Steven Spielberg has suggested his blockbuster Indiana Jones franchise could get a female reboot when Harrison Ford retires from the role.
Spielberg, who has directed every instalment of the iconic movie series, told the The Sun that the next film will be the 75-year-old actor’s last.
But despite Ford’s intention to hang up the bullwhip, Spielberg says the enduring franchise will continue.
“This will be Harrison Ford’s last Indiana Jones movie, I am pretty sure, but it will certainly continue after that,” he said.
When asked if this new-look Jones could be female, Spielberg nodded and said: “We’d have to change the name from Jones to Joan. And there would be nothing wrong with that.”
Spielberg, 71, said he understood the decision to cast a woman in the prized role might “risk fan fury” but added it might be time to explore a “different form” of the adventurous archaeologist.
Some fans on social media criticised Spielberg’s possible plan as “horrible” while others said the Indiana Joan equivalent already exists in Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft.
What a horrible idea. I’m all for strong female roles, but Indiana Jones is a man. Why not remake The Sound of Music with Dwayne Johnson as Maria?
— VoodooMojo (@SabooXI) April 5, 2018
Steven Spielberg says it’s time for a woman to play Indiana Jones | How lame. Besides, they already have one of those. She's called Laura Croft.
— John Hawkins (@johnhawkinsrwn) April 4, 2018
In the interview, Spielberg also discussed his dedication to gender equality, following the #TimesUp movement and the industry’s recent scandals, saying he has “long insisted” on pay parity between men and women.
He said in his most recent movie, Ready Player One, his lead actors and actresses received the same pay.
“Everyone was equally paid,” Spielberg said.
“And on The Post, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep got the same pay cheque exactly, right down to the perks.”
Spielberg and his wife actress Kate Capshaw have donated more than $US2 million to the #TimesUp campaign’s legal defence fund.
Ford has played Indiana Jones in four instalments to date – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008).
The fifth instalment is set to begin filming in the UK April next year with a 2020 release date.