CinemaCon: Frank Marshall Open to $50 Home Movies; Won't Replace Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones

Frank Marshall - Head Shot - H - 2011
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The filmmaker says of Ford's character, as well as Matt Damon's Bourne, "those are the only actors that can play them."

Producer Frank Marshall is open-minded about some things, like hearing more about a new proposal for viewing movies at home the same day they debut in theaters, but when it comes to seeing any actor but Harrison Ford in the role of Indiana Jones, his mind is made up.

Appearing Monday at the theater owners CinemaCon confab in Las Vegas, the veteran producer was asked if Ford was too old to play the swashbuckling archeologist and he immediately dismissed that idea, saying, “He wasn’t too old for The Force Awakens. No, I think he’ll be fine.”

Speaking of Matt Damon’s portrayal of Jason Bourne — Marshall produced the newest installment in the Bourne series, Jason Bourne, which Universal will release July 29 — as well as plans for the new Indiana Jones movie, Marshall suggested he has no intention of recruiting other actors to take on the iconic roles, saying he "will not do the Bond thing" with the characters. "We think those actors are the only ones who can play them." 

Of the Indiana Jones sequel, he added, “We’re just getting the deal together and planning to bring on a writer. It’s going to be two to three years. This will be an original idea; but we have the character and it’s not prequel but continuing since the last one.”

Marshall, who was on hand to be honored as International Filmmaker of the Decade, was interviewed by Variety's Brent Lang, who asked about The Screening Room, Sean Parker and Prem Akkaraju's controversial new plan to make new movies available in the home for $50 on the same day they hit theaters via an encrypted set-top box costing $150.

"I think Sean Parker is a very smart guy and I'm open to seeing what he thinks," Marshall said "Let’s hear what they have to say ... a lot was leaked. Let's hear the full story."

Marshall went on to assert: "I certainly don't want to do something that harms going to the movies. .... I'm not in favor of seeing [movies] on an iPhone. But if there's an audience not going to the movies, I think we should [get them to see these films]."

Filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan and James Cameron are opposed to the idea, while others such as J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard have supported it.

Marshall also revealed that he’s closing in on identifying a director for the planned 2018 sequel to Jurassic World, which broke box office records with a $1.67 billion worldwide gross. “We will [hire a director], very soon,” he said. Colin Trevorrow, who helmed Jurassic World, will not be returning to direct the sequel, though he’s writing the screenplay with Derek Connolly.

Marshall also is involved in the effort to complete Orson Wells’ unfinished film The Other Side of the Wind, starring John Huston as an aging movie director, which was filmed in the early ‘70s.

“We are close,” he said of the crowd-funded project. “We are in negotiations with Netflix, which I think is a great place for this movie. It will be a theatrical release as well.”

While he’s currently focused on his producing projects, Marshall is also planning a return to the director’s chair with The Longest Night, a true story of a coast guard rescue in the Baltic Sea, which he's developing for Paramount.