Welcome everyone, to another week of What This Fan Wants From… This week I thought it was time to start discussing Indy 5, or Indiana Jones 5 if you prefer? I could have probably covered this upcoming movie many times in the past. There was always something holding me back though. If I am honest with myself about what I want to see from Indy 5, then I also have to accept it’s never going to happen. Stick with me whilst I explain.
If Adventure Has A Name…
You may not want to see the same things I do from Indiana Jones 5, that’s cool. However, hopefully you will agree with me that this movie is simply not going to go down the way I’d have taken it. You see, I’m probably not alone in thinking Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a pretty bad movie. However, I think the overall idea of that movie was sound. What I mean, is the way KOTCS seemed to be setting up Indy’s son Henry ‘Mutt’ to carry on the franchise. That was a smart move for me. I definitely prefer the idea of the Indy franchise carrying on through the next generation. That’s opposed to the other option of recasting the role of Indy himself.
The current age of Harrison Ford cannot be discounted here. Ford was born on July 13th, 1942. He is exactly one day younger than my Dad. I’m not being ageist, I’m being realistic here. If I was to lose a fight in my early ’40s to Harrison Ford in his late ’70s then it’s time to hang up the towel.
Are you telling me that Ford still does everything he did in his ’50s? Indy will likely be 77, that would mean an Indy 5 set in 1976. Indiana Jones was born on July 1, 1899. That means that Jones is supposed to be almost 60 at the time of KOTCS. Still, KOTCS was made a staggering 12 years ago, and Indy 5‘s script isn’t even finished yet. It’s feasible that Ford could be 80 by the time Indy 5 hits theaters.
So, is Indy 5 going to be the evolutionary step in the franchise or the final goodbye? I have a horrible feeling, this is the final goodbye, and I really don’t like that idea.
Passing the Torch
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released in 2008, 19 years after previous entry The Last Crusade. The Last Crusade is a great movie, with a brilliant relationship between Indy and his estranged father Henry, that develops through the film. Now we always seem to hear Harrison Ford say he wants to make more Indy movies, and he wants to be the one wearing the hat, etc. Well, what were you all doing for fu**ing 20 years? The time to make more Indy movies with Ford front and center was that 19 year gap period. The chance wasn’t taken. Spielberg was making Oscar bait, Lucas was showing everyone he is a sh*t director. Ford was playing Jack Ryan along with other roles more associated with an older actor.
Ford seemed to be happy enough with the whole passing the torch idea though, because he signed off on KOTCS. The fourth Indy movie very clearly indicates that the torch is being passed, or in this case, the hat. Jones was married to Marion, finally, and they had a grown-up son, named after his dad (officially). Henry Jones, Jr. picks up the hat that blows off his dad’s head as he exits the church. This is as clear a message of passing the torch as you will ever see. Spielberg is spelling out that Indy has gone off to a quiet life with Marion and that Mutt (geez, I hate that name) will be the new adventurer.
Here we are, 12 years later. Shia LaBeouf, who played Mutt, is not really doing mainstream Hollywood anymore and did go kinda weird. Hey, that’s child actors for you. They don’t have the life normal kids do and it messes with their heads. The point I’m making is that no one expects LaBeouf to show up in Indy 5. Lucasfilm could try to recast the Mutt character with another actor, one that really could carry the Indy franchise on, but honestly, I just don’t see that happening. My guess is that Indy 5 will make reference to Indy’s son off doing something academic, rather than adventuring.
I’m afraid I just don’t see a path to a passing of the torch happening now. i.e. There is never a plan beyond the movie currently being made.
Let me start by saying I admire Mangold as a filmmaker. Yet, I am not as much of a Logan fan as everyone else seems to be. I thought the movie was ok, but that it almost felt like it took place in a separate universe from the other X-Men movies. Logan is a good movie, but I wouldn’t say it was the ‘best comic book movie evaaah’, like some fans and maybe even my LRM colleagues would say. Also, I should just point out that James Mangold also directed The Wolverine and it was bang average.
Maybe I’m wrong, but in my head, I see Mangold getting the Indy 5 gig on the strength of Logan. I just have a feeling that Lucasfilm have looked at Logan and said, “this guy knows how to direct old people coming back to the saddle”. So is that what we are expecting to see from Indy 5? Will Indy 5 explore why old Indy can’t be the hero anymore physically, but can still sacrifice himself for the greater good?
Let me just put it on the line. I’m worried what James Mangold is going to deliver with Indiana Jones 5. Maybe it’s the fact that Spielberg left the project, but I don’t see that Indy feel in any of Mangold’s previous movies. As said, Mangold is a good director but I don’t see him up there with Spielberg in his 1980’s heyday. I’m worried Indy 5 is a slow, more character-based story that explores what it means for Indy to age. Looking at the world around him as Jones dies somehow in the line of duty, protecting the world. Not because I don’t think that sounds like a good film, it does. I’m not sure that’s what I want to see from an Indiana Jones movie? I’m worried that hiring Mangold means we are getting a ‘Logan like’ Indy 5.
The way this fan sees things, we have three options here.
Option 1: Recast the role of Indiana Jones.
Going back prior to the event of Temple of Doom and making new movies. This option is one that seems to be well-liked amongst LRM readers, just going by previous comments on Indy pieces. I’m kinda ok with it, but I worry about the Solo effect. Yep, Lucasfilm already kinda tried this with Solo and it very much didn’t work. Replacing Harrison Ford with (no offense) Alden Ehrenreich was like replacing Peter Sellers with Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau. Martin is a good actor and a fine comedian, but he just didn’t have that magic that Sellers had as Clouseau. Nope, I don’t like option 1.
Option 2: Kill off the character
End the franchise, no more Indiana Jones movies. Surprisingly there are some of our readers who want to end the series now before Indy 5 is made. I guess that’s the impact of KOTCS for you. Prior to KOTCS, fans were eager to be seeing Indy again. Problem is, no one wants to go see an Indy film and come out saying they’re pissed off. KOTCS pissed people off, actually made people angry. It was a disaster of a film and in my opinion one of Spielberg ‘s worst-ever directorial efforts. It felt like Spielberg phoned it in, especially when it comes to the performance of Karen Allen. If Indy needs to die off, then leave it where it is. We currently have three good Indy movies and one bad movie. I don’t want to go to two against three now.
Option 3: Passing the torch
Clearly the choice I prefer, but one I have trouble seeing come to fruition. Right now there is no hint of LaBeouf coming back. Lucasfilm could recast the role of Henry, Jr, but it would only make sense if passing the torch was the overall plan. As said above, I don’t get the feeling that Mutt is being recast for Indy 5. Genuinely, I hope I am wrong with this one. If Mutt isn’t recast, then, the only logical choice I see for Indy 5 is Option 2. Option 2 as you just read, is my least favorite option. My other worry is that watching the five Indy films is going to feel weird when in Indy 5 Mutt just isn’t around.
Wrap It Up, Fanboy
What this fan wants from Indiana Jones 5 is an evolution of the passing the torch theme signalled in KOTCS. I think passing the torch to Henry Jones, Jr. is the best way forward. In my head is a film tonally a little more like The Last Crusade, but with Ford in the Sean Connery role. I don’t want to see any romance for Indy, because eww and he’s now married. I’m looking for a movie that puts the Mutt character front and center as the adventurer. Indy 5 would be the last for Ford where he gets to have one last adventure with his kid. However we, (the audience) are left knowing that Mutt is the future of this franchise.
That might be what I want to see, but I really don’t think there is any chance that’s what is going to happen. Hey, I hope I’m proved wrong either way? Though I’ll always feel some regret that Lucasfilm didn’t make more Indiana Jones movies when Harrison Ford was younger. We could have had a WW2 spy adventure with Indy in the intelligence department dealing with something like the Spear of Destiny. Indy in the late ’40s and early ’50s reacting to a post-war world whilst still having kick-ass adventures.
Ultimately what this fan wants from Indiana Jones 5 seems impossible without time travel. What do you want to see from Indiana Jones 5? Leave your thoughts below in the usual spot
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