Friday, May 16, 2008

Indiana Jones: the grandfather to beat!

In the past couple of weeks I've seen many Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull product tie-ins at the grocery storeM&M's, Dr Pepper, Cheez-Its, and various Kellogg's cereals, including Indy's very own breakfast cereal. What I've noticed about the packaging for these products is that, for the most part, they feature images of Harrison Ford from 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark and 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, not Crystal Skull.
I don't doubt that Shia LaBeouf's character was written into the new film's screenplay to add youth appeal since Ford is now 65 years old, not 38 like he was when he filmed Raiders or 46 when he filmed Last Crusade, and Indiana Jones is in his 60s now as well. But this is Indiana freakin' Jones we're talking about, one of the most iconic characters in film history. His current visage can still sell corn flakes even if that visage is craggier than it used to be. And even if kids today weren't born until well after Last Crusade exited theaters 19 years ago, I'm pretty sure they've seen the first three Indy films on DVD, and I wouldn't be surprised if they're intrigued by the idea of a man their grandfather's age being a daredevil archaeologist. Show Indiana Jones as he really is, marketing gurus! None of us are getting any younger, including your sugar-swilling target demographic.

By the by, the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight, comes out in July. Back in the summer of '89, Tim Burton's Batman came out on June 23, almost one month after Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was released. It's hard to believe it's been 19 years, but it's good to see both of these characters back on the big screen in the same summer.


  1. I'm with the marketing gurus. Cragginess is scary - I always photoshop my pictures before I let, anyone see them.

    And if I try to put on a really, really smug look I think some of the wrinkles around my eyes disappear. It's hard work, though.

  2. It'd be one thing if these companies were touching up 65-year-old Harrison with Photoshop, but they've instead retreated to the Ford we knew two decades ago. Some of the touch-ups I've seen in movie posters recently have been strange, and I'm not sure why they were done in the first place, like the reshaping of Tommy Lee Jones's nose last year in the print ads for "In the Valley of Elah."