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Here's How Phoebe Waller-Bridge Could Take Over The Role Of Indiana Jones

Humbly, with an improbably un-smooshed 50-year-old hat in hand, we come to you with a shadow of a rumor. Per a report from The Daily Mail, James Mangold's upcoming fifth entry in the "Indiana Jones" motion picture saga might just see America's favorite obtainer of rare antiquities passing his inexplicably work-appropriate bullwhip to a new generation of archaeological masterminds.

More specifically, the Mail — citing unnamed insiders as their source — claims that when Harrison Ford hangs up his jacket at the end of "Indiana Jones 5," he'll pass the mantle of Doctor Jones to Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The "Fleabag" creator and acclaimed performer has been attached to the project for some time, but this marks the first professional-level scuttlebutt that she might be taking the reins from the archaeology professor voted "Most Likely To Have A Loaded Revolver On Him" by both Marshall and Barnett Colleges on more than one occasion. The Mail quotes one said insider as claiming that the shift to a female Indy will be "a huge statement" coming from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Beyond these broad-strokes, unaccredited claims, no details were available.

And so, let us speculate like gangbusters, constructing a head canon that might or might not explain what might or might not be a plot point in the 2022 sequel. More importantly, let's see how infrequently we can factor Shia LaBeouf into the equation.

Maybe it'll be like Shia LaBeouf

Back in 2008, when you could still buy a soda for a nickel and pay your way through law school with a part-time job shining businessmen's Sunday penny loafers, "Indiana Jones" fans discovered upsetting news. Entirely appallingly, that rascally old archaeologist had unknowingly sired an illegitimate son with Marion Ravenwood. What your bridge-and-tunnel followers of the franchise might not realize, however, is that this wasn't the first time that Indy produced a wee little Indy.

In 1993, "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" introduced viewers to a character whose name, as far as anyone has been able to determine, was "Indy's Daughter." She was introduced in the story "Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues" during a bookend segment where she catered to the whims of an elderly Dr. Henry Jones Jr., who at this point was sporting an eyepatch and a cane and going on about the good old days when you could still pick up a child sidekick in Shanghai, smack him around while under the sway of a Thuggee mind control ritual, and then abandon him when he started to get boring.

Could Waller-Bridge be playing the daughter whose ear was constantly getting bent by Old Indy? The timing would be right about right — Harrison Ford is now four years older than George Hall was when he played Old Indy on the series. Maybe the next movie will see the return of a largely forgotten character, now with more star power and every finger crossed in the hope that audiences will be on board for "Indiana Jones: The Next Generation." It's not like James Mangold hasn't played that card before.

There are other ways that Phoebe Waller-Bridge could take over as Indiana Jones

As we may have mentioned, there's still zero evidence backing up the idea that Waller Bridge will be taking over the part of Indiana Jones, so we might as well take our theories and get weird with them.

Maybe Indiana Jones, now almost 80, is a Time Lord who regenerates into Phoebe Waller-Bridge after falling down the stairs or suffering a heart attack upon walking into his lecture hall in the 1960s to see boys with long hair for the first time.

Maybe Indiana Jones experiences unforeseeable side effects decades after his run-in with the unknowable psychic forces of the Crystal Skull, causing his consciousness to hop into the body of actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge, or more likely, a character that looks very much like her.

Maybe Indiana Jones has to go deep cover to infiltrate whatever sort of skullduggery is afoot in "Indiana Jones 5." Maybe the CIA gives him "Face/Off" surgery and makes him look like Phoebe Waller-Bridge and he likes it so much that he decides to stick with it.

Maybe Phoebe Waller-Bridge's character doesn't actually have anything to do with Indiana Jones, but Indiana Jones passes her on the street one day while he happens to be mentioning that he arbitrarily started making his friends start calling him his dog's name and she thinks "Man, that sounds like a pretty cool thing to do," so she also forces a nickname for herself onto her social circle, taking up the name "Indiana Jones" while not going on any adventures of her own at all.

It's probably the daughter thing, though. "Indiana Jones 5" is scheduled to hit theaters on July 28, 2022.