The Next Indiana Jones: How It Might Work

The studio wants more Indiana Jones. Here's a few ways it could work.

"This BETTER work!"
The hatred for Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the The Crystal Skull is almost universal. Between George Lucas and his control issues, most people view the movie as a bombastic mess ruined by the introduction of aliens, CGI'd tree swinging, a nuke surviving refrigerator, and a dumbfounded Shia Lebeouf. With that movie proving to be a less than stellar sign off for the character, the studio is craving another entry that will bring the franchise back to the light. 

With recent word that the franchise is going to get a couple more entries we take a cold hard look at how this might work. Over the past couple months there have been numerous rumors stating that Chris Pratt would be taking over the role of Indy, with some fans cheering this idea and other just wanting the franchise to die. With Harrison Ford being the defining trait behind the Indiana Jones brand it's hard to imagine anyone else taking over the role, but much like James Bond, fans could have never imagined anyone taking over for Sean Connery. But that worked, so why not a new actor for Dr. Jones? With the right amount of dry sarcastic wit, Indiana could be played by other actors. Case in point, Chris Pratt. 

The first way this could work would be the very obvious choice. Harrison Ford could still continue playing the role well into his eighties. While my fan boy brethren may be sharp tongued with the geriatric comments, Ford is the one actor that could totally pull off a much older Indiana Jones. His reprisal as Han Solo in The Force Awakens might be proof positive that he still has the flair for these continuing on. Yet, this would leave the studio at a dead end, unable to carry the torch much further than a couple movies before the inevitable rebooting. 

"Don't worry, old man. It'll work."
So, that leaves us at the other apparent option. With other movies like Casino Royale totally revamping an age old franchise with a new, younger key actor, the Indiana Jones series could be completely rebooted, taking us back before Raiders of the Lost Ark, expanding further on the youthful mythology of the character. The only issue with that idea is that the young Indy has been played by numerous other actors. Keeping some level of continuity might become an issue. Between The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and the River Phoenix bit in The Last Crusade, the writing staff would have to be on top of their game to keep this franchise in line with previous story points. But, I guess that would be the point of a reboot. All other versions are eliminated, creating a brand new take on the entire story. I'm not too in love with that idea. 

The other most likely option will be the passing of the torch. Through flashbacks or other means, a much older, now retired Dr. Jones could narrate a story that goes back before Raiders and after Chronicles that will introduce a new actor in to the role. Once again, Chris Pratt comes to mind. Months ago rumors were circulating that he'd be taking over the role. With his contractual obligations to the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and his rumored continued part in the next two Jurassic Park movies, his schedule could get a little hairy. Yet, Pratt's sense of humor and delivery of character is eerily similar to a younger Harrison Ford. If anyone could pull this off, it would be him. 

"But it was supposed to be mine.
Wait. I'm not famous anymore.
Our only real hope is that whichever way they go, they show respect in continuing forth with the Indiana Jones mythology. If not done right or without the use of practical effects, this could end up worse than the aforementioned Crystal Skull. Fans want something more inline with Raiders that will amp up the action but stay true to the core ideals of the character. Indiana Jones is meant to be an adventurous, smart mouthed, archaeologist that always finds himself in sticky situations. The studio needs to have an Indiana Jones attitude about the next movies: Protect the artifacts of the older movies while keeping true to the original vision of the character. 

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