John Hurt in, Connery officially OUT of Indy IV


The good news is that John Hurt — a living legend whose work I’ve always enjoyed, most recently in The Proposition and V for Vendetta — has joined Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone and Shia LaBeouf in next summer’s Indiana Jones installment.

The bad news is that Sean Connery will NOT be back as Dr. Henry Jones, Sr.

Connery explains in his own words:

“I get asked the question so often, I thought it best to make an announcement. I thought long and hard about it and if anything could have pulled me out of retirement it would have been an Indiana Jones film. I love working with Steven and George, and it goes without saying that it is an honor to have Harrison as my son. But in the end, retirement is just too damned much fun. I, do however, have one bit of advice for Junior: Demand that the critters be digital, the cliffs be low, and for goodness sake keep that whip by your side at all times in case you need to escape from the stunt coordinator! This is a remarkable cast, and I can only say, ‘Break a leg, everyone.’ I’ll see you on May 22, 2008 at the theater!”

I am crestfallen.

Connery is a huge part of why Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is one of my absolute favorite films of all time. It’s so much fun, and Connery’s work in the film goes a long way toward making it so.

“I should have mailed it to the Marx Brothers!”

(You haven’t lived until you’ve heard my friend Bob say that.)

Now we’ll probably get some lame explanation of how Henry died off-screen.

Oh, well.

The plot and the title are still top secret, though with the film less than a year away I’m sure news and other bits of info will start rolling in soon enough.

(And please, Sir Connery, don’t give Mr. Lucas any ideas about digital creatures. Indiana Jones doesn’t need CGI. Do it the old-fashioned way or don’t do it at all, I say. And I’m counting on you, Mr. Spielberg, to keep George in check.)

Indiana Jones IV arrives sans Connery on May 22, 2008.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to drown my sorrows in a $15 thing of candy beans.