By the time the fifth Indiana Jones movie is released, Harrison Ford will be 80 years old. Don’t get me wrong, the man is in great shape and by all accounts will kick some serious ass in the new movie, but if Disney is keen on keeping the franchise going, they will need to recast the role at some point. But perhaps that’s not the plan.
While speaking with Vanity Fair, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy reflected on Solo: A Star Wars Story. Kennedy now believes that part of the reason the film became a box-office failure was that Harrison Ford wasn’t involved, saying that it seems “abundantly clear” that they can’t recast iconic characters. This belief carries on to the Indiana Jones franchise, with Kennedy saying that they would never make Indiana Jones without Harrison Ford.
That may have certainly been a learning moment. Some people have talked about how, well, maybe Solo should have been a TV show. But even doing Solo as a TV show without Harrison Ford as Han Solo…it’s the same thinking. Maybe I should have recognized this before. We would never make Indiana Jones without Harrison Ford. Having just finished the fifth movie, I can tell you, there wasn’t a day I wasn’t on set where I wasn’t like, Yes—this is Indiana Jones.
Indiana Jones is an iconic character and I don’t envy the person who will one day be tapped to replace Harrison Ford, because no matter how much they deny it, we will see a new Indiana Jones one day. There’s just no way they’re going to leave the franchise alone. It’s not that I want to see Harrison Ford replaced as Indiana Jones, I just know it’s going to happen eventually. Recasting iconic characters isn’t easy, but it can be done if you do it properly. The Star Trek franchise has succeeded on several occasions, even with characters as big as Captain Kirk or Spock. As for Harrison Ford, the actor has said that he doesn’t want anyone to replace him when he’s done with the role. “Nobody else is gonna be Indiana Jones!” Ford said. “Don’t you get it? I’m Indiana Jones. When I’m gone, he’s gone. It’s easy.”
Indiana Jones 5 will once again find Harrison Ford reprising his iconic role and he’ll also be joined by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Kretschmann, Boyd Holbrook, Toby Jones, Antonio Banderas, and Shaunette Renée Wilson. While Steven Spielberg had been expected to return to direct Indiana Jones 5, he stepped down in 2020, saying that he wanted to “pass along Indy’s whip to a new generation to bring their perspective to the story.” James Mangold stepped in to replace Spielberg as director and he also co-wrote the script with Jez and John-Henry Butterworth. The film will be released on June 30, 2023.
Should Harrison Ford be replaced as Indiana Jones at some point?