Steven Spielberg is open to making the next Indiana Jones a female, once Harrison Ford makes one final appearance. Lucasfilm may currently be in the midst of a Star Wars revival, but they and Disney are also looking to bring Indiana Jones back to the big screen. Since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull disappointed most fans, there is a hunger for Spielberg and Ford to re-team once more for a proper sendoff. That will happen in 2020 with Indiana Jones 5, but what about after that?
Disney and Lucasfilm have been very clear that the franchise will continue on after Indiana Jones 5, but how they plan to do that isn't clear. There was talk of re-casting with Chris Pratt or Bradley Cooper taking over the role years ago. However, there's also been pushback on anyone besides Ford playing Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr. At least, another male actor, that is.
In fact, the future of the franchise and the one who could take the baton from Ford may just be a woman. During an interview with The Sun, Spielberg was asked about the possibility of a woman taking over the Indiana Jones role next. While it is far from confirmation that this is the path the franchise will explore, he is open to the idea and a name change, saying playfully (but sincerely) "We’d have to change the name from Jones to Joan. And there would be nothing wrong with that."
Whatever route Lucasfilm and Disney decide to explore, it is possible (if not very likely) that Indiana Jones 5 will introduce the new lead. This was already attempted in Crystal Skull with Shia LeBeouf playing Indy's son Mutt, but Indiana Jones 5's writer has already confirmed Mutt isn't returning. If the grizzled Indy the fifth film is set to feature does include some younger blood primed to lead the franchise by his side, then the casting process should shed light on the chances of a "female Indiana Jones" happening.
If the next lead of Indiana Jones is female, we could see Spielberg try to replicate the spark Ford had with Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There, Han Solo helped Rey find her place in the galaxy where they formed a close connection, leading to Rey and Chewbacca piloting the Millennium Falcon together. In fact, if a female Indy is next, it'd be difficult to imagine Lucasfilm and Disney not at least discussing the role with Ridley.
Of course, there are plenty of other options out there for a female Indiana Jones. Alicia Vikander's Tomb Raider might as well have been a modern Indiana Jones movie, so if a sequel doesn't happen, maybe she could land another adventure franchise role. Regardless, handing the property over to a female lead could very well be where Indiana Jones is heading next.
Source: The Sun
- Indiana Jones 5 (2021) release date: Jul 09, 2021