Indiana Jones’ TV Show Already Has Big Problems To Overcome
Disney plans to capitalize on the success of the Indiana Jones movie franchise by creating a TV show focused on the adventurous archeologist, but although it’s only in development the series already faces significant issues. Since debuting in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones has become one of the most popular movie characters of all-time thanks to his wild escapades and Harrison Ford’s charismatic portrayal of Indy. Given how well-loved Indiana Jones is it’s not a surprise that Disney wants to adapt the franchise into a TV show, but it won’t be an easy task.
Recently, Disney has had mixed success trying to reboot and revitalize existing franchises. With Star Wars, Disney has done an excellent job of telling new stories with The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch but struggled at times to refresh its older characters, with Solo: A Star Wars Story and The Rise of Skywalker receiving mixed reviews. The Indiana Jones TV series will have to deal with similar issues as Star Wars but has the added complication of needing to replace its star, Harrison Ford.
The Indiana Jones TV Show Probably Can’t Bring Back Harrison Ford
Although he is in the twilight of his acting career, Harrison Ford shows no signs of slowing down having just been cast as the MCU’s Thunderbolt Ross. Despite that, Indiana Jones 5 is set to be Ford’s last outing as Indy, meaning he will not be part of the Indiana Jones Disney+ show. That leaves a huge hole for Disney to fill given Harrison Ford has been crucial to the success of the Indiana Jones franchise.
After the dip in quality of the fourth film, The Kingdom of the Lost Skull, it’s difficult to imagine that the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones would be happening if it wasn’t for Ford because his involvement guarantees box office success. That makes Disney’s decision to create an Indy series without him an incredibly risky one because the show doesn’t have its star attraction. Whether the prospect of a whole new Indiana Jones story will be enough to convince the millions of Disney+ subscribers to watch the series is yet to be seen, but Disney should anticipate some disgruntled Indy fans who will compare the series to Harrison Ford’s movies.
Indiana Jones TV Show Will Struggle To Recast Indy
The plan to have a Harrison Ford-less Indiana Jones TV show runs counter to Lucasfilm’s public view that Indy will never be recast. Ford himself has previously gone on record to say that once he steps away from Indiana Jones that will mark the end of Indiana Jones itself, given how indispensable the veteran Hollywood actor is to the series. But clearly Disney has other ideas, and similar to how they chose to cast Alden Ehrenreich to play Harrison Ford’s Han Solo they will need to recast Indiana Jones for the show.
Recasting Indy is no easy feat because Harrison Ford’s energy and charisma are such a large part of what makes Indiana Jones so popular. Chris Pratt is regularly suggested as Ford’s successor given he exudes a similar swagger to Indy in his role as the MCU’s Star-Lord, and other A-listers like Bradley Cooper and Chris Pine are other regular names listed in the recasting conversation. Disney has proved with their original Star Wars shows that they can create fun new worlds for their characters to explore which will be important for the Indiana Jones show, but if they don’t get the recasting right then the series will be a bust.
A Young Indiana Jones Has Been Done – So What’s The Show Even About?
As well as the Harrison Ford problem, Disney also have to contend with the issue of what their Indiana Jones show will be about. The Indiana Jones movies are full of iconic moments, lines, and scenes, so Disney have their work cut out doing justice to the original movies. If Indiana Jones is recast, there is a question mark as to when the TV series will be set. Ford’s Indy movies focused on the adventurer during his prime and later years, while Lucasfilm’s The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles followed him during his youth.
Alternately, the Indiana Jones TV show could be set in the same universe as Ford’s character but without Indy. Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams proved in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that replacing Indiana Jones is close to impossible, but there is potential for legacy characters, like Ke Huy Quan’s Short Round, to be the focus of the series. Disney will have to carefully handle Indiana Jones post-Harrison Ford and ensure its storylines keep the same fun tone as the original films while bringing something fresh to the franchise.