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C'mon, Hollywood: Here's what Disney should do with Indiana Jones

02.04.2014

Indiana Jones is easily one of the most iconic and badass characters to have ever graced the silver screen. Some people had the original STAR WARS trilogy mold their childhood, but mine was always set with the Indiana Jones films. Unfortunately in 2008, a lot of the magic was ruined with INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL and to keep from experiencing all out depression, I just continue to tell myself that it doesn’t exist. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of the reasons the fourth one sucked so much was because of George Lucas, but now, for better or worse, it’s fallen into the hands of something much more powerful. 

When Disney got themselves LucasFilm a few months back, Paramount still held marketing and distribution rights for Indiana Jones. A deal was finally made and, while Paramount has ownership of the first four films, Disney has rights to any future productions (as long as Paramount gets a cut, of course). While there are allegedly no plans to make a new Indy feature in the near future, Disney made this deal for a reason and with a little indie film called STAR WARS: EPISODE VII rolling around late next year, it’s only a matter of time before the Indiana Jones series sees the light of day, again. I’d love to see more adventures of Indiana, but if they’re going to do it, they’re going to have to do it right. 

One avenue they could take would be to do a complete reboot with a different cast (and characters), except for Indiana, of course. Filling the shoes of such an iconic character would be no easy feat (nor would finding the appropriate director), but it would have to be a younger, generally liked actor or a relative unknown. The introduction of new stories and characters would also have to happen. A remake of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and casting a new Marion Ravenwood or Belloq would be a disaster. The only things from the original it would have to take would be the titular character, it’s nostalgic action/adventure sense of fun and the 1930’s time setting. It’s not the most ideal scenario, but at least it would be a fresh, new start. 

Another idea would be to have a direct sequel and with Harrison Ford returning as Indiana Jones. Maybe it could star a younger actor who’s the protagonist (and I’m not talking about Shia LaBeouf) who has to work with Indiana, who plays more of a secondary character this time around. It wouldn’t really be an Indiana Jones movie without him being the lead, but let’s face it: Ford has simply gotten too old to be playing this character. It’s come to the point where even the most talented and uncanny body double wouldn’t be able to fool anyone. While it wasn’t flat out embarrassing seeing Ford do his Indy thing at the golden age of 65 for his last outing, he’s 71 years old now and his days of swinging around with that whip are over. 

One thing that I think would be most interesting would be to see Frank Darabont’s story go to the big screen. While it shares some similarities with the fourth film, it could possibly be a great way to introduce the character to a new generation. Apparently, Darabont wrote a draft called INDIANA JONES AND THE CITY OF THE GODS a while back, which Ford and Spielberg praised, but Lucas eventually wrote off. I don’t want to say that the quality (or lack thereof) of the last Indy feature was mostly all George Lucas’s fault, but it was pretty much all his fault, but stories like this only show that people (even extremely talented ones) are still interested in the character and have a desire to continue telling stories about him.

It may be difficult for audiences (and maybe even producers) to remain optimistic about the quality of another Indiana Jones outing, but the style itself is definitely not dead. Take the UNCHARTED video game series and its character, Nathan Drake. He’s a perfect example showing that we can have a story and character in the same vein of Indiana Jones. UNCHARTED deals with history, traveling around the globe, gunfights/fistfights and a ridiculously awesome sense of adventure. Sure, you could argue that it’s just a videogame and just because it entertained us on that platform doesn’t exactly mean it’ll be successful as a film, but given the immersive, cinematic feel to the game only makes me want to see a film adaptation more. Hell, even movies like THE MUMMY owe a lot to Indiana Jones (tone, period, sense of humor, sense of adventure, etc.) and, if anything, it shows that the style and formula still work for today’s generation and can be successful. 

So, C’mon, Hollywood! If an Indiana Jones sequel, reboot, remake, reimagining or otherwise is going to happen somewhere down the line, let’s at least make sure it’s done correctly. Examine what made the first three so brilliant and what made the last one such a stinker and craft something that will not only make old fans happy, but something that will do the character justice and engage new viewers, as well. Just don’t let George Lucas get his paws on it. And be careful not to nuke the fridge ever again. 

Extra Tidbit: What do you think they should do with Indy?
Source: JoBlo

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