Indiana Jones: Don’t Replace Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Courtesy of Paramount/Lucasfilm.

Unlike the James Bond franchise that inspired the creation of Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford should not be replaced as the iconic hero.

While audiences await the release of Indiana Jones 5, it is in the best interest of the franchise to not go forward without Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones. It’s one thing to pass the fedora and whip to the next generation but it’s another to outright replace him in the role. If they wanted to go this route, they would have done it a long time ago. But once you stick with the same star for over 40 years, it makes zero sense to replace him with another actor. It wouldn’t work in the same way. It’s one thing for a younger version in the same way that we saw in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Funny enough, the latter makes no mention of him having a son, only a daughter.

Ford only makes one appearance in the series but they go younger or older to work around his age. You can find the series streaming on Paramount+ but the series didn’t last beyond 1992-93. It’s not because of the lack of Ford in as much as it is George Lucas being so ambitious and a very expensive budget for its time. If anything, the series is more for children than adults.

If they really wanted to play with the James Bond formula, they would have recast the role for feature films in the 1990s. Instead, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Harrison Ford waited until they were happy with the story and screenplay. Of course, it’s already been over a decade since the fourth installment. Spielberg has since stepped out of the director’s chair only to have James Mangold replace him. Ford recently got injured while performing a stunt but he’s not getting any younger. However, this is Ford’s role through and through. And if you do replace him, do you go with Alden Ehrenreich again? Given Solo underperforming at the box office, I would advise against this.

The James Bond franchise is approaching its 60th year. They were able to bring Bond into the post-Cold War through GoldenEye. The Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig films have helped to revamp 007’s image. Regardless of what Sean Connery and Roger Moore brought to their franchise, the original cinematic Bond does not play well in a post-#MeToo era. There’s a reason why they’ve been less likely to straight out adapt Ian Fleming’s books! Fleming’s racism and antisemitism also doesn’t play well in the 21st century. With a new Bond taking over for about a 10-15 year period, the franchise is able to survive. I have no doubt that Bond will survive well into the future. Obviously, Bond is the type that will adapt with the times. Maybe. We’ll certainly see.

But James Bond, Indiana Jones isn’t. Harrison Ford is a great actor but after 40 years in the role, nobody can replace him. It is impossible!

Indiana Jones 5 will be released on July 28, 2022.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.