Excerpt From Business Insider
Franchise Kings: #3 Harrison Ford
For an actor with 6 decades of acting under his belt, starring in some of the most recognisable films ever made and with 5 of those films being the top 30 largest grossing films of all time, it's funny to think how Harrison Ford once quit acting and become a carpenter instead.
The first of Ford's franchises is one of the biggest franchises in movie history and along with its new delivery of the science-fantasy genre, Harrison and much of the cast of Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), did something that reminds me of a specific Harrison Ford quote: "Starring in a science-fiction film doesn't mean you have to act science fiction". It may be personal opinion, but I consider this sentiment as one of the reasons that the original trilogy has an enduring quality, even amongst people that don't normally like the genre. That beyond space, the battle stations, the aliens and all the other oddities, ultimately what you have in Star Wars are a bunch of people with a dynamic that could be your friends and family. They didn't always get on with each other and heroes or not, they all had their own motivations for why they were doing what they were doing. The discordant camaraderie that existed within the original gang of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, the droids, Obi Wan Kenobi and of course Harrison's Han Solo has not been replicated to any satisfactory degree in later efforts, which is why the much revered nostalgia of the past has not been successfully replicated. Ford's portrayal of Han Solo as the roguish scoundrel out for nothing but money and glory, was instantly likeable because underneath all that bravado he was a man who turned out to be a layered hero with a heart. A New Hope was followed by two sequels in the forms of The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return Of The Jedi (1983) cementing every actor's portrayal of their character in movie mythology forever. Altogether, Harrison appeared in four instalments of the space opera. Star Wars: A New Hope grossed $775,398,007 and was only made for $11,000,000. The Empire Strikes Back which surprisingly took a dip in profits made $538,375,067 and then to complete the trilogy Return Of The Jedi went onto make $475,106,177. 32 Years later, Harrison reprised his the role for what became the third biggest grossing film in motion picture history circa 2015 - The Force Awakens, which earned a whopping $2,068,223,624.
Whereas Harrison began to take a dislike to playing Han Solo and even wanted him to die at the end of Return Of The Jedi, he has always had much love for his next iconic character role, that appeared in the form of Henry Jones Jr. a.k.a. Indiana Jones. Debuting right after The Empire Strikes Back's release, cinema audiences were introduced to the adventurer and archaeologist in biblically inspired Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981). With the Indiana character there was an immediate interesting duality, as in one moment he was busy punching Nazis in the face whilst riding galloping horses in pursuit of preserving all of mankind, then in the next, he was calmly situated in a classroom being the passionate, but wholly academic teacher-nerd, whos biggest worry was fending off infatuated school girls. Raiders Of The Lost Ark's budget was $18,000,000 and grossed $389,925,971 and subsequent sequels, which would all include 'Indiana Jones' in the title maintained the high quality...well the next 2 instalments did, but the verdict is still out on the 4th outing. Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom (1984) made $333,107,271 and Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (1989) made $474,171,806. By 2008, the year that Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skulls was released, the Indiana Jones franchise had its brand firmly established over multiple generations and though it was the poorest artistically, it is to no one's surprise that it went on to gross $786,636,033.
Released after Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Blade Runner (1982) was a big departure from the pace, commotion and noise of the other fantasy films Harrison had been involved with. Playing Deckard, an ex-cop who now hunts down renegade, bioengineered humanoids known as 'replicants' in order to 'retire' them, on paper it sounded like it could have been yet another action packed vehicle, but Blade Runner was the complete opposite. A noir flick reminiscent of a 40s drama, but with 80s aesthetics, the movie earned the nickname "Blade Crawler" because of its slower than slow pace and though Blade Runner went gone on to become a revered cult classic the movie instantly split audiences in their opinion. Some might say that it enters the same rhetorical battle-arena as Marmite, either you love it or you hate it and you have plenty of reasons for whatever your position is. The sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017) came along 35 years after the original and has been described as one of the most expensive arthouse films in history and whereas its predecessor was made for $28,000,000 and made $32,868,943, Blade Runner 2049 was made for $150,000,000 and was saved by it's international audience, eventually making $259,239,658. Its domestic gross was only $92,054,159, showing that Deckard is certainly iconic, but perhaps not loved.
After the cinematic introduction and success of Jack Ryan in The Hunt For Red October (1990), it has only just been revealed by the then Jack Ryan - Alec Baldwin, why he didn't appear in the subsequent sequels.
"According to Baldwin, director John McTiernan asked Harrison Ford if he was aware that Paramount was still negotiating with Baldwin to return as Jack Ryan in the sequel. Ford's reply, according to John, was 'F--k him," Baldwin wrote."
Excerpt From Business Insider
As it stands, Harrison Ford is the only actor within the Jack Ryan franchise to make more than one silver screen appearance, first in Patriot Games (1992) followed 2 years later in Clear And Present Danger (1994). Following Ford's departure Ben Affleck took up the role of a younger Ryan in Sum Of All Fears (2002) and Chris Pine became the Shadow Recruit in 2014. In the Ford productions, against its $45,000,000 budget Patriot Games grossed $178,051,587 and Clear And Present Danger against its $62,000,000 production costs earned $215,887,717.
LEGACY: Other than starring in some of the biggest movies in history, whilst playing 2 of the most iconic figures on the silver screen, Harrison has also cultivated an appreciation for his stunt work too. He casually fobbs it off with "I don't do stunts - I do running, jumping and falling down. After 25 years I know exactly what I'm doing." Yet former Harrison Ford stunt double and veteran stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong has cited that his biggest challenge on set, was to stop Harrison from doing the truly risky stuff, going as far as to guilt tripping Ford by saying that if he (Vic Armstrong) didn't do the stunts, he wouldn't get paid! Harrison has cemented his place in cinema history, but he hasn't finished yet, as one more outing of Indiana Jones is currently in production.
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