Steven Spielberg on Recasting INDIANA JONES: "I Don't Think That's Ever Going To Happen"
Indiana Jones is one of Disney/Lucasfilm's big properties that hasn't been utilized since 2008's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Director Steven Spielberg has expressed interest in coming back to direct star Harrison Ford in another sequel, but with Ford growing older every day, the question becomes: what is the future of this franchise beyond Indiana Jones 5? Producer Frank Marshall recently said that Lucasfilm won't be recasting the role, and now Spielberg himself is backing up that claim with some comments to Screen Daily:
“I don’t think anyone could replace Harrison as Indy, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. 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."
I think a lot of fans are probably going to be happy with that mentality because to them, Ford IS Indiana Jones and they won't accept any substitutes. But while that mentality might be good for fans, it doesn't exactly make a lot of sense from a franchising perspective. How are Disney and Lucasfilm going to be able to capitalize on the name recognition of Indiana Jones years from now when Ford is no longer able to play the character? The franchise won't die any time soon — Disney paid good money for Lucasfilm, and they're not about to retire a franchise just because the lead actor stops playing the role. So what's the solution? It's becoming more and more obvious that they're going to find a different character to pass the baton to...but even then, that character won't be named Indiana Jones, and name recognition is such a huge part of why these future movies will exist. Are general audiences savvy enough to see something like Mutt Williams and the Island of Enchanted Gold on a marquee and know it's an Indy spin-off? I guess we'll find out.
To wrap this up, the interviewer also asked Spielberg why he would want to return to direct another Indy movie after Skull, and he answered:
“Because there are more adventures out there than films,” said the filmmaker, who turns 69 on Dec 18. “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.”