Indiana Jones will eventually die. Earlier this week, there was a rumour unleashed upon the internet that Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg want to kill off Indiana Jones and pass the torch officially to son Henry “Mutt” Williams-Jones played by Shia LeBeouf. It is certainly a polarizing idea and one I think would destroy the franchise for good, if aliens didn’t do that already. Indiana Jones 5 is looming, I am pretty sure given the fourth film’s financial success, parties involved, that Paramount wants to do another sequel and set up for a new Indiana Jones franchise extending beyond Ford.
I don’t know if this set-up is the right way, and with fans not open to welcoming Shia as the new Indy or a reboot and combining that with the Young Indy series failing, you have a problem. How can we keep the Indy brand going for new audiences without shitting on the original films that made the character? Now I have already pitched a story for the Indy 5 I would want to see, and that plot would surely be a way to make-up for the disaster that was the fourth film. But if you wanted to take the future of the franchise in a completely new direction, here is what I suggest.
Welcome to the Indiana Jones Chronicles
Killing off Indy is something I would rather be talked about than actually happen. No one wants to see their heroes die. I sure as hell don’t, but at the same time, no one wants to see another person play Indy himself because let’s be honest, no one can (that is why the young Indy series didn’t hit). This is where my compromise to Spielberg and Lucas comes into play. Why not play with the legacy of Jones. Currently, there are plans to make an adaptation of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune into a film series, which is described as a modern Indiana Jones adventure type series. This movie I have in mind can be great competition and actually be “Indiana Jones.” It can explore the legacy of Indy with him dead but never killed in front of viewers. In this concept you have a great-grandson (Real name = Henry “Indiana” Jones, his actual middle name is “Indiana”) of the original Ford character, who now in his twenties/thirties, is played by a Bradley Cooper type and has followed in his great- grandfather’s footsteps, becoming a professor, archaeologist and finder of rare antiquities. I think it would be cool if he knows his great-grandfather’s exploits, the adventures from some diary or letters or even stories his own adventures sometimes parallel them, in fact.
No more Nazis or Soviets but Shadow Organizations
Instead of Nazis and Russians, you have shadow organizations, terrorist cells, dirty corporations, billionaires and other people of that nature who want a certain artefact to destroy the world. You have the same jokes, women characters and things that made the Indy films so good, but in a modern setting. You tie in some crazy idea that something his great-grandfather did in the past ties into the events of this movie, I don’t know, perhaps the Ark has been stolen or something new and religious is being sought for world power. I can’t get into an actual story details because there are tons of ideas floating in my mind. Hell, you can take the Indy 5 pitch I made and transpose it into this story for a modern day. That idea is based on the mystery of the Sphinx and the ancient Egyptians possessed scientific knowledge unknown to us and carried on the wisdom tradition of an earlier lost civilization. Yes, that means Atlantis. I think another fun element that this film can have is the traditional adventure branding, like the map, the plane flying and points being hit on a map, all that stuff. Places like Arabia, Antarctica and Greece will be new locations and stuff that haven’t been seen a lot in the previous Indy films. I am already imaging a traditional Indy poster with the Bradley Cooper in the Fedora, but with some modern elements on his person and the other contemporary elements as well.
Indiana Jones is a James Bond Style Moniker
So why would anyone want to do this? Doesn’t it kill the idea behind Indiana Jones? Making a B-Film adventure hero sort of a fun blockbuster action hero? Sure, it kills that piece of the character but doesn’t the killing of Indy himself and handing over the mantle to Mutt do the same thing? Sure, you continue the period piece of the character, but it certainly doesn’t hold the same light. I think to newer generations of fans, the B-film inspiration is not there unless they are uber-film fans who won’t get the sentiment. So the idea of making a modern Indiana Jones progeny character I find interesting. Not only does it continue the legacy, but it also doesn’t kill off one of my favourite characters ever, at least on-screen. Not to mention, it allows the franchise to pick up past Shia Lebeouf’s character, something I applaud. I think another argument for these movies is to look at films like Sahara and National Treasure that have been just as successful doing modern “treasure hunt” kind of stories. I think The Jones Chronicles could do the same thing. Hell, this may even work better as a TV series much in the way the Young Indy Jones series was but just a modern-day version. Not to mention, given the right story and the right characters, this type of modern reboot could be just as timeless.
Keep the Fedora alive in this modern day adventure
Would I keep the Fedora? Are you kidding? Of course, I would. Not only are Fedoras always going to be in style, especially for explorers, but it is a staple of keeping the Indy moniker alive. Bradley Cooper would look pretty bad-ass in one too. Also look at movies like Romancing the Stone, even Jurassic Park, and those characters played by Michael Douglas and Sam Neill wore similar style hats.
To conclude, I think the Jones Chronicles would be an interesting way to keep the legacy of Indy alive, but in a different way from just passing it to Shia Lebeouf who was a “greaser” in the last film and surely doesn’t have the tough, rogue hero, brash nature that Harrison Ford has. Anyway, what do you think of this idea? Anyone interested?