Incase you hadn’t realised already, I love Indiana Jones. Raiders Of The Lost Ark is easily my favourite film of all time and the first post I actually wrote on here talked about my love of the films. Having such a fondness for the original trilogy, I waited for years in the hope that we would eventually get another Indy adventure and in 2008 we finally got just that, when Dr. Jones returned in Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Okay, so it wasn’t the greatest of Indy’s adventures (Shia LaBeouf swinging thorough the jungle with the cgi monkeys from Jumanji, is still the stuff of nightmares) but at least it was something. With a certain level of biased, I am one of the few who can be forgiving of Crystal Skull’s flaws and in the subsequent years after its release, I was disappointed, although not entirely surprised, that talk of another sequel slowly became muted.
Recently though, rumours of a potential re-boot have filtered down through the rumour mill. Since Disney bought Lucasfilm nearly three years ago, Star Wars has already been green-lit a new trilogy and a number of spin-off’s, with the first instalment due in theatres this Christmas. So it comes as no surprise that the company would also look to bring back Lucas’ second most popular and lucrative franchise. Whilst nothing official has been confirmed just yet, an imminent announcement is apparently on the way, with the strong likelihood that the lead role has already been re-cast with man of the moment and Star-Lord himself, Chris Pratt.
I have nothing against Chris Pratt in the slightest. He’s proven over the course of his career so far that he has the charm, the likeability and the rugged looks to play Indiana Jones. In fact he’s probably the only actor working today who could play it as well as Harrison Ford did. If I had a choice between him and the once rumoured LaBeouf, then I would gladly welcome Pratt with open arms. However, as much I like the actor, it doesn’t change the fact that this impending announcement has actually made me realise that I’d rather not see another sequel/re-boot of Indiana Jones at all, without the original talent involved.
Let’s face it, Harrison Ford has and always will be Indiana Jones, no matter who else should take up the whip and hat. In truth though, Jones has always been bigger than just Ford’s performance, which is only one part of the holy trinity that includes Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. I admittedly throw a lot of crap Lucas’ way, often blaming him for some of the worst decisions made in both Indiana Jones and Star Wars, but it doesn’t change the fact that without him, we wouldn’t have either. As far as Spielberg is concerned; well his involvement in bringing the action and adventure to the screen, goes without saying.
Of course it’s easy to forget the close-to-perfect screenplay that Lawrence Kasdan crafted for Raiders, and the other writers who so heavily contributed to the other films; but without the winning combination of Lucas, Spielberg and Ford, the Indiana Jones franchise would simply not have been as good. The fact that none of these people would be likely to return, is the main reason why I wouldn’t like to see a new incarnation of my favourite cinematic hero, no matter who was attached to write, direct and act.
It’s a strange and contradictory position to be in, when you love a franchise so much, but would rather have it left alone, than to see further films. The problem is that the Indiana Jones films, particularly Raiders, represent the cinematic ‘lighting in the bottle’ that few collaborations have managed to capture quite as well. Despite there being plenty of talent working in Hollywood today who could do something exciting and possibly different with the franchise, I’ve come to bitterly accept that my favourite series of films should be left as is.
The simple truth is that the potential for sequels was somewhat squandered in the nearly twenty years between The Last Crusade and Crystal Skull, where all three key components were in their prime. Whilst a new film is inevitable, it saddens me that it will never be quite the same as the ones I have cherished growing up. As always, I could be mistaken and a new instalment could be even better than Raiders. Imagine if Spielberg came back to direct and Lucas created a story that would see ‘old Indy’ (Ford) flashback to one of his WWII adventures with Pratt in the younger role (a conceit actually used in an episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles). Now, wouldn’t that be great?
Unfortunately though, the pessimist in me fears the worst. At the very least, however bad a re-boot may be, I’ll always be able to go back to the originals I hold so dearly to my heart. Much like I do with Crystal Skull, I can pretend that in some alternate reality it doesn’t exist and that Indiana Jones ended on the high of The Last Crusade, riding happily ever after in the sunset.
So those are my thoughts on the potential Indiana Jones re-boot, but what are yours? Would you love to see further adventures, or do you think it’s best left alone? Feel free to leave your comments below!
Next Week: And the winner is? 2015 BAFTA film awards re-cap.