Published in 1993, Without Remorse centers on former Navy SEAL and CIA operative John Kelly, code-named Mr. Clark, who first appeared onscreen in 1994’s Clear and Present Danger (played by Willem Dafoe). Liev Schreiber also played the character in 2002’s The Sum of All Fears. The book itself, meanwhile, is officially described as follows:
John Kelly… is still getting over the accidental death of his wife six months before, when he befriends a young woman with a decidedly checkered past. When that past reaches out for her in a particularly horrifying fashion, he vows revenge and, assembling all of his old skills, sets out to track down the men responsible, before it can happen again.
At the same time, the Pentagon is readying an operation to rescue a key group of prisoners in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp. One man, they find, knows the terrain around the camp better than anyone else they have: a certain former Navy SEAL named John Kelly.
Kelly has his own mission. The Pentagon wants him for theirs. Attempting to juggle the two, Kelly (now code-named Mr. Clark) finds himself confronted by a vast array of enemies, both at home and abroad — men so skillful that the slightest misstep means death. And the fate of dozens of people, including Kelly himself, rests on his making sure that misstep never happens.
Men aren’t born dangerous. They grow dangerous. And the most dangerous of all, Kelly learns, are the ones you least expect…
McQuarrie, best known as a screenwriter with projects like The Usual Suspect and Valkyrie, made his directorial debut with 2000’s The Way of the Gun and will be back as a director later this year for Jack Reacher (which he also wrote).