Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg Said That Only Harrison Ford Can Play Indiana Jones

With the ongoing pandemic, it is easy to forget the status of something like the next Indiana Jones film, which has been in development for about a dozen years, pretty much since the fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. When this film came out in 2008, some fans did not feel very enthused with the sci-fi elements of that installment. There was a time when people thought that perhaps it would be a reboot, with Chris Pratt rumored to take on the role. With the lack of recent updates and the film generally being off of people’s radars, it may be worth looking at what we know so far.

As far back as December 2015, it was pretty much reinforced that Steven Spielberg views Harrison Ford as the only person who can play Indiana Jones:

“I don’t think anyone could replace Harrison as Indy, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen,”

This seems to disregard the fact that other actors have actually played Indiana Jones. In the opening flashback scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, River Phoenix played a 13-year-old Indiana Jones. The TV series titled The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles starred Corey Carrier (Indy ages 8-10) and Sean Patrick Flannery (Indy ages 16-21). It even included George Hall portraying a nonagenarian Indiana Jones in episode introductions and epilogues, though these were later removed by George Lucas for the VHS and DVD releases. Wording aside, it seems that Spielberg at least sees Ford as the only person who can play the character going forward:

“It’s certainly not my intention to ever have another actor step into his shoes in the way there have been many actors that have played Spider-Man or Batman. There is only going to be one actor playing Indiana Jones and that’s Harrison Ford.”

A few years later, at the British Academy Film Awards on February 2 this year, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy briefly interviewed by a reporter from BBC News. She was asked whether the film would be a reboot and whether Harrison Ford would be involved. She answered:

"Oh, Harrison Ford will be involved. Yeah. It's not a reboot. It's a continuation."

Asked about whether Ford was up to the task of playing the role again, she responded:

“Oh yeah! He can’t wait. He absolutely is.”

So it seems that Kennedy and Spielberg are in agreement that only Harrison Ford can play Indiana Jones in the next film.

Toward the end of that same month, Variety reported that Spielberg had stepped down as director, wanting to pass the torch down to someone else. That someone else is James Mangold, who directed the critically acclaimed Logan. According to the Variety report, Spielberg is still attached as a producer with a hands-on approach. With Spielberg still in the loop in that capacity, and Kennedy keen on having Ford back, it is pretty much a given that, if this film ever arrives, it will star Harrison Ford in the iconic role.

Due to the pandemic, the film had to be delayed to a July 29, 2022 release date. Writing was still going on in June. Potentially, writing could still be going on, as there has been no news regarding production of the film. Given the nature of things, we have to play the waiting game. For Indiana Jones 5, however, the waiting game is not exactly new. Those who prefer to only have Ford portray Jones, however, can rest assured that this is the direction with which Kennedy and Spielberg wish to move forward. Harrison Ford is the only choice to play Indiana Jones in the fifth film, should it ever come.

Source(s): BBC, VarietyScreendaily.com