Why We Need To Recast Indiana Jones

Why We Need To Recast Indiana Jones

Robert makes a case for why it is time to move on from Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, and embrace Chris Pratt - or whoever else dons the fedora and bullwhip - as the next archaeological action hero.

Read Full Article

I would be definitely into a new Indiana Jones movie as long as its just an Indiana Jones movie and not a prequel or sequel. That is what I always liked about the first three movies is that they never really said they were sequels they are self contained adventures. Setting a new one up as prequel/sequel/reboot would probably lose my interest for that is a mentality I am getting tired and frustrated with.

Another great article, but I think you mean River Phoenix as young Indy in the Last Crusade. Just trying to call it out politely before someone slams you for it.

RealRed05:
Another great article, but I think you mean River Phoenix as young Indy in the Last Crusade. Just trying to call it out politely before someone slams you for it.

Well, I guess I don't need to make my reply about that correction now.

So, err.....

I agree with recasting. Ford just doesn't won't cut it anymore. Nevermind the action on screen, I fear he'd have some terrible mishap on set.Chris Pratt could work, since he has more or less the same attitude I associate with Indy, but we shouldn't stick with him just because he's in vogue right now. There could be other better suited actors for the role, I just don't know about them.

No. I strongly disagree. What we need are no more Indiana Jones movies at all and something new instead. For me there is only one Indiana Jones movie anyway: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Besides, every other incarnation of the character sucks.

Before I read this article, I thought the idea of recasting Indiana Jones in a new movie was blasphemy. The kind of blasphemy I'd pay good money to see a few times in the theatre and buy on Blu Ray when it came out and probably enjoy every minute of, but blasphemy all the same. That said, this article paints a possibility I hadn't considered.

If Indiana Jones can follow a similar route as the James Bond movies, where new people play the role, bringing new perspectives on the character, than I think it has potential. Ford will always be the Sean Connery of the series (despite Sean Connery being IN The Last Crusade >_>), no matter who else plays it.

I guess it comes down to the question "Do you want to see more stories in the Indiana Jones universe enough to recast Indiana Jones?" to which I answer "yes".

Now to hope we get more of a "Roger Moore" quality sequel than a "George Lazenby" one for the 2nd Indy round.

I agree with this article; Indiana Jones has the potential to be a James Bond kind of character. A timeless character. One that can be reinvented for each generation.

And unlike Bond movies which are (usually) pure action (although they sometimes speak to real-world sociopolitical issues), Indy movies have the potential to inspire real-world positive behavior. Though I wasn't as inspired as the author, I would definitely say that Indy made being smart, doing research, and traveling to exotic places seem "cool" in my young mind, and I'd be remiss if I said that they didn't influence my interests or vocation.

I also agree that it would be worse to not test out this potential. I mean, there have been lame/weak Bond movies in the character's multi-decade history, but does that mean they should have stopped being made when Connery retired from the role? If that's the case, think of the great post-Connery Bond movies we would've never had.

I'm totally onboard with recasting Indianna Jones, but if it's just for the thrill of the adventure, ancient discovery, mythology and travel, there is other sources for that. For exemple, the Librarian movies were a fun little ride. Ok, they look cheap, but Noah Wyle is pretty good, the myths feel real and some of the decors really stick with you :)

Anyway, good article!

Soviets don't give a damn about religious artifacts, and you work with what you have.

I actually thought this could have been a nice counterpoint to the old Indiana Jones movies. Most of the time, it was the Nazis who actually cared about the artifact, while to Indy it was just a doodad. We got a bit of a glimpse into what these things actually meant to believers in Temple of Doom, but that was a pretty rough movie that didn't explore the concept. I would have liked to see Indy rescue the Crown of Thorns or some other religious artifact in the 4th movie, not only because it would dovetail nicely with the "Godless Communists" who were the villains of the pulp adventures he was recreating, but also because it would be nice for him to look at one of these miracles as something more than a MacGuffin or historical curiosity, and as a source of true wonder. "It doesn't belong in a museum, it belongs in a church."

RealRed05:
Another great article, but I think you mean River Phoenix as young Indy in the Last Crusade. Just trying to call it out politely before someone slams you for it.

This has been corrected so no slamming needed ;) I should have caught that in the editing pass ;)

I've always been of the opinion that, if we really have to recast Indiana Jones, Nathan Fillion would be the best choice for the role.

If they must then yes they do need to recast him but I would much rather they simply leave Indy the fuck alone and do something different.

Before _Crystal Skull_ I would have been 'Nooooooooo' but after that, what the heck, cast Chris Pratt. As with you it was my 'Keptin, the engines kinna take it no moar' moment.

To the people calling for shelving the series... It's Disney. They'd crush puppies for blood if it were profitable, or even worse, remake _The Apple Dumpling Gang_. They're just not going to leave a very valuable property fallow - it's just a matter of who.

Wait, they're considering recasting a beloved character and people aren't calling for Idris Elba to get the role? As a James Bond/Dr Who fan this is most surprising.

What I'd be okay with is if they did go the way of James Bond, it seems like a logical step, those were somewhat isolated stories as well and it allows the whole thing to develop beyond just Indy.

Alternatively, Indy gets retired and the next batch takes the reign, leaving the sanctity of Indy as it is and continue onward with the times through whatever offspring is available. I'd even settle for a clone.

I am less interested in them recasting Indiana Jones as I am greatly interested in them recasting Allan Quatermain. I would love for them to start with a remake of King Solomon's Mine and Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986). I like Allan more then Indy and since he's still a "gentleman adventurer" archetype, it'll scratch that itch with a much more nebulous character who can be put in fantastic peril without having worry about all the fluff that would come with an Indiana Jones remake.

I think part of the problem is that Indy worked in the 30 and 40s, he exists in the fantasy world of the cinema serial. When you get to the much greyer cold war, the world has shrunk and there is less space for swashbuckling. Bond is a creation of the cold war where as Indy is from the golden era of hollywood. Its hard to put the two together.

Dimitriov:
No. I strongly disagree. What we need are no more Indiana Jones movies at all and something new instead. For me there is only one Indiana Jones movie anyway: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Besides, every other incarnation of the character sucks.

I agree completely, I wish Hollywood would let these things drop. If we had a saner copyright system other film makers could do their own projects set in that world using those characters, and maybe we would get some interesting projects out of it. But when you can own the copyright to the characters and setting for 125 years we see companies want to "protect the brand" and play it safe. This more often than not leads to mediocre movies.

I would love to see copyright be 28 years from first publication or the life of the author, which ever is longer. That is more than enough time to get your money's worth and incentivize creation while still allowing society and culture to be enriched by common and accessible creative works.

So no, under the current system we don't need a new Indy movie.

As a transformers fan I've been long accustomed to seeing my favorite characters reinvented more times than Madonna. With each version they usually introduce a few cool new ideas that stick, and a few stinkers that get swept under the rug. I see no harm in someone trying make a new Indiana Jones film. The original films will still exist as not like the world runs out of memory has to delete something in order to make something new heh. They make a horrible stinker and shelf the character for a bit, no biggie. I see more risk in doing nothing than giving it a shot.

I still don't get why people were so down on Crystal Skull. Even as a kid, I thought the Temple of Doom was kinda dumb, but still enjoyable, and I'd say it's definitely the worst of the series. Also, I thought the official reason they definitely didn't want any Nazis in a new film was because Spielberg was still traumatised after making Schindler's List.
In any case, I can sympathise with the whole "recasting for a new generation" thing and the Bond precedent but I feel it's missing a point both narratively and socially. Indiana Jones isn't 007 - he's not a cog in the machine, he doesn't fall into the pulpy spy world of disguise. Recasting him doesn't add a layer of understanding to the Indyverse as recasting Bond does to his universe. All it does is draw attention to the fact that it's a film series, a story, and your immersion is fractured every time a comparison is made. And thanks to the internet and the unbelievably weird Indy fanboys, it will be absolutely impossible for a younger generation to view this as "Indiana Jones." It'll have to be "their Indiana Jones" at best because no matter how good the film is, as soon as they try to connect and discuss via the internet, some jack off is going to start shouting them down about how "Raiders of the Lost Ark was the first one (which came out before you were born) and is therefore THE ONLY POSSIBLE GOOD ONE AND YOU'RE DUMB FOR LIKING YOURS HURRDURR." In fact, I think someone has already said words to that effect in this very thread. It'll be so difficult to have that sense of agency that endeared Jones to young kids because they'll be always reminded, never mind how they feel, that it isn't as fresh as it was before. Which is really quite sad.

My dream would be for them to put the franchise to rest. It's done, it's fine. Indiana Jones is a film franchise, not a serialised comic book, it's allowed to end and have closure in its story. Maybe it didn't end on the high note you wished for but hey, that's goddamn life and I would have thought that over 10 years of fallout from the Star Wars films would have taught you that. Make something new, for the new generation. My personal choice would be to bring back the swashbuckler genre; with the benefit of modern social progression, globalisation and, of course, CGI, that's a genre that could seriously explode into a huge cloud of money.

We don't NEED to recast Indiana Jones. Because we don't NEED any more Indiana Jones movies. Lets just movie on man. Raiders of the Lost Ark was awesome. Last Crusade was a damn good sequel. Everything else with the Indiana Jones name on it has sucked donkey balls.

Let the franchise be. There doesn't need to be any more sequels, especially since no one knows how to make a good adventure movie anymore, and with the way hollywood casts now, it'll be some 16 year old who is somehow a professor at college.

We don't need this, we don't ask for this. We need NEW ideas.

"He will always be the definitive Indiana Jones like Connery's still the definitive Bond."

But Connery isn't the definitive Bond for a majority of the key movie demographic. Hell, I'm 31 and I've never seen a Connery Bond film. To me, Pierce Brosnan is the definitive Bond because of Goldeneye for the N64.

I think continuing the Indiana Jones series in a Bond-style casting direction is definitely within the spirit of the original inspiration for Raiders: the old adventure serials. If they can maintain the spirit of adventure, they could make it work.

Indiana Jones is no James Bond, I just don't see anyone other than Ford (in his prime that is) being in the role and still being considered as good as the originals. That's not even mentioning all the talent that made the first films so popular wouldn't be all that involved, and if they are who's to say we won't just get another Crystal Skull?

The fact that much of the inspiration for Indiana Jones comes from James Bond, I don't understand why Indy wasn't recast for the last movie. Sean Connery might be the definitive James Bond, but I still like Roger Moore the most. Harrison Ford will be the definitive Indy, but maybe another one might be more liked by a group of people. There are hundreds of stories that can be made into an Indy movie, so keep the chain of actors comming.

Dimitriov:
No. I strongly disagree. What we need are no more Indiana Jones movies at all and something new instead.

This. Let the Indiana Jones franchise die with whatever dignity remains after Crystal Skull. There's plenty of room to make a new movie with the same feel in a historical, fantasy or science fiction setting.

The entire idea that by letting the Indy franchise go you're somehow depriving that sort of world-faring adventure to a new generation is a fallacy. Indiana Jones is itself a homage to the serial comics and pulpy drama that came before just as stuff like Nick Cage's National Treasure or Angelina Jolie's Tomb Raider are homage to Indy and what came before.

So let Indy go. I don't want him recast, the series doesn't need anymore movies, just let it go and instead turn your attention to new properties. I'm sick of remakes and recasting, how about people just make something new? It doesn't even have to be original, just new enough that it's not reminiscent of a leech clinging desperately to a dying corpse in the hopes of sustaining itself just a little longer.

Besides, how much really left is there for Indy? He's a character that works best in a very specific time of history in specific sorts of adventures. A new properly could not only maintain the spirit of Indy but give it room to expand.

Robert Rath:
And in this world of Transformers and superheroes, I want kids to have a hero whose powers amount to a PhD, language skills, and the ability to take a punch.

In which case they will continue to be more than satisfied with the original Indiana Jones. If an Indy reboot speaks to the next generation in a way that the originals somehow couldn't, then clearly it has already compromised the simple values you listed, in which case the entire point of attempting to perpetuate Indy's cultural presence has in turn already been undermined.

No, Indiana Jones is like Star Wars in that it's a genre throwback that could have been made in any decade (not that they don't both feel like seventies and eighties films, because they do, but it's not as though those decades are the only ones where someone would possibly think to harken back to old sci-fi and adventure serials), and as a result has a broad, timeless appeal about it - in fact, in many ways this applies even more than it does to Star Wars, because Indiana Jones is a lot less reliant on the visual effects that have been revolutionized to such a degree since the original three movies. Unless they come up with some seriously different twist on the old formula, any further Indiana Jones ventures, especially now that Crystal Skull has broken its streak of quality, is just an exercise in nostalgia cash-grabbing. Not that it would necessarily turn out bad - you did singlehandedly succeed in selling me on the role being recast for Chris Pratt with this article - but that it would be a pointless retread of an endeavor even if the end result turned out to be watchable.

Disregarding the fact that Chris Pratt has too much of a goofball exterior to really pull off a good Indy (you said it yourself... that voice), you just can't make a proper Indiana Jones movie in this day and age anymore. It was a franchise from the 80's, when hardcore violence and foreign vilians were still okay. Even though we're all in general agreement that the Nazi's were evil motherfuckers, worthy of vilification, Captain America couldn't even feature them, because it might've offended Germans.

Robert Rath:
Recasting Indy makes me nervous, but if we shelve him I worry he'll become an artifact that only holds meaning for my generation.

I fail to why this would be considered a problem. Most of the things you enjoyed growing up will not hold any meaning for later generations, that's not something to worry about, it's been an unavoidable fact of life since generations were invented. Endlessly remaking the same franchises over and over again is one of the biggest problems the film industry currently has, and it's entirely because of this kind of misplaced nostalgia. Nostalgia is supposed to be about continuing to appreciate things you enjoyed in the past, not about trying to resurrect a pale semblance of it from its dismembered corpse and then forcing it down the throat of everyone younger than you. Younger generations are perfectly capable of enjoying the same things older ones did for what they are, and if they don't and instead prefer new things, that's absolutely fine.

That said, if they absolutely have to keep beating Indiana Jones' poor dead horse, Chris Pratt is easily one of the better sticks they could choose to do it with.

rgrekejin:
I've always been of the opinion that, if we really have to recast Indiana Jones, Nathan Fillion would be the best choice for the role.

The problem here is that Nathan Fillion only knows how to play the role of Nathan Fillion. Nathan Fillion is a fine character, but he's not Indiana Jones.

Recasting for a new Indie is so obvious that's it's merely academic at this point.
Ford was woefully unfit for the role well before Crystal Skull; you need new blood.

Regardless, after Crystal Skull; I don't have any faith in any future Indie film, because I'm aware that I live in the age of Hackywood Reboots. Sure, a number of reboots have high production values, but the biggest problems I have with so many current movies doesn't lie in the production values, it's with the writing and acting.

For the most part, the writing doesn't seem to matter at all because the appeal of doing a reboot (from a producer's perspective) is that the scripting is already half-done. Just throw in a bunch of references to the original, smush some CGI onto the screen, ship it in 7 months.

If I sound cynical and jaded about movies, it's only because that's the attitude that goes into making most of them now, and it shows.

I just don't get the obsession with reviving old franchises. Here's a better idea: leave Indiana Jones in the past with Nazis and WW2 conspiracies, where he belongs, and create a new IP for the current and future generations.

We've already got James Bond as a movie franchise that will never die [another day].

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here