As I was looking at Facebook last night, there was a news story about a proposed fifth Indiana Jones movie. Harrison Ford is allegedly getting on a bit (that’s just makeup and prosthetics in the Star Wars: Force Awakens trailer, right?), and apparently some voices were voicing the possibility of recasting the role.
It seems they attempted to set up a potential replacement in the last movie, but The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull didn’t really become a fan favourite (it’s debatable whether it beats out Temple Of Doom to get into Indy fans’ Top 3 Indy Movies list), so we’re unlikely to see “Shia LaBeouf And The Next Indy Franchise” in the near future.
The articles going round quote producer Frank Marshall as saying that the character of Indiana Jones won’t be recast, they won’t do the Bond thing of calling a bunch of different people the same character name.
Yes! they’re going to bring River Phoenix back!
Rats, he’s deceased and unavailable for future projects.
Yes! They’re going to bring George Hall back!
No, wait, he was older than Ford, and is also deceased and unavailable for future projects. And has also been edited out of all the home media releases of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. That’s not fair.
If they were going to bring in someone-who’s-already-played-Indy as a way to cheat around the “no, we’re not recasting it” statement, the obvious choices would be the Young Indiana Joneses (the aforementioned George Hall played “Old Indy” in that show).
Corey Carrier played the younger Young Indy, and might rival Ford for screentime as Indy, at 7 episodes (and 2 TV movies, which were some Young Indy episodes cut together). His acting career seems to not be a focus for him right now, the last thing he was in was in 2000. This needn’t be a bad thing, his comeback could be a “Unknown Actor Found To Play Indy (who happened to already have played Indy)” marketing bonanza.
At 22 episodes (plus re-edited TV movies), though, Sean Patrick Flanery has undoubtedly had the most time playing Indiana Jones on screen. To suggest that this might make him “The” Indiana Jones would be to risk a lynching, but his IMDB page suggests that he’s a very hardworking actor. Whether any of his other roles are iconic enough to make it hard for audiences to accept him as Indy, I don’t know (I suspect not), but he’s probably the best guy to bring back as Indy, while technically accurately claiming the role isn’t being recast.
Other than that, there’s a couple of people who have played Indy as a baby and as a toddler, you probably wouldn’t get away with those, and three people who have played him in videogames. Depending how stuck you were and how much you didn’t use a walkthrough, any of those could qualify as playing Indy for most on-screen time.
And that could solve the “actors aging” problem as well.
As a footnote, the first article I read that mentioned the Frank Marshall comment (where the original reporting of that comment is, I don’t know), said something along the lines of “Not an origin story! Not an origin story!” Didn’t we already have that at the beginning of Last Crusade (the aforementioned River Phoenix) AND the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles? I’ll go out on a (pretty judgmental) limb and say they didn’t think that one through very hard.