Would it be bet­ter all round if Dr Jones fi­nally hung up his hat?

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - FILM -

THAT no­to­ri­ous grump Har­ri­son Ford is al­leged to be urg­ing Steven Spiel­berg and Ge­orge Lu­cas to kill off his great­est screen in­car­na­tion, ar­chae­ol­o­gist ex­traor­di­naire In­di­ana Jones.

Re­ports leak­ing out of Hollywood via “an un­named source” have the 68-year-old star sign­ing up for a fifth out­ing as the fe­dora-hat­ted hero but only if he can bid farewell to the char­ac­ter on his own terms.

Ge­orge Lu­cas, who cre­ated Indy in be­tween chores on the first Star Wars tril­ogy, has spo­ken of his de­sire for the fran­chise to con­tinue with Trans­form­ers star Shia LaBeouf step­ping into Indy’s boots. The 24-year-old Los An­gelino played Indy’s son in 2008’s In­di­ana Jones and the King­dom of the Crys­tal Skull. In­sid­ers claim Lu­cas is loath to see Indy die, pre­fer­ring an al­ter­na­tive sce­nario where the age­ing Ford can ap­pear in cameos, sup­port­ing LaBeouf as he drives a new se­ries of films into the 21st cen­tury.

Ford, on the other hand, wants his own way. He is push­ing for the asyet un­ti­tled Indy V to cul­mi­nate in the death of Dr Jones. Spiel­berg is said to be con­sid­er­ing his request.

Ford’s ap­peal mir­rors a sim­i­lar plan he had for Han Solo, who he be­lieved should have died in Re­turn of the Jedi, aka Star Wars: Episode VI. Lu­cas re­fused and Solo lived to see the end of the evil Galac­tic Em­pire.

But he firmly re­fused to have any­thing to do with any fur­ther Star Wars projects, and brushed off sug­ges­tions that he might make a brief ap­pear­ance in any fu­ture se­quels should Lu­cas an­nounce them.

Ford’s pub­li­cist has de­nied the star has made any ref­er­ence to Indy’s un­cer­tain fu­ture and wary ob­servers are treat­ing the story with much cau­tion. Still, with Ford nudg­ing 70, there’s only so much ac­tion and der­ring-do a sex­a­ge­nar­ian hero can per­form.

There was much dis­cus­sion last spring over Indy’s re­vival in the fourth film, which came 20 years af­ter the pre­vi­ous in­stal­ment, In­di­ana Jones and the Last Cru­sade. Some claimed the film was too lit­tle, too late, with the em­pha­sis on ex­trater­res­trial vis­i­tors a far cry from the first film’s su­per­nat­u­ral roots.

And nat­u­rally all eyes were on Har­ri­son Ford. Older, greyer, slower, he still re­sem­bled the rol­lick­ing ad­ven­turer from Raiders of the Lost Ark but he lacked zip. No-one wanted a creaky tough guy but the pas­sage of time un­der­lined it. That’s what we got.

Per­haps that’s Ford’s point – if in­deed he ac­tu­ally made it. Be­ing a film star is like be­ing forced to con­stantly view a cel­lu­loid ver­sion of Do­rian Gray’s hid­den pic­ture. It’s there, un­avoid­able, on a huge cin­ema screen.

No-one wants to be re­minded of their mor­tal­ity. By killing off In­di­ana Jones, maybe Har­ri­son Ford is buy­ing his real self some ex­tra time.

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