No Matter His Name (Or How Old He Gets), He’s Still Indy and They’re Not

Ever wondered what your grandpa would look like in a fedora? Well, Harrison Ford may give you a good idea. Believe it or not, another Indiana Jones movie is in the works, and, according to Steven Spielberg, there’s only one person who can carry the whip.

“I don’t think anyone could replace Harrison as Indy, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen,” Spielberg said in this interview. “There is only going to be one actor playing Indiana Jones and that’s Harrison Ford.”

Pop Quiz: what’s Indiana Jones’s real first name?

While it remains to be seen what the new film will be about, what is clear is that no matter what happens, Indiana Jones has become a cinematic icon. Everybody knows him, and in the pantheon of movie characters, he’s got to be near the top. And as such, it comes as little surprise that over the years people have tried to capitalize on his likeness. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, these characters pretty much straight-up copied Indiana.

Perhaps the biggest Indy rip-off is the most obvious. Raiders of the Lost Ark came out in 1981, and just four years later—and a year after Temple of Doom—we got King Solomon’s Mines and Allan Quatermain. And sure, the original story was from a book written about a century earlier, but it’s impossible not to see the extreme similarities between Quatermain and Indy. The hat, the open shirt, the my-way-or-the-highway mind-set: it’s all there, in a low-rent fashion.

Another character that shows up in a couple of ’80s flicks who also resembles Dr. Jones is Jack T. Colton from Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Again, the clothing is similar and he has that same, brusque/reluctantly charming attitude.

Movies aren’t the only place you can find some Indiana wannabes. Noah Wyle took up the mantle in a few TV movies where he played Flynn Carsen, a treasure-hurting librarian. Ironically, one of those movies was called The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines.

Video games have also gotten into the act. Lara Croft from Tomb Raider has been labeled a female Indiana Jones for years. Earnest Evans was the star of three Sega Genesis games, and aside from the long blonde hair, was pretty much a dead ringer for Indy. Perhaps the biggest similarity is seen in a game on this platform that stars a character named Daring Dave, a guy who looks strikingly like you-know-who. The difference in this one, however, is that players can potentially financially benefit themselves from the treasure Dave uncovers. When watching Indiana Jones, you’re not getting a cut of the action (unless you own a museum).

Even Chuck Norris tried his hand at playing an Indiana Jones-ish character. In Firewalker, Norris plays Max Donigan who, along with his pal Leo (Louis Gossett Jr., natch) and a feisty dame, follow a treasure map that leads them to a temple where they encounter excitement and adventure, (also natch).

If you’re looking for more recent examples of Indy-envy, you don’t have to look any further than National Treasure and Sahara, which actually came out in back-to-back years. Though Nicolas Cage tries his best, he’s no Indiana. As for Matthew McConaughey, he probably should have turned down that role (and the critics agree).

Can you think of any other Indiana Jones knock-offs?

This post is written by our new intern, Intern-iana Jones. Hope you liked it!

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