HomeEntertainmentHarrison Ford Has No Regrets About Taking Indiana Jones Role From Tom Selleck

Harrison Ford Has No Regrets About Taking Indiana Jones Role From Tom Selleck

by Craig Garrett
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
(Photo by Paramount/Getty Images)

It’s a Hollywood legend. Tom Selleck was originally slated to don the fedora as Indiana Jones, the role that cemented Harrison Ford as a star. Selleck was the top choice to play the rakish college professor turn artifact hunter. Though director Steven Speilberg reportedly wanted Ford all along, producer and Indiana Jones creator George Lucas wanted someone else for the role.

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Apparently, since Ford had played Han Solo in the Star Wars films, Lucas wanted to avoid re-using him. He even alluded to another great filmmaker, Martin Scorsese, often reteaming with actor Robert De Niro in projects. “I said, ‘Oh, Steven. He’s been in two of my movies. I don’t want him to be my Bobby De Niro,'” Lucas explained in a making-of featurette on the Raiders of the Lost Ark DVD.

However, fortune was not in Tom Selleck’s favor. Despite nailing his audition, the actor famously wasn’t allowed to break his shooting schedule from Magnum, P.I., so he had to pass on the role. Of course, Ford went on to embody the part, proving he was more than just Han Solo. It paved the way for the star to have one of the most prolific careers in Hollywood history.

Harrison Ford weighs in on the great what-if question of Tom Selleck playing Indiana Jones

It’s become one of the great “what-if” questions of fandom. Everyone knows that Harrison Ford defines Indiana Jones, but would Selleck have made the part so iconic? Would Selleck have gone on to play other iconic Ford roles like Jack Ryan, or been nominated for an Oscar for Witness? Would Harrison Ford have faded into obscurity after the first three Star Wars films wrapped had he not played Indy? Most importantly, would Selleck have shaved his signature stash if he had actually played Dr. Henry Jones? The mind boggles.

Regardless, the man in the hat himself recently weighed in on how he believes Selleck would’ve done in the role. When asked by The Hollywood Reporter if there was any actor that nearly landed one of his parts that would’ve been a good fit, Ford shot back instantly.

“Tom Selleck,” Ford said. When pressed on if he felt bad that Selleck wasn’t allowed to play the part, the notoriously gruff actor also had a quick response. “No. I feel lucky I got it.” However, Ford is quick to point out that Selleck hasn’t exactly been a slouch since losing out on Indy. “I don’t feel like he’s had an unlucky career. He seems like a happy guy.”

Indeed, Selleck had a career that included iconic comedy films like Three Men and a Baby and beloved westerns like Quigley Down Under. Besides his epic Magnum run, he’s also enjoyed huge success on tv with Blue Bloods, currently in its 13th season. Still… what if he had cracked that whip?