Chris Pratt may be on a mission to play as many iconic characters in as many franchises as possible, but there’s one he won’t touch with a ten-foot pole: Indiana Jones. As it turns out, Indy himself is the reason that Pratt is steering clear.
During an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the actor was asked about rumors that Steven Spielberg had approached him about taking up the bullwhip in 2015. “I don’t even know who Steven Spielberg is. Who? Steven Who?” jokes Pratt, the star of the reboot of Spielberg’s classic Jurassic Park.
“No, aren’t they doing Indiana Jones with Harrison Ford?” He continues. “All I know is I once saw a quote from Harrison Ford–and I don’t even know if it was really him, but it was enough to scare me–that was like, ‘When I die, Indiana Jones dies.’ And I’m like, am I gonna get haunted by the ghost of Harrison Ford one day when he dies if I play…?”
Ford did indeed say something to that effect in 2019: “Don’t you get it? I’m Indiana Jones. When I’m gone, he’s gone. It’s easy.”
Easier said than done, maybe, as certain entertainment conglomerates will go so far as to digitally recreate a deceased performer for their film. And although Pratt claims that rumors he was approached about it are “not anything that’s real,” it’s quite easy to imagine studios eyeing an action hero on a hot streak to replace an aging star.
But as far as Ford’s characters are concerned, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told Vanity Fair the studio learned its lesson with Solo. “We would never make Indiana Jones without Harrison Ford. Having just finished the fifth movie, I can tell you, there wasn’t a day I wasn’t on set where I wasn’t like, ‘Yes—this is Indiana Jones.’”
While reboot culture is all about trying to “resurrect” an intangible feeling, it’s not as simple as shuffling in a younger actor, she acknowledged. “Maybe I’m closer to the DNA of Indy, and always have been, than I was when I came into Star Wars, because now it does seem so abundantly clear that we can’t do that.” Sure, now tell that to the guys behind Garfield.