Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm got the full rights to the Indiana Jones property in late 2013… and since then, everyone’s been waiting to see what the studios will do with them. Disney’s CEO Robert Iger acknowledged recently that his company has been more cautious moving forward on another big screen adventure for Dr. Jones than it has with its continuation of the Star Wars film saga – though, he failed to clarify what, if anything, is being planned right now on the Indiana Jones movie front.
There have been rumblings in the past about the Indiana Jones character – played by Harrison Ford on the big screen for over thirty years now – being recast as a means of rebooting the IP (a la how the James Bond franchise is continuously rebooted), with Bradley Cooper named as the studio favorite to assume the title of Dr. Jones. A fresh update indicates Disney and Lucasfilm are indeed leaning in the reboot direction for Indiana Jones… but not necessarily with Cooper starring.
Deadline is reporting that Disney and Lucasfilm have “just started” to get serious about how best to revive the Indiana Jones property on the big screen. This news lines up with Disney Chairman Alan Horn having previously cautioned that Dr. Jones’ next whip-cracking adventure probably won’t be happening any time earlier than late 2016 or 2017. And now that a year has passed since Horn made his comments (with no real updates on the situation), 2018 might even be the more realistic release target for the project at this stage.
The Mouse House’s current top pick for the new Dr. Henry Jones (Jr.) is said to be Chris Pratt – surprising no one, seeing as many a fan has already nominated the beloved Parks and Recreation and Guardians of the Galaxy star to take over as Indy. Indeed, Pratt is the man of the hour, as he’ll be starring in this June’s Jurassic Park sequel/reboot Jurassic World and is expected to begin filming The Magnificent Seven – a remake of the classic western costarring Denzel Washington – sometime this spring.
Pratt was even approached to play the Indiana Jones-esque Nathan Drake in the Uncharted movie last year, but passed on the role. However, he might already be committed to so many other projects for the next few years (including Guardians of the Galaxy 2) that he simply won’t have time to headline an Indiana Jones reboot. Still, were that not the case, he would be a fine pick to takeover as the smart, cocky, globe-trotting adventurer.
The upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens features a cast largely composed of up and coming stars, so it’s possible that Disney/Lucasfilm will likewise ultimately go with a lesser-known actor to play Dr. Jones (rather than an established name like Pratt or Cooper). It’s clear the Indiana Jones reboot is very much in the early days of development, so nothing about the project should be taken as a given for the time being.
As for the prospect of the Indiana Jones movies being rebooted in the first place – at this juncture, that route makes the most sense, in terms of how Disney/Lucasfilm can best continue the franchise hereon out. The discussion about whether or not this series ought to go the way of the James Bond property – recasting its leading man after a certain period of time – is one that’s certainly worthy of further debate too, while the studio powers that be decide on their next move.
Which is to say – feel free and let us know your own thoughts/feelings about what (if anything) should be done with the Indiana Jones franchise, in the comments section of this article.
We’ll bring you more information of the status of the Indiana Jones franchise when we have it.