Today is the 35th Anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark and even with Harrison Ford saying that he’s signed up for another go with the hat and the whip , there’s always space in this modern movie landscape for a remake, reboot, remix, rehash of the Indiana Jones movies. And I don’t say that out of cynicism; I say that out of a love of the character and want, nay need, for there to be Indiana Jones movies forever. I believe that no male actor can replace Ford. Chris Pratt has the goofy charm but lacks world-weariness, while Bradley Cooper, to name just two recently touted options, has the looks and–not really much else that makes him a worthy candidate. But you’ll notice I wrote “male actor,” because here at Audiences Everywhere, we have some ideas about who could play the next Indiana Jones, and they’re not men.
To be Indiana Jones, you must be a hero with stretchy morals. Gina Torres is an actress who has demonstrated a great mix of hard and soft in her performances, best showcased in Firefly where she served as the voice of reason who didn’t mind shooting people and dishing out threats. Torres has this look about her that she’s either on the brink of bursting out laughing or dissolving into rage. That’s the thing about Indiana Jones: he lacks coolness. He’s not James Bond. He’s not very quippy. He gets his ass kicked, he’s rude to people, he screams, and he gets annoyed. Torres brings a humanity to her performances that would make her the ideal Jones.
Emily Blunt is not your traditional action hero, but then neither in Indiana Jones. For many, Jones ranks as a favorite hero, because he feels pain and he looks tired and he seems as though he wants to be anywhere else than where is, but damn it, if there’s derring-do to be done, he’ll do it. Blunt has that same energy sometimes. In Looper, Edge of Tomorrow, and Sicario she comes across as someone being swept up in a battle not of her own making but who knows that the right thing to do is fight. And if she’s going to fight, she’s going to win no matter what. That’s the beauty of Indiana Jones. He’s not in it for the fighting and the Nazi face melting. It’s about the work, and the work just takes him to crazy ass situations.
Perhaps Ellen Page is a bit too young for this role, but eventually she would make a crazy good Jones. She’s cool, acerbic, and probably looks good in a hat. If Page is world-weary now in her twenties, how’s she going to be in ten years? At the start of each film, you sense Indiana Jones carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, and that the work has already begun to crush the good professor. It’s only because he’s a good person that he goes back out into the field time and again (and also there’s a sense that the college professor stuff is hobby when he’s not archeology-ing). Page could easily convey the burden Indiana Jones faces.
You would know Doona Bae from Sense8 where she plays a business woman by day and a kickboxer by night. That duality between the suit and tie world and the blood and fists world leads nicely into the Indiana Jones world. Bad not only has the chops to play the scenes of the button down college professor but she also knows how to throw and take a punch. She has a strong I-take-no-shit vibe about her, which would be handy when dealing with Nazis and unscrupulous archaeologist rivals, both of which usually require a hearty dose of ass-whooping. Her working relationship with the Wachowski sisters opens up the door for them directing an Indiana Jones film, but I’m probably getting a little ahead of myself.
This one is obvious right? It’s because Chastain is the Queen of all things that walk on the Earth, swim in the sea, and fly in the air. She is the Alpha and the Omega, the resurrection and the light, the sun and the stars, and the tea and the toast. She makes the sun rise and the moon fatten in the sky. She is the air that we breathe, and she keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Furthermore, she could play the role of a person in a hat who punches people and finds things.
Featured Image: Columbia Pictures