he said.

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