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Chris Pratt Explains The Funny Way Harrison Ford Factors Into His Decision Not To Take Over As Indiana Jones

Side by side pictures of Christ Pratt from The Tomorrow War and Harrison Ford from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
(Image credit: Amazon and Lucasfilm)

While Harrison Ford received a lot of attention earlier this week for turning 80, resulting in plenty of people (including Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill) wishing him a happy birthday, as far as the man’s film work goes, it’s been a while since we’ve seen in the cinematic realm. Ford last starred in 2020’s The Call of the Wild, but next year he’ll be back on the big screen for Indiana Jones 5. After that, it’s hard to say what will happen with the Indiana Jones movies, but Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt explained the funny reason how Ford has factored into his decision not to take over as the whip-wielding archaeologist.

For years, it’s been rumored that if Indiana Jones were to be rebooted, Chris Pratt is one of the main actors being considered to succeed Harrison Ford in the role, if not at the top of the list. While speaking with Pratt on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, interviewer Josh Horowitz brought up how he came across two “reputable articles” from 2015 that claimed Steven Spielberg, who directed the first four Indiana Jones movies, had spoken with Pratt about taking over as Indiana Jones, or at the very least had the actor on his mind. Pratt initially joked about not knowing who Spielberg is, but then said this:

No, aren't they doing Indiana Jones with Harrison Ford? 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 he 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…?'

I won’t lie, picturing Harrison Ford as a ghost haunting Chris Pratt simply because he choses to play Indiana Jones makes for delightful entertainment. However, to put Pratt’s mind at ease a bit, he’s likely thinking of when Ford appeared on TODAY back in 2019 and said that when he’s “gone,” Indiana Jones will be gone too. Ford then apologized to Chris Pine, another actor’s who’s been suggested as a good fit for the role, for breaking the bad news.

To be fair, Sean Patrick Flanery and Corey Carrier both played younger versions of Indiana Jones in the TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, so it’s not like Harrison Ford is the only actor who has claim to the role. That being said, there’s no question that Indy primarily belongs to him, and Ford’s previous comment was enough to scare Chris Pratt away from coming anywhere near it. Pratt also claimed that him being lined up as Indiana Jones is “not anything that’s real.” Fortunately, between Owen Grady from the Jurassic World movies and Star-Lord from the MCU, it’s not like Pratt is lacking in establishing an action legacy.

Looking to Indiana Jones 5, Harrison Ford will be joined in the cast by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Kretschmann, Boyd Holbrook, Shaunette Renée Wilson, Toby Jones, Antonio Banderas and Olivier Richters. Plot details are still being kept secret, but it was rumored in September 2021 that Indiana Jones 5 (which is being directed by James Mangold, who also co-wrote the script with Jez and John-Henry Butterworth) will see Ford’s Dr. Henry Jones Jr. passing on his mantle to Waller-Bridge’s character. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has also said that Indiana Jones will not be recast following Ford’s swan song. Granted, minds can change, but with the way it’s looking now, if this franchise keeps going after the fifth movie, it’ll be a new character taking center stage.

Indiana Jones 5 opens in theaters on June 30, 2023, and be sure to check out what other movies will be released in 2023. Chris Pratt can now be seen as the lead of the Amazon series The Terminal List, which dropped all its episodes on July 1.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.