Friday, March 28, 2014

Who Should Play Indiana Jones

Yesterday there was a rumor that Disney was looking to reboot Indiana Jones with a new actor.  The rumor was killed pretty quickly (which is good, because I want to be considered if they are recasting for that character).  The responses I saw were surprisingly very supportive of the rumor.

I am too.  As much as I love Harrison Ford and he will always be Indiana Jones this is a legacy that a lot of good actors could continue.  Indy is directly inspired by James Bond and classic pulp serials, characters that are meant to continue in further adventures.

Much like the upcoming Star Wars from Disney I really feel that new Indiana Jones movies could work.  The right director is incredibly important, but this is probably the most important casting decisions you can make in a movie.  Because more than James Bond or any superhero, Indy's appeal came from Ford.  He created that character and you need someone who can continue his legacy while bringing their own developments.  These are 20 actors that I think would be interesting archeologists.

20. Jason Sudeikis
Jason Sudeikis is a comedic actor in a leading man's body.  Handsome, funny, charismatic and incredibly likable.  If SNL did an Indy sketch he would have definitely been the one to play Dr. Jones.  While Indiana Jones movies aren't flat out comedies there is definitely a lightness and humor to them.  Someone who can match Ford's subtle comedic timing will be necessary.  Originally Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and others were up for the role of Indiana.  Sudeikis, who really fulfilled Bill Murray's role on SNL and has a film career similar to Chevy Chase's (before it sucked), would be an interesting comedian to consider.

19. Sam Claflin
Claflin had some bad luck in blockbusters with forgettable and underwritten roles in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Snow White and the Huntsman, but he made a huge impact as the scene-stealing Finnick in last year's brilliant blockbuster The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  His Finnick was cocky yet charming while having a considerable amount of depth.  He is definitely an action hero in the making.  May be on the younger end, but I would follow him as a fedora wearing archeologist.

18. Joel Edgerton
He is one of many people I am considering that has struggled in finding a blockbuster franchise.  Edgerton is a commanding presence that is very believable in a variety of settings.  Likable with the right build and scruffy enough for the legendary role.

17. Armie Hammer
Disney may hesitate to cast him after the legendary bomb of The Lone Ranger, but Hammer really should be a movie star.  Hopefully Man from U.N.C.L.E. gives him some better material to work with.  Hammer is a great dramatic actor who can also do comedy and action well.

16. Liam Hemsworth
The youngest actor I am considering, but Hemsworth has proved himself as an action star.  He is a badass waiting to breakout in The Hunger Games and outshone action legends in Expendables 2 with a very small role.  He has the right look for an archeologist and a good range to elevate the material.  Also worth noting is that he starred in last year's bomb Paranoia, the worst reviewed Harrison Ford movie of all time.

15. James Marsden
Hugh Jackman may seem like a more obvious fit, but his X-Men co-star reminds me much more of Harrison Ford.  Marsden is the type of actor who never steals focus but always brings a lot to any role.  That is really what made Indiana Jones, he is not an action star just an interesting guy to watch.  Marsden has really struggled in finding consistent success, he was tragically underutilized as Cyclops and has not found the right leading role.  But Marsden is likable with good looks and the right amount of theatricality for an adventure film.

14. Chadwick Boseman
Boseman had a terrific debut in last year's 42 where he got to act with Ford.  As Jackie Robinson Boseman played a traditional hero, but he definitely had some edge to him.  There was a lot of determination and self-reflectiveness in the role.  Watching the trailer for the upcoming Get on Up it would seem that Boseman has a lot of range to work with.  He is great in these biopics, but I really would be interested in seeing him in a more fantasy environment.  Also, he is a very physical actor which will help with the stunts.

13. Mark Ruffalo
One of the best working character actors (well, best working actors period).  Ruffalo has played such a huge variety of character types, but no real action roles (Hulk aside).  But Ruffalo has incredible comedic prowess that adds to his dramatic characters and can portray a badass.  He can always be guaranteed to give a great performance and I can just picture him in a fedora with stubble.

12. Jake Gyllenhaal
Disney tried to make him into an Indiana Jones figure in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.  That movie failed, but the response towards him in an action role was very positive.  Gyllenhaal is a great leading man with solid performances in Zodiac, Love and Other Drugs, Source Code, End of Watch and others.  You can take him very seriously, but he is still likable and has appropriate comedic timing.

11. Josh Brolin
People were pretty upset that he didn't get Batman.  Brolin has not had much luck with blockbusters, but he seems tailor-made for a good adventure film.  He is a masculine, intimidating actor who seems natural as gruff anti-heroes.  I wouldn't be surprised if he owned a fedora and bullwhip.

10. Ryan Gosling
Gosling usually gets brought up in casting rumors.  He has stated before that he is not interested in big budget movies.  But Indy seems like a decent fit for him, especially with his charming persona.  He can bring his signature intensity but also utilize his comedic sensibilities.  Gosling is also very willing to change his appearance for the right role.  Get the right director and I would actually buy him as Indy.

9. Karl Urban
How often do people bring up Karl Urban in casting rumors?  We've wanted to see him as Superman, we've wanted to see him as Batman.  Urban is just so believable in fantasy and action settings with memorable roles in Xena, Lord of the Rings, Bourne Supremacy, Red, Dredd, Almost Human and of course his perfect portrayal of McCoy in Star Trek.  Just looking at the picture of him I would cast him as Indiana.

8. Sharlto Copley
I have only seen him in three movies, but he has been incredibly different in each one.  He was tragic in District 9, badass in Elysium and crazy in all the right ways in The A-Team.  He was the best part in each of those movies and can utilize all of those traits in the character of Indy.  Not a traditional action star, but Indy isn't a traditional character.  Copley is someone who can go different places with this role and create something that nobody else can.

7. Sam Rockwell
Have you ever not enjoyed Sam Rockwell?  He has played every type of role in every type of movie.  He is always believable and always fascinating.  He embodies several of the traits that Indy needs to work correctly.  Rockwell would be fascinating in the part and would be a great lead for an ensemble.  Can't get enough of this guy and definitely want to put a good word in for him.

6. Bradley Cooper
Cooper was the actor rumored to be at the top of Disney's list.  The rumor was of course debunked, but it makes a lot of sense.  Cooper makes pretty good career choices and has worked his way to being a major star.  He has worked in action, drama and comedy and often combines his sensibilities in each.  Cooper could easily play this part.

5. Michael Pena
Another one of my favorite actors who is always dependable.  He has been in plenty of action movies before alongside drama and comedy.  He does not have a traditional leading man look, but he has the intensity and likability for the role of Indy.  He has certainly paid his dues and worked his way up in Hollywood, he is certainly deserving of consideration for an adventure role.

4. Chris Pratt
Can you believe that we are considering Chris Pratt for Indiana Jones?  What is stranger I know that there will be no objections to this choice.  His diverse career has made some fascinating developments.  He is a stand-out ensemble member on Parks and Recreation, has been in three Oscar nominated films, is associated with the surprise hit The Lego Movie, stars in a Marvel Studios film and will headline Jurassic World.  We all thought of Indiana Jones when we watched the first part of the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer anyways.

3. Anthony Mackie
Another dependable actor who is deserving of a big leading role.  Mackie's career is similar to Ford's pre-Raiders.  Mackie has been in Oscar darlings Million Dollar Baby and The Hurt Locker and he has been a stand-out in several supporting roles such as The Adjustment Bureau, Real Steel and Gangster Squad.  His profile will be raising with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  He is a great physical actor who is likable with a great range.  Definitely a leading man waiting to break out.

2. Michael Fassbender
Fassbender is one of those actors that the internet seems to want to cast in everything, but he seems to be uniquely qualified for this part.  Fassbender is charming and handsome, but is not a traditional good guy.  He has an incredible edge to him and would embody those anti-hero elements that make Indy work.

1. Chris Pine
The first actor I thought of when this rumor started.  It is a shame that Jack Ryan: Shadow Agent bombed because Pine is a perfect leading man.  He has stated that his Captain Kirk is based off of Han Solo and Indiana Jones, not William Shatner.  He is an action star that is influenced by Ford, but has his own modern sensibilities.  He already replaced Ford once, I would like to see him to it again.  I like him and trust him.

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