According to an official press release, John Hurt has joined the cast of Indiana Jones 4, while at the same time Sean Connery has officially turned down an offer to reprise the role of Indy's father. There's no word on who Hurt will be playing, but I imagine he'll most likely take on the role of villain or "guy you think is good until you discover at the very end that he's been playing for the other team all along." Either that, or we're looking at Indy's new father (even though Hurt is only two years older than Ford; I'm sure they can age him up if need be). Hurt joins Cate Blanchett, Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Ray Winstone (and Karen Allen?) in the currently untitled film, which will be directed by none other than Steven Spielberg.
As far as Connery goes, here's his full statement: "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!"
Now, I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be surprised if those involved had a few tricks up their sleeves regarding Connery. I'm not saying this statement from him is just a way to throw us off course so that we're utterly shell-shocked when he briefly appears on screen -- or wait, maybe that is what I'm saying. Regardless, however, chances are that Connery is not returning. It stings, it sucks and it stinks, but life will go on. You'll notice that Karen Allen's name still wasn't mentioned even though it's been reported that she's involved and playing Shia's mother. The film begins production this week, and apparently will be making a pit stop in San Diego for Comic-Con at the end of July -- hopefully to provide some much-needed answers (give us a damn title!) to those most talked-about questions. In case you're interested, I've included the full press release after the jump.