Can Harrison Ford resurrect Indiana Jones? Why a sultry female sidekick might be Ford's best protection the fourth time around
Harrison Ford
Credit: Harrison Ford: Lisa O'Connor/ZUMA Press

It’s been 21 years since Harrison Ford first cracked his whip in ”Raiders of the Lost Ark” (and 13 years since the third in the series, ”Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”), but the soon-to-be-60-year-old actor is dusting off his fedora for another dig gig. After Ford and director Steven Spielberg spilled the beans about a new Indy movie at this year’s Golden Globes, a spokesman for Spielberg confirmed that the director has a storyline and a title (a start date has yet to be decided). talked to industry experts to determine what it will take to keep the 20-year-old franchise fresh in a post-”Matrix” world.

Oldie can be goodie Though the ancient relic/AARP jokes have already begun, the consensus is that, even at 60, Ford is capable of filling Indy’s shoes. ”Harrison Ford, like Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins, and Sean Connery, is on this short list of actors who audiences buy as leading men well into their 60s,” says one Hollywood development executive. ”He can be old as long as the story isn’t.” And Ford has held steady at the box office since his last Indy stint. The Jack Ryan movies, ”Air Force One,” and ”The Fugitive” have only built his audience,” says media analyst Adam Farasati of ReelSource. ”He could be a million years old and on crutches, and people will still pay to see him.” Unless, of course, it involves Sabrina.

Just age gracefully Even though Ford is spry enough to play Indy, it’s time for the professor to hand off the more extreme stunts to some younger costars. Fortunately for Ford, though, show-stopping stunts have never been Indy’s main draw anyway. ”The best scene out of all the films was the one where, when faced with a skilled swordsman, Indy just pulls out his gun and shoots the guy,” explains Farasati. ”The key has always been brains over brawn, and that’s given this character longevity that other ’80s action heroes like Rambo and Rocky have lacked.”

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Movie
  • 122 minutes