Harrison Ford Says the Last ‘Indiana Jones’ Was ‘Not as Successful as We Wanted’
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull may have been the most anticipated movie of the 2000s. It was the first Indiana Jones movie in almost 20 years, reuniting Harrison Ford with director Steven Spielberg and producer/writer George Lucas on yet another sequel about the adventuring archaeologist. That could account for some — not all, but some — of the negativity that met the film. It just didn’t live up to expectations. While the movie did gross almost $800 million worldwide, most fans and critics felt it was not a fitting sendoff for Indiana Jones.
Neither, it seems, did Harrison Ford, since he is now appearing in another farewell to the character, this summer’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. A lot of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was about how Indy had gotten old; things weren’t as easy as they used to be, and so on. But that was 15 years ago, and now Ford is 80.
Looking back on his career in a profile for The Hollywood Reporter, Ford had interesting things to say about some of his less successful efforts as an actor. Speaking in general terms about some of his flops, he noted that “the first job of a movie is to make its money back” and that when something doesn’t work he doesn’t fret about it. “I just go on and do something else,” he explained.
Speaking specifically about Kingdom of the Crystal Skull specifically and the harsh reaction to it from critics, Ford didn’t entirely agree (and he qualified his remarks with a “perhaps”) but he did describe the film as “not as successful as we wanted it to be”:
[The critics] were harsh on it, but what are they doing now? I understand. But those were their rules — not [director Steven Spielberg’s and co-writer George Lucas’] rules. They were imposing their rules on what the movie should be. I don’t feel it’s necessary to address those issues. I think that everyone has a right to their opinion. The film was not as successful as we wanted it to be, perhaps. But it didn’t create an attitude or a behavior that carried over into this film.
Ford also noted that while the script for Dial of Destiny originally included more jokes about Indy’s advanced age they “took them all out” this time. He added, “I’d rather create behavior that is the joke of age rather than talk about it.” Good or bad, it should be really interesting to compare Dial of Destiny (and Ford’s performance in it) to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Directed by James Mangold (not Steven Spielberg), Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is scheduled to open in theaters on June 30, 2023.