Monday, June 2, 2008

What Becomes Of Junior...




I've been planning on writing this as a follow up to my post about the future of Star Wars exactly one month ago today...

After seeing the latest adventure of Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr. my analysis is somewhat colored. As I mentioned in the Star Wars piece, when someone eventually takes over Lucasfilm, Vader and Kenobi aren't the only characters that could be affected. Indiana Jones will play a part in that equation as well...

He is an iconic figure like James Bond, John McClane or even newer action hero Jason Bourne. He WILL live on. It's simply a matter of how and what formats. Unlike Bond, I don't see them recasting Indiana Jones. As much as I love Sean Connery and realize 007 doesn't just belong to him, I can't imagine them casting someone other than Harrison Ford to wear that Fedora. There is no way you could embalm the charisma and charm that Ford brings to the role with another actor.

I could see them creating an animated series, although I don't want them to create a CG version. If they were to try something hyper-realistic like "Beowulf" it would just seem weird and creepy. My own take would be for them to do something like "Batman: The Animated Series" and possibly pay a homage to the cartoons of that 30's/40's time period that the Indy films lives in. The Batman series mimicked the Max Fleischer cartoons of that period and a series with Dr. Jones could go well with that style too.

I'm sure we'll still have theme park rides as long as guest keep coming. There will always be room for Indy comics, from Dark Horse's version of the character with stories such as "Indiana Jones & The Tomb of the Gods" or Marvel Comics with their "Further Adventures of Indiana Jones" series featuring a great start off with "The Ikons of Ikammanen” by John Byrne and Terry Austin or the excellent "The Fourth Nail" story by David Michelinie and Kerry Gammill. There are clearly enough stories that can be created for a compelling character like this. Lucas himself commissioned at least three or four scripts before he settled(wrongly, IMO) on "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"(I'll have more on these Indy scripts later this summer).

I'm not even mentioning the novels and other things that Lucasfilm and whoever winds up owning it could create to keep this character alive and relevant. The big difference between Star Wars and Indiana Jones is that Star Wars exist in a universe waiting to be discovered and Indy exist in our own world and what he finds there is what we rediscover from our own past. While the SW Universe is an environment made for exploring, Indiana Jones tales are character based stories in which we're invested in the lead character. The fun of these adventures is always in finding out where he goes and how he reacts to the situations he finds himself in.

In the future, once Lucas has let go of the tight reigns he keeps on his company and his creations, we'll hopefully get to see this character explored in some new ways... just not in anymore movies. The treasure in those films has been plundered. The chamber of ideas has been stolen by a grave robber named Lucas and Indy is too old to go after him. It's up to others to restore the magic that is Indiana Jones. Someday, someone out there will do that... I hope that it's someone that loves this character as much as I... maybe that could even be the Mouse. Then again, maybe not.

Time will tell...

10 comments:

THX-1138 said...

It's too late to repair the damage Lucas has already done to this franchise. Harrison is too old now. It's time to hang up the hat.

Dave said...

I think it's clear that Indiana Jones will continue in the form of comics, novels, and video games--and possibly another live action tv series a la Young Indiana Jones. I don't see a cartoon as viable--those are designed for kids, and, at least in the near future, the key aspects of Indiana Jones don't mesh well with cartoons.

I think the key difference with Indiana Jones versus Star Wars is that Indiana Jones essentially centers around one man. Star Wars has a whole cast of characters (and as you point out) a universe to explore within, before, and after the movies take place.

I think Indiana Jones *will* see a new movie with a new actor playing Indiana--but that it will be another 15 years or more before that happens. They'll let the property sit out from the movie scene and then eventually re-tell it with a bit of a modern spin (think of the Mission Impossible movies). Just my two cents.

Brer Dan

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the latest Indiana Jones film.

fineaus Foundswalure said...

anonymous said: "I enjoyed the latest Indiana Jones film."

Thanks for your input Mr. Lucas!

Anonymous said...

Indiana Jones belongs to George Lucas. Indiana Jones is HIS creation. He can do whatever he wants with it. "It's too late to repair the damage Lucas has already done to this franchise"??? LIKE WHAT? And like I said, IT'S HIS. He can do damn well what he pleases with it.

The nerve of some people.

t said...

The nerve of some to put down others if they actually happen to like something they themselves don't.
C'mon now...
(though for the post a few above, I think they were joking).

but still...

not-dr-jones said...

There is always room for more along the line of the Young Indy, much like the Clone Wars stories, to fill in gaps. This could be played by different people, too.
I know some liked the "Young" series and some didn't... but there could be many more story possibilities there.

Anonymous said...

I loved Indy 4. It was a great fun time at the movies, and that's all I ask out of a film. There were a couple of scenes that fell a little flat, but the movie's very real pleasures more than made up for them IMO.

I'm not sure about another actor playing Indy. It would have to be someone VERY special (and as yet unknown).

Anonymous said...

2indianajones1cup

Anonymous said...

What becomes of Lara Croft? How about adding more to that franchise?