So there is a rumor going around today that Bradley Cooper may be pressed into the iconic role of Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones. While I don’t have my hopes up yet as it’s still strictly a rumor, I think it’s a brilliant idea and I think it would be a great way to keep an iconic character youthful and it has another character to draw upon; James Bond.
Ok, let’s be honest after Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, many of us felt like it was time for Harrison Ford to hang up the hat and whip. While some of us didn’t want to say it out loud, it was apparent that he was getting too old to play a part that some of us aspired to back in the 80s. The whole cast just looked tired and ragged as did the movie. And I mean not to take anything away from Harrison Ford but it pained me to watch that movie as I felt like his time was up in that role. So today’s rumor to me is a good idea.
I have always felt that with where technology was with movie making, if they couldn’t get another movie out Ford while he was still in his prime, then another option would have been a CGI film, I mean did anyone see the Adventures of Tintin? It was very comparable to Raider of the Lost Ark. But I also felt that if there wasn’t going to be a CGI movie, what about another actor, like how Bond films are done?
How did I arrive at James Bond? The answer is pretty simple. James Bond has been a timeless character through the ages simply because rather than try to do massive reboots every time a film is released, when a new actor is brought in, they simply carry on the story without bogging the viewer down with new origin stories and so forth . And be honest, how many of you would still see a Bond film if Sean Connery or Roger Moore still played the character?Your miles may vary on how you feel about your character aging onscreen and I point toward Never Say Never Again about how some critics thought of Connery’s ‘past his prime’ Bond portrayal. For 50 years, there has been a James Bond for the ages from the Cold War through now with different actors playing the role and keeping Bond perpetually youthful and original so why can’t the same thing be done with Indiana Jones? Sure, some may argue about how many stories can be told within that WWII and Korean War era and more to the point how many can of those stories can keep people interested? Of course it’s dependent upon the story writer because again look at the Bond movies. Also it’s not like the stories are sequential and the same can be said about the Indiana Jones movies. The Bond franchise would not have lasted this long if it didn’t see significant returns for almost every film released. So it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that a recasting wouldn’t hurt the Indiana Jones franchise at all. As a matter of fact, let’s look at a lesser known film series that also at one time Harrison Ford starred in and that is the Tom Clancy films. So far there have been 4 actors that have played Jack Ryan since 1987 (Ford was the 2nd) and most recently Chris Pine was in Jack Ryan: Shadow recruit. Simple proof that this is doable.
I would be on board for a new actor (especially if it’s Cooper) playing the role as long as it’s not a ‘reboot’ or a ‘re-imagining’. Both styles for this franchise to me would be lazy especially if you aren’t taking any chances to further the character. The James Bond franchise has lasted this long because the producers took chances with the cast, updating it for the times that they were done in and at the same time grounded the character without heavily relying on reboots just to tell a story. Yes, it’s true that the recent incarnation with Daniel Craig has seen some rebooting to the series but at the same time, this wouldn’t be one of the highest grossing film franchises ever if Eon Productions kept trying to restart the series with each new actor.
Now before I wrap up, why Cooper? Why NOT Cooper? First off, let’s be honest, the guy has THE LOOK. Not to mention as much as you may hate the A-Team movie or the Hangover trilogy, his characters have had elements of an Indy-esque quality to it. He has the ruggedness, the humor when needed and the fighting spirit. Who would you prefer? Hugh Jackman?
Let’s be honest, not only has it been a long time since we have seen an Indiana Jones movie, it’s been a long time since we have seen a GOOD Indiana Jones movie and I think with the right story, Bradley Cooper could pull the role off with panache. So, here is to hoping that this rumor has some truth to it.
If you have better suggestions outside of Bradley Cooper, let’s hear them!