In a not-unexpected turn, given that he retired from acting in 2005 (leaving us with the, er, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen as his final film), Sean Connery has now confirmed that he won’t be joining the cast of Indiana Jones IV.
This is not good news.
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade was perhaps the flabbiest of the films to date, but it was also damn funny, and the majority of the fun stemmed from the relationship between Sean Connery and Harrison Ford as father and son. As Connery wisely noted in that film, “Our situation has not improved”.
Now, notwithstanding the fact that Ford is now in his 60s and this is going to present some different challenges of its own, it does ask questions as to where Spielberg and Lucas can take the franchise next. They made little secret of the fact that they were looking to snare Connery back, and presumably – as the movie is shortly to start filming – the character of Henry Jones Sr is in the script somewhere. Especially as it took them so long to write the damn thing.
So will they recast? Surely they couldn’t do that? This isn’t like a Batman movie, where every role seems to get refreshed every few films (Aaron Eckhardt is to be the third person to play Harvey Dent, by our reckoning, in just six films). And who would they get? Is Michael Gambon’s agent expecting a call or something?
So they leave him out? It has to be the most logical move. And surely that leaves the film with a bit of a hole at the heart of it, given the strength of the family relationship that powered The Last Crusade.
Disappointing as the news about Connery is, and despite our deep-seated feelings that the film is being made around half a decade too late, there are some things about the production that have perked us up.
Certainly the addition of John Hurt to the cast is a good thing, and we’d turn up to see Ray Winstone in pretty much anything (excluding King Arthur, obviously). Cate Blanchett too is intelligent casting. And we hope the return of Karen Allen from Raiders turns out to be true.
As for the rest of it? Well, with the cameras rolling imminently for a release on 21/22 May 2008, we suspect we’ll be finding out more in due course. Fingers crossed: we really want this to be good, and hope desperately that our gut reservations are proved false.
And our guess for the title? Indiana Jones And The Asbo Of Doom. Er, don’t worry. Our taxi’s here…