Harrison Ford will be 77 in a little more than a month. He’s currently on a media tour promoting his upcoming movie, “The Secret Life of Pets 2.” While promoting the film on NBC’s “Today” show on Friday, he was asked about who the veteran actor thinks should play Indiana Jones after Ford decides to give up the role.
Ford’s response was perfection.
“Nobody! Don’t you get it? I’m Indiana Jones,” Ford told co-host Craig Melvin. “When I’m gone, he’s gone. It’s easy.”
Speculation has persisted for years over who might play the iconic character should Ford give up the role, including current “It” boy Chris Pratt of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Jurassic World.”
Ford shot down that possibility, getting Pratt mixed up with another famous Chris – Chris Pine, who played Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek reboot films.
“This is a hell of a way to tell Chris Pine this. I’m sorry, man,” Ford said.
Ford is a notoriously ornery celebrity. In 2013, Esquire ran a profile of the actor that laid out his transformation:
Harrison Ford was once the epitome of rakish charm and cool. Yet as the years have grayed his hair and drawn lines on his face, he’s become more like the epitome of something else: crotchety grumpiness. Skepticism, cynicism, and a more general world-weariness are traits perhaps destined to intensify as one grows older, but Ford’s transformation into the cinema’s preeminent grouch — a fact again confirmed by this week’s ‘Paranoia,’ in which he plays a bald, cutthroat business tycoon — remains an extreme case. (It’s even got a supercut.) Hidden under a furrowed brow and stern grimaces, Ford has come far from where he once was — even if close inspection reveals that hints of his bad-temperedness were always there.
Ford first played the iconic Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” released in 1981. Two sequels followed, in 1984 and 1989, followed by a fourth installment in 2008. A fifth film is set to release on July 9, 2021, according to The Wrap.
Ford also returned to play his other most famous role, Han Solo, in “Star Wars: Episode Vii – The Force Awakens,” released in 2015. Last year, a spinoff movie was released called “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” in which we learn how Han Solo became Han Solo. In that film, Solo was played by Aiden Ehrenreich, who may be the best choice to play young Harrison Ford in any of his former roles (and let’s be real, they’re not going to stop making Indiana Jones movies after Ford quits).
Still, I agree with Ford. Hollywood should let franchises driven by one prominent character end with that actor, rather than assuming it can recast a person who made the role what it was. Obviously, there are some exceptions to this that have worked fairly well in recent years, and the Bond movies and Doctor Who do well replacing the main character.
But Indiana Jones isn’t a title or a collaboration film. He is a character created for Harrison Ford, and since there is no other Harrison Ford, there should be no other Indiana Jones.