A new Indiana Jones series is in the works for Disney+, but Harrison Ford’s Indy won’t be in it – so who will replace him as the star of the show?
A new Indiana Jones Disney+ series is in the works, and while audiences are excited, nobody is sure who the show will be about. The Disney+ series is just one project in an upcoming slate of projects designed to revitalize the franchise, with Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny set to hit theaters in 2023. While Harrison Ford is back playing Indy in the fifth film, that doesn’t mean he will star in the spin-off Indiana Jones Disney+ show – but there are a lot of characters that could.
Starting in 1981 with Raiders of the Lost Ark, the action-adventure franchise Indiana Jones has remained a cultural landmark, with the franchise consisting of four movies in total and with one more on the way. Although the Indiana Jones Disney+ series bears the titular character’s name, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny director James Mangold announced on Twitter that Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones won’t appear in the Disney+ show. In the same tweet, Mangold also revealed that series newcomer Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who plays Indy’s goddaughter Helena in the fifth film) won’t appear either. Although the main two characters of the fifth film aren’t appearing, there are still other options.
Will Disney+’s Indiana Jones Show Be About Young Indiana Jones?
In Mangold’s tweet, the director specified that Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones won’t appear in the upcoming Disney+ series – but that doesn’t mean that Indy won’t appear at all. There is potential that the show could follow a younger version of the beloved character, possibly played by a younger actor. The franchise has already shown interest in exploring a younger version of Indiana Jones, with a deaged Harrison Ford appearing in certain parts of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. This would also explain why Helena isn’t in the show, as if the show is a prequel, she wouldn’t have been born yet.
Although a different actor playing Indy is the only practical way that the Disney+ show could pull off a younger Indiana Jones, it probably won’t happen. As was already mentioned, the next movie is featuring a younger version of the character still played by Harrison Ford. If the film was interested in launching a prequel spin-off, it would probably want to introduce this new actor rather than having Ford play the role. It could be confusing to audiences if the fifth film featured a young Indiana Jones played by Ford, only for the Disney+ series to have a different actor playing a similarly aged Indy not long after.
Indiana Jones Characters Who Could Get A Spinoff
It seems likely that the Indiana Jones Disney+ series will have to focus on a character that isn’t Indy himself, meaning that it will probably be about a side character from one of the movies. The series could star a character who is set up in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. The film will debut Shaunette Renée Wilson’s Mason, and although much isn’t known about her role besides her being some type of government agent, she could easily be developed enough to carry the series. Also, Helena is the daughter of a currently unknown friend of Indy, meaning that the series could potentially focus on this mysterious parent.
There are also characters from older Indiana Jones movies that could star in the Disney+ series. Ke Huy Quan’s Short Round was a highlight of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and considering Quan’s recent career revitalization due to Everything Everywhere All At Once, it’s possible that the series could follow an older version of the character. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull already tried replacing Indy with Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams, and although the character wasn’t well received, the Disney+ series could always give him another shot in the spotlight. With such a big franchise, there are a lot of options as to who can star.
Can An Indiana Jones Show Work Without Indiana Jones?
Although Disney is set to try, it’ll be hard to make an Indiana Jones series work without the titular character. Much of the appeal of the franchise is found in Harrison Ford’s performance as Indiana Jones, with the character’s charm, wit, and cool factor carrying the series. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull already tried to replace him with LaBeouf, and it didn’t succeed then, so it’ll be hard to do it again. While it could work if done well, the odds are against the Indiana Jones Disney+ series working without Indiana Jones himself in the show.