Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Questionable Jones No. 8

According to the new Fairness Laws, Harrison Ford has starred in more than his fair share of popular roles. So he needs to give some up.

Question: "Recast Indiana Jones himself."

Andrew's Answer: I can think of a bevy of similar actors from the time (Pullman, Boxleitner, Bridges, Quaid, etc.), but none of them would be right. I like the idea of Liam Neeson, but he didn't get his gravitas until he was too old for the role. Even standby Hugh Jackman just wouldn't be right. So I'm going with a surprise. . . George Clooney. I think he's one of the few actors who can mix arrogance with innocent and tough with struggling and still have the audience really like him.

Scott's Answer: It would be easy to pick Tom Selleck, who would've been Indiana Jones if it weren't for his TV commitments. Instead, I'll go with Kurt Russell. He definitely could do the action adventure stuff, though he may have been a little too young to be believable as a bespectacled college professor. (Maybe if the films were released five years later.)

54 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

these things always get me thinking about ground rules. e.g. release date, "in their prime" questions etc. And, truth be told, since it is just fantasy, you could do almost anything. As an example, you could see what Connery might have done in his prime. But, I will throw out an actor I like a lot from his role as "Coach Taylor" on the series version of Friday Night Lights. He would make for an interesting "Indy"

Tennessee Jed said...

That would be Kyle Chandler, by the way. He has not had a big movie career thus far, and I'm not sure why. He had small roles in the last re-make of King Kong, The Kingdom, and the recent film with Mark Wahlberg about corruption in Gotham (name escapes at the moment.) He is a great actor, though.

Dave Olson said...

Assuming we're setting the Wayback Machine to 1980 for casting...why not The Man himself, Clint Eastwood? He has stated that he loves playing flawed characters. They could emphasize his regret/guilt over how he treated Marion (in that as-yet-undisclosed encounter so many years ago) and give the movie some real pathos.

Other names to consider: Robert Redford (no, really!), Tom Skerrit, James Caan, even Michael Douglas who did a pretty good turn as a pseudo-Indy in "Romancing the Stone". Let's just be glad that Speilberg didn't go with his usual leading man: Richard Dreyfuss.

tryanmax said...

I'll give you three answers.
1) If we're going same era: I got nothin'
2) If we're going reboot: Leonardo DiCaprio
3) If we're throwing it wide open: Jack Palance

tryanmax said...

Dave, I can actually kinda picture Dreyfuss as Indy, not that it's a pretty picture. Actually, I can't stop laughing!

Dave Olson said...

@Tryanmax:

1) See my comment above.
2) Wrong. It's one thing for a man to be boyishly handsome throughout his life, like Redford. It's another thing for a man to still look like a boy in early middle age, like DiCaprio. Try Bradley Cooper instead.
3) Very interesting. I'll get to work on that Wayback Machine as soon as I can.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I like Kyle Chandler. He has solid screen presence. Connery would have been an interesting choice, but I'll tell you that I don't think Connery could have done the humble part within the character -- the one thing Connery has never done all that well is humble (except maybe in Outland). Still, it would have been interesting.

AndrewPrice said...

Dave, Skerritt and Douglas both could have done it, though I think Skerritt would have been a good deal better than Douglas -- I am a big fan of Romancing the Stone and Douglas, but Douglas is always kind of an ass and Indy isn't really an ass. I never saw the appeal of Redford.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Leonardo DiCaprio? Arg. How about Russell Crowe or Huge Jackmann or Liam Neeson or Jason Statham... please, no Leonardo.

tryanmax said...

Dave, that's a good list, but none of them seem to have the right mix, IMO. Indy needs to be tough, for sure, but he's also an academic, easygoing but steadfast, charming yet wry, plus he has to have good "oh boy!" face. That's why I couldn't think of any in-era guys. Cooper could maybe fill the fedora, but I think he's just a tad too goofy. But I think Leo can hit all those points.

Andrew, I think all those guys but Crowe could fit the part, though Statham can't do an American accent. But I still stand by my answer, I think Leo has all the right attributes. So make peace with it or I'll recast Marion with you-know-who.

AndrewPrice said...

Fine, you can have Leo... but not that dippy chick... never.

shawn said...

Would go with Kevin Costner.

If they were to reboot it today, I would go with Nathan Fillian.

AndrewPrice said...

Fillian's an excellent choice! Costner could probably do it, though he wouldn't have been my favorite.

Backthrow said...

2000-present: Russell Crowe, Timothy Olyphant, Thomas Jayne, Bruce Campbell (after some serious time in the gym)

1990s: Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell

1980s: Nick Nolte, Stacy Keach

1970s: Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, William Smith

Mid/late-1960s: James Coburn, Rod Taylor, Stanley Baker

1950s/early-1960s: William Holden, Charlton Heston (who played proto-Indy in SECRET OF THE INCAS), Burt Lancaster

1930s/1940s: Joel McCrea, John Wayne, Clark Gable

K said...

Clooney offended my sensibilities even before he went political. I haven't seen any suggestions that wouldn't have changed the character to the point where the movie wouldn't have worked.

You forget this is a Lucas property - which means the actor has to fit the part perfectly or it's crap.

rlaWTX said...

back then - IDK
(Robert Conrad - or was he already too old? in 1981 he was 52 to Ford's 39)

Now - Bradley Cooper

In 5-10 years - Chris Hemsworth

rlaWTX said...

now - Gerard Butler, Robert Downey Jr

Anonymous said...

Current generation: Jim Caviezel. As much as some people seem to hate The Thin Red Line, he was quite good in it. Maybe Sean Bean.

90's: Val Kilmer. With a good actor's director, Val Kilmer is damned fine actor. Without one, he struggles a bit.

80's: I'll stick with the easy pick, Thomas Magnum. Harrison Ford, however, was a stroke of genius.

70's: Steve McQueen or Paul Newman

60's James Garner or Lee Marvin

mycroft said...

Bruce Willis

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew: vis-a-vis Connery as humble, I think he probably would have this to say about that:


Below ....... me ......... Trebeck ....... ;)

Tryanmax: Duddy Kravitz as anything but an ass is preety funny.

Of the different era choices, I kind of like McQueen and Conrad; Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson; and Bradley Kooper and Chandler. Some great and interesting pic.'s, guys!

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, The name on your list that really got my attention was Steve McQueen. I would have loved to see that.

AndrewPrice said...

K, It is interesting how hard it would be to replace Ford, isn't it? I like many of the names mentioned, but none of them are quite right. So far, only Ford truly fits the role.

I think that tells us something about Ford that might not be so obvious -- that he is a special and unique actor.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Robert Conrad would have worked when he was younger. I don't know enough about Bradley Cooper to say. I've seen him, but he doesn't ring enough bells yet.

AndrewPrice said...

Anon, Caviezel would be a good choice. I really like the pick of Kilmer too, but you are right that he is either great or awful and I think it depends on the director.

AndrewPrice said...

mycroft, Good choice! I like Willis a lot and he could do a good job at it.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, LOL! Probably. :)

I like the McQueen pick a lot as well. That one fascinates me.

Backthrow said...

Maybe not quite 'leading man' enough, but Fred Ward might've also been able to pull off Indy, circa 1978-1985.

Another possibility during the mid-late 1960s (though he didn't have much of a movie career at all, ala Robert Conrad): Christopher George (THE RAT PATROL).

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I like Fred Ward, but I'm not sure he could have done this role. He's too gruff to play a college professor.

Any thoughts on Keifer Sutherland?

rlaWTX said...

I don't see Willis as the Professor, though.

Matthew McConaughey about 10 years ago...

how about Stephen Collins in the "Tales of a Gold Monkey" days...

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, McConaughey... hmm. That could actually be one of the best choices so far.


I thought "Tales of the Gold Monkey" was great and I wish it hadn't been cancelled.

mycroft said...

as far as Willis playing the college professor, refer to The Sixth Sense.

Backthrow said...

Andrew,

Keifer Sutherland, at this stage of his life, could dramatically handle it, but I just don't see him as Indy (or any 'adventurer' sort of character)... he's a somewhat different type. Even if 24 never existed, he comes across as more of a law enforcement type of hero to me.

Somewhat the same with Bruce Willis; tough, can be cerebral, but still more like a cop/detective, plus, he's always sort of a mug. Jim Caviezel could work. Actually, thinking about it, Christian Bale might do a decent job as Indy today; not so much because of his Batman films, but because he was outstanding in adventure/survival mode in RESCUE DAWN.

Several of my initial choices were late-night stream-of-consciousness brainstorming. William Smith might not have the 'charm' thing going on, as he was more often cast as a kickass villain. Stanley Baker might've already been a bit too old by the 1960s, plus he likely couldn't play a convincing American (unlike Rod Taylor, former Aussie). Burt Lancaster might've been too 'big' in personality. In hindsight, Robert Mitchum would be a better choice in the 1950s.

I think Nick Nolte, in his THE DEEP/CANNERY ROW/48 HOURS period, would've been a good match, but perhaps too gruff (like Fred Ward). Timothy Olyphant, I think, could work, though he may have a permanent 'boyish' quality that might work against him. Bruce Campbell, if he was forced to act (and not just lazily play 'Bruce Campbell', as fun as that can be), and took off some pounds, could do quite well, now that he has some years on him, though the window for him would close soon. I pulled Thomas Jayne out of a hat; I was having a tough time thinking up of recent American actors who weren't overly pretty, have gravitas/presence, and can act. Though it's on nobody's 'best' list, I thought Jayne was pretty good in the 2004 PUNISHER movie.

rlaWTX said...

point goes to mycroft!

thanks, Andrew...

rlaWTX said...

Speaking of Willis: I caught both "16 blocks" and "Lucky Number Slevin" recently (both 2006). "Lucky" was pretty fascinating; "16" was bad. But it was interesting to see how very old and tired he looked for "16" and looking his normal self in "Lucky". He's a little more versatile than he gets credit for, I think...

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I think that Lucky Number Slevin is an underrated film. I like it a lot. I don't know 16 Blocks.

And I agree that Willis is versatile.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I like Bruce Campbell a lot and if he can keep the snark level down, then he could definitely do it.

I like Olyphant a lot too, though somehow I never seem to like his movies.

Nolte strikes me as too gruff.

If we're going old-school, how about Cary Grant?

Backthrow said...

Cary Grant? No... to urbane (or sometimes too cockney), even when he's 'roughing it' in GUNGA DIN, Hitchcock films or his WWII movies. Not convincingly gritty enough to be a two-fisted archeologist.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, True. The problem with a lot of the older stars is that they had their one "thing" and they always used it. Wayne was always tough. Grant was always urbane. Peck was always depressed. Cooper was always humble. Etc. There aren't many old-time stars who were allowed to show a variety of traits and Indi requires quite a few actually.

ScottDS said...

Lest we forget, Nicolas Cage played an Indy-esque character in the National Treasure movies and even though the role didn't call for a lot of violence on his part, he's proven in other movies he can pull it off. (This is assuming they were casting the role 10-15 years ago).

Other ideas I've read...

-Fred Willard - great idea!
-Leonardo DiCaprio - I'm not a Leo hater at all, but NO! :-)
-Bruce Campbell - a walk in the park for him!
-Bruce Willis - he might be one of our great action heroes, but I'm honestly having trouble seeing it (maybe some action heroes work better in historical settings, others in urban settings?)
-Matthew McConaughey - didn't he do this schtick in Sahara?

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Fred Ward. If it was Fred Willard, I would have burned the print and killed Lucas with my bare hands.

ScottDS said...

Yikes!

I can't believe I made that mistake!

(Freudian slip, I'm sure.)

AndrewPrice said...

I hope so! What's next? Eugene Levy as Darth Vader.

PikeBishop said...

I think Jim Caveziel would be excellent for a modern reboot. He can handle the drama and be rather witty and charming. He gets to flex all of his chops on "Person of Interest." Gets to dress up in tux and get into fistfights. And appealing?

Funny, my wife always wants to go to bed (ahem) right after we warch POI.

Backthrow said...

Andrew,

That's correct about many of the classic stars. I think John Wayne could've played Indy well, but only in the late-1930s/early-1940s, during the time of STAGECOACH and REAP THE WILD WIND, when he'd both be the right age for the part, and before he became officially a 'living legend' in the late-1940s and 1950s. I'd bet that if INDIANA JONES had been created in the 1930s or 1940s, they'd probably automatically cast Clark Gable in the part, since he'd often play 'man's man' adventurer parts in 'A' pictures.

But for my money, Joel McCrea would be that era's ideal Indy. Most people today, if they think of him at all, remember him for all the westerns he made, especially in the mid-1940s through the 1950s. But he was an everyman character who was equally adept at comedy, drama and action... in other words, that era's Harrison Ford.

Here are a few examples of McCrea doing his thing. Try to picture him with a bullwhip:

as John L. Sullivan in SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS (1941)

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940) windmill scene

THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (1932) climax

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, Just be glad it's not after you watch Ellen! ;P

I like Caveziel a lot. He's got a lot of good qualities that make him compelling on screen. The one thing I haven't seen him do yet though is the kind of role that would fit something like a buddy comedy - he's always a little too serious.

Anonymous said...

I think the best person to play Indian Jones would be that guy who played Han Solo. Both of the characters remind me of each other for some reason.

Of the people already mentioned, I'd have to agree with both Andrew and Scott, I could see George Clooney (earlier in his career) and Kurt Russell (between Snake Plissken, Jack Burton and Dr. David Grant you have Indy) playing the role.

Kyle Chandler could also do it, he is very underrated. Mel Gibson, Gerard Butler, Tombstone era Val Kilmer, Nicolas Cage (in non crazy mode) and Matthew Mc Conaughey could do the role justice.

But really, Harrison Ford made the role his own. I'm not sure if it was the writing, his acting or a great combination of them both, but the character is uniquely brilliant.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, Sadly, McCrea doesn't ring any bells with me. I've even seen a couple of the films he was in, but I don't remember him.

You're probably right about Gable. OR, if the role is supposed to be sympathetic as well, they might try to use Spencer Tracy. But in the 1930s/1940s, it would probably be Gable or Flynn or maybe even a Randolph Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Yeah, that Han Solo guy seems perfect for the role! LOL!

It is interesting how unique Ford made the role. It never seemed that way to me in all honesty. It seemed like an action flick where dozens of others could play the role, but Ford really did make it more than that.

I agree with the rest of your list too.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Joel McCrea has one of my favorite lines in a movie, period.

From Sullivan's Travels, as his character sees a bunch of prisoners laughing at a cartoon:

"There's a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that's all some people have? It isn't much, but it's better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan."

Speaking of Ford, someone recently posted a page or two of his original Indy script with all of his handwritten scribbles in the margins. The man definitely took the role seriously!

Anonymous said...

Late to the party,but ever since I saw this post I've had this image in my head that I can't get rid of.
It's Nick Nolte circa 1981, in the classroom scene. Now remember,his voice sounds like he just tried to swallow a soupspoon full of gravel with no water: "Now some of you little shits still owe me papers AND I KNOW WHO YOU ARE! And I'll be in my office on Tuesday,THAT'S FUCKN' TUESDAY! BUT NOT THURSDAY!"
Like Sylvester Stallone said in First Blood, I can't get it outta my head!
GypsyTyger

PikeBishop said...

"PikeBishop, Just be glad it's not after you watch Ellen! ;P"

Andrew, think about it, that might not neccesarily be a "bad thing." (WINK!)

T-Rav said...

"Scott, Fred Ward. If it was Fred Willard, I would have burned the print and killed Lucas with my bare hands."

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, That shows he was interested in the role. Frankly, I would hope that all actors do that, but I guess not.


T-Rav, Yep.

AndrewPrice said...

GypsyTyger, That's how Nolte would play it all right. Lucas and Spielberg would probably fire him after two days when they couldn't take him injecting the swearing anymore!


PikeBishop, LOL! Yep. Probably not. ;)

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