Harrison Ford still didn’t kill his wife. Tommy Lee Jones still doesn’t care. And if you get that reference, then you likely will be interested in the news that Warner Bros. wants to get back in The Fugitive business, after a 17-year hiatus.
Deadline has the details on the new Fugitive project, which will be shepherded at the studio by screenwriter Christina Hodson, as well as producers Arnold and Anne Kopelson. The main question everyone needs answered, however, can not be found in the initial report: will this new chapter in the saga of The Fugitive include either Harrison Ford or Tommy Lee Jones, who made a terrific pair as hunter and hunted in Andrew Davis’ 1993 film? Right now, it's unclear if this is a reboot, a remake, or a sequel that has been long in the making.
Here’s that scene I referenced, up above:
The Fugitive was one of the most successful feature films constructed off of an existing television program The weekly drama series ran on ABC in the 1960s, and followed the exploits of Dr Richard Kimble (David Janssen), a man falsely accused of murder who escapes the authorities when the train taking him to Death Row derails. Kimble becomes a fugitive, hunted by the police while he simultaneously pursues the "one-armed man" who he believes committed the actual crime.
The premise transitioned beautifully to the silver screen in 1993, with Ford filling in as Kimble – a slightly arrogant hero who’s deflated by the fear of his surprising conviction, then driven by the need to both avoid capture and solve his wife’s murder, vindicating his claims of innocence. The Fugitive arrived during a busy time in Ford’s career. He’d recently put Indiana Jones to bed in The Last Crusade (we thought it was for good, but, you know), and he was juggling his role as Jack Ryan in the Tom Clancy adaptations. As good as Ford was in The Fugitive, Tommy Lee Jones was better… and he has the Best Supporting Oscar trophy to prove it.
It was Jones, actually, who agreed to reprise his role in a Fugitive sequel/spinoff U.S. Marshals in 1998. With no Harrison Ford to chase, Jones tracked down Wesley Snipes, playing another innocent man on the run. But the formula was watered down by that point.
That, I imagine, will be the immediate challenge of a new Fugitive movie. The concept doesn’t lend itself to sequels, with Jones’ character constantly chasing innocent people. This could be a straight reboot of the original premise, as Ford likely is tied up with Blade Runner 2 and a possible fifth Indiana Jones movie. We’ll keep you posted on this one as it develops.