Sorry, Samuel L. Jackson, Harrison Ford is now the highest-grossing actor of all-time. With $4.7 billion in grosses, Ford largely got there by revisiting one of his most iconic roles in his most recent movie by strapping on his blaster one last time as Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
So how does one Mr. Ford celebrate that billion-dollar swan song? Well, reprising yet another previous role. Ford is also set to appear again as the maybe-a-replicant, maybe-a-human-future-detective Rick Deckard in director Denis Villeneuve’s sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 genre-defining movie Blade Runner. Tack that and The Force Awakens on to Ford’s nearly geriatric turn as Indiana Jones again in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and you have a prime example of a dude who definitely rests on his laurels. Now that he has those three iconic roles checked off or delayed big-screen returns, what other roles should Ford go back to for equal parts nostalgia and a quick paycheck?
Ender’s Game or another, “Holy shit, is that Harrison Ford?” appearance in the next Expendables movie doesn’t count, and as much as we like Working Girl, we’ve got some other candidates to run through here.
5. The Conversation
Francis Ford Coppola in the 1970s was unstoppable. Francis Ford Coppola in the 2010s? Ehh, not so much. He’s too busy selling wine and fostering his genius progeny as the next generation of iconic directors to ring up another classic. But one we’d like to see revisited that involves Ford is 1974’s The Conversation. Often in the shadows of the undeniably influential The Godfather Part II released the same year, The Conversation nevertheless garnered Coppola multiple Oscar nominations.
Just like his tiny cameo in Apocalypse Now five years later, Ford popped up in The Conversation as the deceptive assistant to the shady figure (played by Robert Duvall in an uncredited role) behind a potential murder conspiracy. Since Gene Hackman, who played the tormented main character of The Conversation, is retired, shift the focus of The Conversation 2 to Ford’s character, who has to deal with the fallout from the original movie while coping with the increasing surveillance culture of the present day. It’d ruin the mystique of the open ending of the original, but whatever.
It’s a shame that Ford has been nominated for only a single Oscar. Yes, he should have gotten one for The Force Awakens for old time’s sake, but alas, the AMPAS works in mysterious ways. Instead, the only nom to his name is for his role as Detective John Book in director Peter Weir’s undercover Amish crime thriller Witness. William Hurt won for Curse of the Spider Woman that year, but who even remembers that shit?
Anyway, Witness Revisited should just have Book coming out of retirement to reexamine the case of the Amish boy who witnessed a murder in Philadelphia and the police corruption therein. That or another Amish boy just hanging out in downtown Philly sees someone get killed and grandpa Book goes undercover again. These things write themselves, basically.
3. Air Force One
Think about this line from Ford: “Get off my plane … again!” Maybe could use some work, but seriously, let’s get Ford back on the presidential airplane for some harrowing action at 40,000 feet. Air Force One 2 sounds too goofy, so let’s substitute the primary plane in the presidential fleet for the next in line and make this thing called Air Force Two.
If Ford played fictional President James Marshall in 1997, and the events of the movie took place in his final term, we’ll say he’d be nearly 20 years removed from being ineligible from being president again, give or take. But how about this: in Air Force Two, the former First Daughter grows up to become Vice President in the first father/daughter presidential relationship, and some terrorists decide they don’t like the former President or his daughter very much and take her personal plane hostage.
2. Jack Ryan
Besides the Steven Spielberg and George Lucas franchises, Ford staked a claim of his own by taking over from Alec Baldwin and playing CIA badass Jack Ryan in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger in the ’90s. The series moved on without him with Ben Affleck taking over in 2002’s The Sum of All Fears and Chris Pine most recently starred as Ryan in 2014’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
The most recent entry in the series was supposed to reignite the franchise, but it was anything but. Besides being a meh movie, it was also the lowest-grossing entry in the series, and that was even with 2014 inflation taken into account. But people love a good comeback story, and Ford loves revisiting his old roles. He’d probably have to rely on some heavy stunt double editing to make it look good, but remember these movies are based on Tom Clancy novels, so it’s technically always been for grandpas, by grandpas.
1. The Fugitive
What if it wasn’t the one-armed man? Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive is perhaps Ford’s most celebrated role that didn’t get a follow-up … that also starred Harrison Ford. 1998’s U.S. Marshals starring Tommy Lee Jones, who reprised his role from The Fugitive, is technically the sequel but no one cares or remembers that movie. We need Ford to come back as a humbled Kimble, embroiled in another murder plot two decades later. The movie was based on a ’60s TV series of the same name, so this type of thing had to have happened to Kimble a lot. The Fugitive 2 would also work because Harrison Ford with a gnarly beard is one of the most glorious images to ever grace the silver screen.