The Indiana Jones franchise will live on now that Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm own the full rights to the property, make no mistake – how it will live on, though, is another matter. Recently, the talk around town has been that we could see the role of Dr. Henry Jones Jr. recast for a new installment in the globe-trotting archaeological adventure series, with Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt reported to be studio executives’ top choice to take the role.
We have not, however, heard much about who might be taking the reins as director on such a reboot of the Indiana Jones movie franchise, though folk like Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman: The Secret Service) have already gone and thrown their names into the ring for consideration. After all, much as George Lucas has now stepped away completely from the Star Wars franchise and won’t be involved with any future movie installments, now might be the time when Steven Spielberg does the same with the Indiana Jones film series, right? Well, maybe not, it would seem.
Deadline is reporting that Spielberg is pushing for Pratt to become the new Indiana Jones (taking over from Harrison Ford) and that the Oscar-winner filmmaker is also interested in directing the movie himself – assuming that he likes the script, that is. However, the site cautions that all this talk is very early days, as there’s not even a screenwriter attached to the project yet – and, as we’ve mentioned in the past, Pratt is a very busy man right now, so his availability might be an issue (though the Parks and Recreation actor has made it clear: if offered the role of Dr. Jones, he’ll certainly give it serious consideration).
Similarly, just earlier today The Daily Mail claimed that Spielberg is lined up to direct Thank You For Your Service, a film adaptation of the book (about Afghanistan and Iraq war vets dealing with PTSD) written by David Finkel and being scripted for the big screen by American Sniper scribe Jason Hall. Spielberg has a history with Hall, as the pair worked together back when Spielberg was attached to direct American Sniper – before he dropped the project over budget concerns for his vision of the Chris Kyle story.
Spielberg is currently in post-production on his Untitled Cold War drama with Tom Hanks to make a Fall 2015 release date; the filmmaker will also be shooting his Roald Dahl novel adaptation The BFG this year, for a Summer 2016 release. Again, the Indiana Jones reboot is still very much in the earliest stages of development, though, and Disney’s CEO Robert Iger has already made it known that the project isn’t being rushed down the pipeline either. So, Spielberg has plenty of time to finish his current projects before returning to the world of Dr. Jones, if he so chooses to.
This raises the question: should Spielberg direct the Indiana Jones reboot? Most would agree that he’s still one of the best filmmakers active in Hollywood right now, but part of the reason why there’s so much excitement surrounding the new crop of Star Wars movies is because they’re being produced by a different generation of directors – people who grew up as Star Wars fans, and who now get their own chance to play in that universe. It would be fitting if the same were to happen with Indiana Jones, what with it being rebooted and all.
Spielberg’s direction on the most recent Indiana Jones movie, 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, wasn’t quite as harshly received as Lucas’ Star Wars prequel trilogy, but it didn’t exactly please the majority of fans either – at worst, suggesting that maybe Spielberg ought to let someone else with a fresher perspective take on the Indiana Jones franchise hereon out. Then again, if whoever pens the reboot’s script comes up with a smart and clever new spin on the world of Dr. Jones, then it might reinvigorate Spielberg’s passion for the series.
Right now, though, there’s still a fair amount of skepticism and mixed feelings surrounding the mere idea of an Indiana Jones reboot – much less, one starring Pratt. That’s not to say the actor – whom Spielberg reportedly hand-picked to star in Colin Trevorrow’s upcoming Jurassic World – is a bad choice for the role, per se, but he is generally regarded as being a rather inside the box selection. If he is hired, then it might lead to a situation resembling that which Marvel Studios is facing with Doctor Strange being portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch (who some see as too obvious a choice for the character at this stage).
Again, though, it might be time to accept it: Indiana Jones is going to live on and Harrison Ford probably won’t be the one playing him anymore. So, as fans, it’s time for everyone to start getting serious about who they want to see play the role – and whether they want Spielberg or someone else to take the helm, moving on forward.
We’ll bring you more information about the Indiana Jones reboot when we have it.
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