Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012 excited many moviegoers looking forward to new Star Wars films, but the galaxy far, far away was not the only new franchise the Mouse House obtained in the transaction. Lucasfilm is also the home of famed archaeologist Indiana Jones, and rumblings about a fifth instalment in the series have popped up from time to time in the past few years.
Given star Harrison Ford’s age, it’s been expected that if a new movie were to be made, the lead role would have to be recast. Names like Chris Pratt have been recently rumoured to take over for Ford – but according to Indiana Jones producer Frank Marshall, moviegoers meeting a new Dr. Jones is something that is not in the cards.
Speaking with Total Film (hat tip Den of Geek), Marshall spoke about the progress of a fifth Indiana Jones film and who might star. He admits that there are several candidates who could possibly don the fedora, but he seemingly put the kibosh on getting a younger actor to play the title role:
“[We’re] not doing the Bond thing where we’re going to call somebody else Indiana Jones… we have to figure this out.”
Honestly, it’s a little surprising that this is Marshall’s stance on the matter, as recasting iconic roles has become increasingly commonplace in Hollywood of late. In addition to the James Bond franchise, the Star Trek reboot featured young versions of Captain Kirk and his U.S.S. Enterprise crew, and Disney is even going to recast Han Solo for Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s upcoming Star Wars Anthology movie (a Han Solo origins story). Some may view Marshall’s take as refreshing, since it shows Lucasfilm is not going to take the easy way out when it comes to more Indiana Jones adventures.
It should be noted, however, that this does not necessarily mean a hypothetical Indiana Jones 5 is dead. As Marshall says, the team needs to “figure this out,” meaning that their priority is devising a game plan to ensure the series’ continued success. In all likelihood, a fifth Indy feature would revolve around the grizzled hero (portrayed once more by Ford) taking a pupil under his wing and passing the torch, similar to what an elderly Han Solo will do in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Fans will be quick to point out that angle was tried and failed in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but Marshall is probably well aware of that film’s reception. Hence, he’s intent on taking his time with this one and hasn’t even sat down with his team to discuss Indy 5 yet. There will be those who wish that the studio just lay the franchise to rest and not even bother continuing it, but the odds that happens are slim. There’s a lot of money to be made with an Indiana Jones film, and if it’s done right, it could bring in a new generation of fans.
At the very least, fans can take solace in the fact that Lucasfilm will not simply be recasting Henry Jones, Jr. Ford has become so synonymous with the character that for many, it’s almost impossible to envision someone else playing him.