On Wednesday, Disney announced a fifth Indiana Jones instalment was in the pipeline – with ageing actor Harrison Ford, 73, on board.
Ford, who first appeared in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark at the age of 39, will be 77 years old when the as-yet unnamed movie reaches fans in 2019.
“Indiana Jones is one of the greatest heroes in cinematic history and we can’t wait to bring him back to the screen in 2019,” Disney chairman Alan Horn said in a statement on Tuesday.
“It’s rare to have such a perfect combination of director, producers, actor and role,” he said of the now four-decade relationship between director Steven Spielberg and Ford. “And we couldn’t be more excited to embark on this adventure with Harrison and Steven.”
The oldest action hero ever?
Unbelievably, the ripe age of 77 won’t make Ford the most senior mainstream action star.
In 2008, a 78-year old Clint Eastwood starred in Gran Torino – which he also produced and directed.
And coming close but no cigar are Sylvester Stallone, who was recently nominated for an Oscar at the age of 69 for Rocky sequel Creed, and ex-Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was 67 when Terminator Genisys hit screens last year.
The difference between Ford and the others? Ford looks to have some steam left in him yet, and clearly has no problem trying to resuscitate old hits, having just starred in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with a Blade Runner sequel also in the works.
Spielberg won’t let go
In an interview with Screen Daily last year, Spielberg made it clear he had no intention of replacing Ford in any future Indiana Jones instalments.
“There is only going to be one actor playing Indiana Jones and that’s Harrison Ford,” he said, qualifying that he didn’t want the Jones mantle to be passed around in the same way the Batman and Spiderman costumes had been.
Spielberg is a Hollywood traditionalist (refusing to film in digital) and at 69, may feel a certain empathy for Ford’s ageing status.
Asked why he would continue with the franchise despite the fourth film proving disappointing critically and at the box office, the director blamed his sense of adventure.
“So as long as there’s more adventures out there, I’ve got a bullwhip, a fedora, a leather jacket and a man on a horse who knows how to get the job done,” he said.
Who could be the next Indiana Jones?
Despite admiring Spielberg’s stubborn allegiance to Ford, The New Daily has a number of suggestions for rising stars who could replace the antique actor.
Star of the Divergent series and The Fantastic Four, Teller has earned his action movie acting chops and would bring some quirkiness to the role.
Already an action star in his own right, Hemsworth has both the gruff factor and the babe factor to succeed Ford.
Another young star of the Divergent series, Elgort can do both action and drama, having played the love interest in extreme tear-jerker The Fault in Our Stars. He’d certainly appeal to the younger crowd.
An obvious choice to replace Ford, Shia LaBeouf is already familiar to Indiana Jones audiences for his breakout role as Jones’ son Mutt Wiliams in Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull.
Star of Oscar-nominated love story Brooklyn, Emory Cohen has a slew of films in post-production and has admittedly already played a lot of guys who “punch people in the face”.
You’ll probably remember Armie Hammer for playing both the Winklevoss twins in Aaron Sorkin’s mega-hit The Social Network.