With the next Indiana Jones film pushed back to 2021, Harrison Ford is reportedly in talks to star in a new movie version of Jack London's classic adventure Call of the Wild. London's short story, published in 1903, tells the tale of a pampered dog named Buck who is stolen from his owners and sold off, eventually becoming a sled dog in the Klondike where he meets and befriends the outdoorsman John Thornton. The civilized Buck gradually loses his domesticity and finally reverts entirely back to wildness, joining a wolf pack.
Call of the Wild achieved huge popularity immediately upon its release, and is now considered one of the great American stories. Multiple film versions have been made over the years, including a 1935 production starring Clark Gable that massively cut down the original narrative in order to put more spotlight on Gable. Charlton Heston starred in another movie version in 1974. London's story also served as the inspiration for the Peanuts TV special What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown!, in which a spoiled Snoopy dreams he's a sled-dog running in the Iditarod.
Now that Indiana Jones 5 is on hold while Jonathan Kasdan reworks the script, Variety reports Harrison Ford is eying a role in Call of the Wild, an adventure story even more iconic than Raiders of the Lost Ark or any of the three other Indiana Jones movies. Ford would play the prospector John Thornton, who befriends the mistreated Buck and thereby wins an unshakably loyal companion in the harsh wilderness of 19th Century Alaska. Chris Sanders (The Croods) is directing the big-budget 20th Century Fox film from a script by Michael Green (Logan).
Production on Call of the Wild is reportedly set to begin in September, with effects work by Technoprops, the company that worked on largely computer generated movies Avatar and The Jungle Book. Fox recently acquired Technoprops and looks to give them a good workout with Call of the Wild, a story that will call for a lot of computer-animated animal characters, including the central character Buck.
Ford is of course no stranger to starring alongside non-human characters, having appeared as Han Solo in four Star Wars movies. Next up for the iconic star is a voice role - the first of his career - in The Secret Life of Pets 2 (another movie featuring animated dogs). Call of the Wild would give Ford a chance to once again indulge in outdoor adventure (even if much of the movie ends up being shot against a green screen), but this time without his famous fedora and whip.