5 Actors That Would Make a Better Indiana Jones Than Chris Pratt

When entertainment, news, comic book, and pop culture sites and blogs align, you can usually guarantee that it’s because of some major casting scoop – the last time the internet shut down like this was when that photo of the cast of Episode VII was posted by Disney for the first table read. Remember how exciting it was to see Mark Hamill doing his best Grizzly Adams impression? Or Harrison Ford looking all…Harrison-y?

Well, the internet shut down again this past week when news trickled out that everyone’s favorite action hero, Seattle Seahawks fan, Mouse Rat frontman, and Little Sebastian lover Chris Pratt was being talked about for the role of Indiana Jones in an upcoming Disney reboot of the franchise.

Now – for the record, I’m not opposed to an Indy reboot. But I don’t know that Chris Pratt would be my first choice. In fact, here are five guys that I think could play the role better than Pratt.


Bradley Cooper 

Sticking in the Guardians of the Galaxy family, I think Bradley Cooper would make for a great Indiana Jones. A combination of serious acting chops, great comedic timing, rugged looks, and mischievous personality makes me think he could carry the franchise. My biggest issue with Pratt – despite his work in Zero Dark Thirty – is that I don’t see him as an academic.

While Cooper might be most known for either being a raccoon with anger management issues or that guy from The Hangover, the way he carries scenes with authority in films like Silver Linings Playbook and American Sniper makes me think he could play both roles of Professor Henry Jones Jr. and kick-ass archaeologist and human punching bag Indiana Jones.


Hugh Jackman 

Another actor who gets pigeonholed for his work as Wolverine in Fox’s X-Men films, Jackman has both the physicality to play Indy, as well as the more nuanced acting ability to make for a believable academic. His work in Les Miserables and The Prestige net out the fact that he’s both able to take a punch, as well as deliver a verbal punch with stinging wit and strong conviction.

Hugh Jackman is typically looked at as just a set of muscles with an acting job, but his talent is so far beyond that. When he plays serious, I believe him – unlike Pratt. Watching the Jurassic World trailers, all I’m seeing is Andy Dwyer trying to take part in a meeting in the Pawnee Parks & Rec department, and putting on his serious voice.


Gerard Butler 

A lot of folks I talked to about this looked at me like I was crazy when I brought up Gerard Butler, because all they remember him in is that movie he co-starred with Jennifer Aniston in, Bounty Hunter. But remember that Butler was a staple of fantastic action films in the mid 2000s, and his physicality and ability to look convincing in a fight make him one of my top choices for the role of Indiana Jones.

When I remind folks about 300, they then go to the fact that most of Butler’s roles tend to drop him into the meathead category – not a lot of memorable acting for someone so high up on the list. But there’s two films of his that really catapult him for me, that he delivers each line with conviction, gusto, and determination: How To Train Your Dragon and How To Train Your Dragon 2. Playing the role of Stoick the Vast, Butler delivers roaring battle cries, deep emotional speeches, and tender moments between a father and son. Given the right script, and a director that believes in his performance, Butler could easily play a fantastic Indiana Jones.


Jeffrey Dean Morgan 

Morgan is my pick to replace Robert Downey Jr. in the role of Tony Stark when that eventuality occurs. Jeffrey Dean Morgan doesn’t get a lot of recognition for one reason or another, but I’ve loved everything I’ve seen him in. Whether it’s the psychotic right-wing poster boy of The Comedian in Watchmen, the father of Dean and Sam on Supernatural, or Clay in The Losers, Morgan just looks like he’s having fun when he acts – something that Harrison Ford clearly expressed during the filming of (at least the first three) Indy films.

A convincing badass in a fight, as well as the acting ability to back it up and deliver a convincing performance, Jeffrey Dean Morgan would bring a rugged side of Indy that would be a lot more believable in the setting of the late 30s and early 40s.


Idris Elba 

Easily the best pure actor on the list, Idris Elba is a revelation. Between his comedic timing being on display in his guest role on the American The Office, his ability to dive headfirst into the genre films of Pacific Rim, Thor, and Thor: The Dark World, or his two shows where he was simply a force of nature with The Wire and Luther, Elba has so much pedigree with how he carries himself and how he works. I’m shocked he hasn’t been placed at the head of a franchise like Indiana Jones already.

Idris Elba is smart, he respects the source material of everything he works on, and he fully embraces the work he does. I can’t look at anyone else on this list and say that they’d be a better fit in the role than Elba, and I honestly feel that the only reason he wouldn’t get the job is because of his skin color, which is a shame. I’d be in line on day one for an Idris Elba-helmed Indiana Jones, and I think a lot of people would be there with me.

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