Debuting with 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Indiana Jones film series has become one of the most timeless and beloved action film series for nearly 35 years. The combination of director Steven Spielberg, writer George Lucas, and star Harrison Ford makes the series really memorable. Although it has its odd entries — particularly the second and especially the fourth — the character and performance of Ford is always well-regarded by fans and critics alike. Even when 2008’s The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull made its debut by “nuking the fridge,” people generally agreed that it was great to see Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones again. From there, we were also led to believe that it wouldn’t be the last time.
The 72-year old actor is still going strong, making appearances in big action films like The Expendables 3 and Ender’s Game in recent years. At the end of this year, Ford will reprise one of his other majorly beloved roles — Millenium Falcon pilot Han Solo — in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ford seems to have a lot left in him, and has expressed openness about returning to the role of Dr. Jones in a potential fifth outing for the character, so long as the proposed story meets with his satisfaction. Now, though, a new rumor is making the rounds that seems to indicate that the beloved Indiana Jones film series will be getting a treatment very common in today’s Hollywood: the reboot treatment.
According to Deadline, Steven Spielberg has apparently expressed an openness to direct a reboot of the Indiana Jones franchise starring Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World‘s Chris Pratt, though the sourcing isn’t direct. The original Deadline report produced no quotes, and no direct attribution to Spielberg outside of the trade’s “reliable sources.” Pratt, described as Spielberg’s “hand-picked” choice to star in Jurassic World, is certainly very busy over the next couple of years, as he’s committed to the sequel to Guardians as well as the comic book adaptation of Cowboy Ninja Viking. Still, though, there’s one major question left: does Indiana Jones even need a reboot?
Given Ford’s age, it’s easy to see that the window to make at least one more Indy film with him in the lead is closing fast. Still, with Disney’s stated desire to make more Indiana Jones films in the future, it seems like it should be assumed that whether certain fans want it or not, a reboot will happen at some point. In that sense, I think it would be a good idea for the Indiana Jones franchise to take a page out of Star Trek‘s book by doing one, simple thing: give the classic iteration of the franchise a proper send-off, and let fans say goodbye before you take things in a new direction.
One last film with Ford in the next 2-3 years would be an excellent way for fans to make peace with the idea of seeing someone new, no matter how beloved Pratt is, under the famous hat. As a famous cinematic hero, the Indiana Jones we know and love deserves one last adventure before getting a chance to ride off into the sunset, and giving Disney free rein to make any kind of Indiana Jones reboot that they want. Harrison Ford proved in 2008 that he will still show up on set in the famous hat to work, and his dedication as well as that of the series’ fans deserve to see Indy’s last ride, both to properly close the book on the character, and to give the next Indiana Jones less stigma to come in as a replacement.
While many fans will likely have the attitude that there can be no other Indiana Jones, that likely won’t end up being the case. As we wait for similar franchises that may be Indy’s heir apparent to make their transition to film — like Nathan Drake in Uncharted — all we can really do is hope that Indy will get the film he deserves. I’ll just be hoping that it’s with Harrison Ford, so we can see the original Dr. Jones in action one more time.
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