One of Clint Eastwood’s signature characters, the no-nonsense cop Dirty Harry, has yet to be revived for modern audiences. We’re living in an age full of reboots (Star Wars), belated sequels ( Top Gun: Maverick), and remakes (Planet of the Apes). It’s pretty incredible that an iconic character like “Dirty” Harry Callahan hasn’t reemerged in the 21st century for a new generation of fans. According to an article from Screenrant, the Hollywood icon has weighed in on the possibility of Harry returning at some point.
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In 1971, Frank Sinatra had the chance to star in Dirty Harry. He regrettably turned it down due to a broken wrist that barred him from hoisting Harry’s Magnum revolver. Therefore Eastwood was presented with this opportunity instead. It ended up being extremely fortunate for Clint as its box-office success made him an iconic movie star. It also helped him break out of typecasting since he was largely considered an actor best utilized in Westerns.
From 1971 to 1988, Eastwood starred in four sequels of Dirty Harry, yet none could match the potency of their initial installment. It caused a stir at its time due to its unconventionality and is still remembered for it. Paul Newman famously refused the role. Eastwood himself told MTV in 2008 for Newman did so for “political reasons”. So tightly linked was the actor with his role that Warner Bros didn’t even consider recasting. Then again, we are living in an age where nothing seems impervious from being repackaged. So who knows? Could there possibly arise another Dirty Harry in our midst one day?
Nearly 20 years ago a ‘Dirty Harry’ remake nearly happened without Clint Eastwood
It actually almost happened nearly 20 years ago, with a somewhat unlikely star as Harry. Dwayne Johnson was once considered by Warner Brothers to portray a younger version of Dirty Harry. However, box office failures such as Walking Tall and Doom put the kibosh on that plan. Years later Johnson would still cite Dirty Harry as one of the biggest influences when he performed in Black Adam.
If one considers Eastwood to be unemotional or detached while discussing his former work, it isn’t startling that he remains nonchalant when asked if a Dirty Harry reboot is in the works. In 2008, when MTV asked him the question, his response was, “Who knows?” When asked about the prospect of someone else taking on his part, he spoke succinctly and said,” God bless them.” He didn’t seem too concerned with another actor taking over the role.
However, during the same interview, he didn’t shut down the idea of a return to the role. “I suppose if some mythical writer came out of nowhere and it was the greatest thing on the planet, I’d certainly have to think about it.” If they go the reboot route, Scott Eastwood is right there, and at the perfect age…