Steven Spielberg Says He Will Never Replace Harrison Ford As Indiana Jones

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Steven Spielberg Says He Will Never Replace Harrison Ford As Indiana Jones

You'll have to pry the role of Indiana Jones from the cold, dead hands of Harrison Ford, according to Steven Spielberg.

"I don't think anyone could replace Harrison as Indy, I don't think that's ever going to happen," Spielberg told Screen International. "It's certainly not my intention to ever have another actor step into his shoes in the way there have been many actors that have played Spider-Man or Batman. There is only going to be one actor playing Indiana Jones and that's Harrison Ford."

Asked why he would want to return to the character, Spielberg said: "Because there are more adventures out there than films. So as long as there's more adventures out there, I've got a bullwhip, a fedora, a leather jacket and a man on a horse who knows how to get the job done."

At a promotional screening of Bridge of Spies that I attended last month, Spielberg and Tom Hanks were tied in for a video interview. Spielberg joked about Hanks and Ford each having done four movies with him, which meant he would need to do Indy 5 with Ford just to break the tie. At the time I took it as a joke -- Spielberg and Hanks were both laughing at the idea -- and the tone of the discussion at that point was extremely light.

But it seems that Spielberg is still moving forward with the idea of another installment. Though there's always been talk that the screenplay needs to be right, that hasn't stopped him before. (See Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, if you must.) Spielberg is about to turn 69, and Ford is 73.

Certainly they're both still physically capable of making another action-adventure blockbuster in the next few years -- that's why there are assistant directors and stunt men -- but the more it's talked about, the more I imagine a Bubba Ho-Tep type of story, with Indiana Jones in a retirement home, talking about the old days and imagining that he's still swinging from vines and swimming with sharks.

What do you think? Should Spielberg leave Indiana Jones in retirement? Or spring him back into action? Or are you simply no longer interested in the character?

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Harrison FordIndiana JonesSteven SpielbergDavid KoeppGeorge LucasJeff NathansonPhilip KaufmanCate BlanchettKaren AllenShia LaBeoufActionAdventureFantasy

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Ard VijnDecember 2, 2015 8:35 PM


So far I count four actors who have played Indiana Jones at one time or another: Harrison Ford, River Phoenix, Sean Patrick Flanery and George Hall. And I'm pretty sure Mr. Spielberg knows this.

Mr. CavinDecember 3, 2015 3:59 AM

Hey, don't forget Corey Carrier.

Ard VijnDecember 3, 2015 4:04 AM

Damn, I did! That makes five...

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billydakingDecember 3, 2015 6:20 PM

Of course, all of those non-Ford actors were brought in to play Indy at different ages while Ford was still in the role. Which is why when Spielberg needed an actor to play Indy in a bookending sequence set in the 1950s for the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles...Harrison did it. Spielberg is talking about somebody taking the role over from Ford, which is something else entirely.

Mr. CavinDecember 3, 2015 11:08 PM

Certainly. It was just a bit disingenuous to phrase it the way that he did. Honestly, I have no trouble separating the television show and the movie into completely separate continuities, frankly, meaning that, to my mind, Phoenix and Ford are the only "real" Indys. Well, them and the all-important stunt guys, too.

And, for the record, I'm not sure I ever want to see anyone else play the role. But that in itself will usher Indiana Jones right into some kind of cultural dead end, and he will never blossom into the kind of icon that has real staying power, like Dracula or Sherlock Holmes. Or Batman. And that would be kind of a shame because that is a real possibility with this character.

RolandDeschain1 .December 3, 2015 11:21 PM

With Lucasfilm now out of the iron grip of Lucas there's a chance that another INDY movie could actually be good.