Things We’d Like to See in an ‘Indiana Jones’ Reboot

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost ArkParamount via Everett Collection

This just in: nothing is sacred. That’s right, Indiana Jones is possibly being considered for a reboot. The classic adventure series, created by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg has become a classic in the cinema world, and according to a rumor from Latino Review, the series might come to resemble another classic film staple in the coming years. The site reports that while the original Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford, is still being considered for a possible Indiana Jones 5, the series could simply reboot with a new actor a la the James Bond series if Mr. Ford in unavailable. If all that wasn’t enough, Bradley Cooper is at the top of their list of possible candidates to take over the role. Since a new crop of Indiana Jones films seems like a definite possibility (yes we live in that awful world), we decided to make the best of the situation and share our thoughts on what the new films should bring back, improve upon, or ditch with regards to the first four films of the series.

Things They’d Need to Bring Back

The Setting
Mr. Jones would do well to keep to his original decade. With World War II right around the corner, the 1930s were wired like a stick of dynamite ready to blow. With several conflicts brewing, and several chances for Indy to mix it up with different enemies, the decade was the perfect place to set a world spanning archaeological adventure.

The Costume
The tan fedora, the leather jacket, those boots. Indiana Jones’ outfit is a bona fide classic, and changing one iota of it would be pure cinema sacrilege. Several things need updating in bringing Indy back for a second round of adventures, but the outfit is off limits.

The Tone 
With the original Raiders, Lucas and Spielberg crafted the perfect tone for their hero. The first film of the series was loose and pulpy adventure that hearkened back to classic film serials, and dime store novels. It was a load of swashbuckling fun. Sure the series needs its darker moments (as we’ll see later), but the camp should be plentiful.

The Exotic Locales
Almost like a rustic James Bond, Indy was at its best when he was traveling to far off places in search for adventure, and  uncovering the secrets history forgot. The new Indiana Jones should find himself going even further into the unknown than his predecessor did, going to places we’ve never seen Indy visit. 

The Mysticism
The Indiana Jones series has always blended history and myth into one, and things shouldn’t change there either. The new films should have one foot in the past, and the other breaking ground on new myths to cull from.

The Darker Moments
In the middle of all that swashbuckling, there still needs to be a real sense of peril in Indy’s new adventures The series’ darker moments like the terrifying images of melting Nazis in Raiders, or pretty much anything that had to do with the cult from Temple of Doom gave the films a sense of danger, and that danger should show up in the reboot.

The Nazis
Is there an enemy more fun to foil than the Nazis. They’re the quintessential movie villain, and it’s no coincidence that the series has gone back to that well for three out of its four outings. The series should explore some new foes, but it would be remiss if we didn’t see at least one Nazi getting the business end of a whip to the tune of the classic Indy Score.

Things They’d Need to Fix Up a Bit

The Depiction of Other Cultures
For all of its efforts to be worldly and exotic, the Indiana Jones series could be pretty insensitive towards other cultures. More often than not, the Indiana Jones series fumbled when it came to displaying foreign cultures in a positive light, and many depictions of non-European people slipped into the realm of caricature. The Indians in Temple of Doom were either evil or too weak to help themselves until a white man came from on high to save them (and do these Indians eat some weird stuff or what?). Also, as much as we love Short Round, if we’re being honest with ourselves, his image is a tad insensitive. But hey, it’s a film set in the ’30s and made in the ’80s, so it was to be expected. This new reboot should try to steer clear of those pitfalls. Foreign cultures should be fascinating and strangely beguiling, not something to point and laugh at.

Add Some Satire/Self-referential Humor
To be frank, we already have a set of perfectly good Indiana Jones films sitting in our DVD cases already. In order to improve on what’s already a terrific formula, this new movie should probably try to poke some fun at itself and the genre. The latest James Bond film Skyfall had some funny and poignant things to say about James Bond mythos, and this new Indy reboot should follow suit.

All New Sidekicks
The sidekicks throughout the series range for terrible (Willie) to great (Henry Jones Sr.), but it’s for the best if the film starts out fresh and abandons the lot of them for new characters. This new reboot needs to create its own legacy, and becoming a slave to the past is not the way to do that. 

All New Artifacts
Likewise, we need all new artifacts for these new movies. That means no Holy Grails, Crystal Skulls, or Arks of the Covenant allowed (thought the melting Nazis will be missed).

A Deeper Indy
The film should be kept loose and fun, but a new series wouldn’t hurt from changing things up, and delivering a deeper Indiana Jones for audiences to chew on. These days, our action films require a little bit more character in them. We don’t want Indiana Jones 5 to turn into a deep character study or anything, but some more depth would be welcome.

Things They’d Need to Cut Altogether

The “Sword Swinging” Scene
The most prolific scene from Raiders should really be left on the cutting room floor. As funny and iconic as it is, the film shouldn’t get to cute with the references.

Harrison Ford
No one will be Indiana Jones quite like Harrison Ford was. He gave the character such a cool confidence that catapulted him into legendary status. With all that said, and with all due respect, it’s time to put the old version of Indy to bed. We should only remember our heroes at their best, and having Harrison Ford do yet another version of the character would be a mistake.

Heavy CGI Use
As we saw in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, bad CGI can be a serious detriment to a film. The reason the original trilogy feels so timeless is because the actions scenes were created using practical effects. CGI in this new film should be kept to a minimum.

The Sci-fi
the line between sci-fi and fantasy can be razor thin, but Indy’s adventures are better when they’re steeped in lore rather than science fiction. Crystal Skull tried to blur the lines, and came up short.