Why ‘Indiana Jones’ Movies Will Never be Made Without Harrison Ford

The Indiana Jones franchise is still going after more than 40 years. There have been long gaps in between movies, but Harrison Ford continues to return as this character and is returning in Indiana Jones 5. There have been discussions in the past about handing down the whip to somebody else, but Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy says they will never make an Indiana Jones movie without Ford. 

‘Indiana Jones 5’ brings back Harrison Ford for another adventure

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones | Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Indiana Jones 5 is the latest adventure for our fedora-wearing hero. This time, director Steven Spielberg is handing the directing chair off to James Mangold (Logan, Ford v Ferrari). Ford will be joined by a new cast that includes Mads Mikkelsen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Boyd Holbrook, Antonio Banderas, Thomas Kretschmann, Shaunette Renee Wilson, and Toby Jones.

The original three Indiana Jones movies are adventure classics. However, the same can’t be said for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which many fans were disappointed by. There are many who are skeptical about the fifth entry in this series as many believe Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade should’ve been the last film. It looks like Indiana Jones 5 could be the last in the franchise. 

Kathleen Kennedy says they will never make an ‘Indiana Jones’ movie without Harrison Ford

In a Vanity Fair interview with Kennedy, the Lucasfilm head reflected on the low box office results of Solo: A Star Wars Story. She said that in hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best idea to make a Han Solo movie that didn’t include Ford. She shared that she now has similar thinking to Indiana Jones and says it wouldn’t feel the same without Ford. 

“There should be moments along the way when you learn things,” Kennedy said. “That may have certainly been a learning moment. Some people have talked about how, well, maybe Solo should have been a TV show. But even doing Solo as a TV show without Harrison Ford as Han Solo…it’s the same thinking. Maybe I should have recognized this before. We would never make Indiana Jones without Harrison Ford. Having just finished the fifth movie, I can tell you, there wasn’t a day I wasn’t on set where I wasn’t like, Yes—this is Indiana Jones.”

“Maybe I’m closer to the DNA of Indy, and always have been, than I was when I came into Star Wars, because now it does seem so abundantly clear that we can’t do that,” Kennedy continued. “You get excited by these things, and you want to revisit things you want. You want to have that feeling again, and you’re trying to resurrect that.”

Kennedy made similar comments about other ‘Star Wars’ legacy characters

The cast of Solo: A Star Wars Story did admirable jobs as younger versions of popular characters. Alden Ehrenreich still did a great job as a young Han Solo along with Donald Glover as a young Lando Calrissian. However, Kennedy is making it clear that she does not want to do anything with legacy characters without the original actors.

Many fans suggested casting Sebastian Stan as a young Luke Skywalker for The Mandalorian, but Kennedy told Vanity Fair that she would not “do something with Luke Skywalker that isn’t Mark Hamill.” So, don’t expect an Indiana Jones movie to come out that doesn’t involve Harrison ford even if that means 5 will be the last one. 

Indiana Jones 5 is set to hit theaters on June 30, 2023. 

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