Raiders of the Lost Ark starring Tom Selleck

As some know, Tom Selleck was originally cast as Indiana Jones, but had to drop out three weeks before filming began because CBS wouldn’t let him out of his contract to do Magnum, P.I. At the last minute, Selleck was replaced by Harrison Ford.

Do you think Selleck would’ve been a good Indiana Jones?

As a staunchly heterosexual male, I have to say that Tom Selleck is one handsome man.

I think he would have done fine with it. I don’t know if it would have been better than Harrison Ford, but it would still have been good. He was great in Quigley Down Under.

I wonder, would Indy have a moustache? I can’t imagine that would have worked.

I can’t imagine Selleck as Indy at all. I like Selleck and all, and a lot of his movies are good, but I don’t think he would have fit the same way Ford does. Selleck seems to have a slight ‘fun loving’ air about him a lot of the time where Ford seems to be a ‘get down to business’ type of guy. While Selleck might have worked out well, I don’t think the movie would have been as great and there might not have been a franchise. Selleck does play ‘Indy’ in one of the Magnum P.I. shows which was kind of fun.

Huh–I would have said completely the opposite, although I’ve watched very little Selleck so I may have the wrong idea about him. Ford brought his wry humor and lopsided grin to the role; Selleck strikes me more as jovial when he’s funny, but overall my impression is that he’s more serious.

I think if Selleck would have been Dr. Jones, it would have been more the movie that was sold to the public; a throw-back to the 30s with the cliff hangers and the dashing daring do. Ford brought a certain reality to it. I mean, during each film we saw Ford battered, beaten and staggered. We hoped he would get back up but we were not always absolutely sure he was going to. But if it were Selleck, it would be like Buster Crabb bouncing back again and again and being no worse for wear. Yeah, Selleck could have done the part, but not do it and be quite as “real.”

I think Selleck had good-humored charm, but I don’t think he would have pulled off theswordfight or "where DOESN’T it hurt?"scenes with the same weary panache that Harrison Ford showed.

Plus, if Selleck had played Indiana, he might not have gotten sick and been forced to adlib the swordfight screen, thus depriving us of one of the great movie moments!

I remember when High Road To China came out, it was spoken of like an Indiana Jones-ish adventure, an attempt by Selleck to prove he could’ve done it. But the movie itself was not good, so that didn’t help him at all.

If Selleck had done the film, today people would be talking about how “iconic” his performance was … and we’d be rolling our eyes at the notion of this colorful, flamboyant role being played by that sourpuss Harrison Ford.

If you’ve seen the test footage of Selleck in the role (playing the scene in the Raven when he’s first reunited with Marion), he is actually really good. Different, but good, and highly credible. It’s easy to see why he was initially cast.

But there’s no way the character would’ve been the same. Each actor brings his own kind of energy, so it’s hard to imagine anyone else but Ford doing it now, but Spielberg was directing and it’s not like he had a shorthand with Ford (they’d never worked together previously) so the quality of the adventure would’ve been comparable but the tone of the film would’ve been altered, in likely a significant way.

Also, physically speaking, Tom is a big guy–not just taller, but in terms of mass. It might’ve been a little harder seeing him as a professor who moonlights as hero and museum nerd.

We most likely would’ve gotten a different scene with the swordsman with Tom Selleck as Indy.

I love the Indiana Jones movies, but I never quite accepted Ford’s Indy as a professor who grades papers and has office hours and so forth. He looks like a fish out of water in the campus scenes.

I always thought that was the point. Risking life and limb in jungles? No problem! Facing a bunch of students at office hours? Run for your life!

He was supposed to be the awkward prof.

In fairness, Ford was helped out a lot in that scene by being so sick he could barely stand.

The Nazi on the middle right has a wonderful expression on his face for that photoshop.

If you watch the Jessie Stone movies he’s done in recent years, he plays a very serious character. I like that role for him a lot and it’s definitely not comedic.

The one on the top left looks remarkably like Tom Cruise.

And both of those photos are of Belloq.

I wasn’t trying to say he couldn’t play a serious role, just Ford and Selleck would have played it totally different and I don’t think it would have been as memorable of a movie. Kind of like if Ford had played Magnum, don’t think that would have worked too well either.

Just trying to picture episodes of Magnum with Ford doing the voice-overs, in that same bored disaffected tone as Blade Runner.
Yikes.