The next Indiana Jones could be played by a woman when Harrison Ford retires from the franchise, Steven Spielberg has suggested.
Spielberg, who has directed every instalment in the blockbuster movie series, told the Sun that he was “pretty sure” the upcoming fifth outing for the explorer would be Ford’s swansong in the role, but that the franchise would “certainly continue after that”.
When quizzed on who might don Jones’s famous fedora and whip, the director said that it was time the character took “a different form”. Nodding in response to the suggestion that said form could be female, Spielberg added that “we’d have to change the name from Jones to Joan. And there would be nothing wrong with that.”
Ford first appeared as Indiana Jones in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark and went on to play the character in three further sequels, most recently 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Spielberg confirmed in March that an as-yet-untitled fifth film in the series would begin shooting in the UK next year with Ford again in the title role, and would likely be released in 2020.
Spielberg’s latest film, the sci-fi adventure Ready Player One, was released in cinemas last weekend and has performed well at the worldwide box office, taking $200m globally.