From Our Readers

Indiana Jones Can Be a Girl's Name Too

Dear Hollywood,

We need to talk. I am a pop culture addict. My conversation skills stem from my ability to work movie quotes into any situation. Clearly, I love you guys. However, I do have one teeny-tiny thing to discuss with you: where the heck are all of the female action stars? I love action movies, but they are decidedly dude dominated. For every Ellen Ripley, there are thirty Jason Bournes. So, I, a humble film lover, hereby offer my suggestions for action movies you could reboot to feature some bad ass ladies:

Die Hard
Instead of John McClane, we have Jonnie/Joan/Juanita/Jeanne/Juana/Jen McClane. (There are so many options for names.) Jonnie/Joan/Juanita/Jeanne/Juana/Jen McClane is an NYPD detective and single mom vacationing with her daughter in Disneyland when terrorists seize control of Tomorrowland. (Instead of Alan Rickman as terrorist ringleader Hans Gruber, Diane Kruger stars as Hannah Gruber.)

The terrorists pretend they are punishing The Walt Disney Company because the Disney Vault is a torturous system that prevents people from buying beloved classic cartoons whenever they want (and the terrorists might have a point there). However, their secret goal is really to steal Walt Disney’s cryogenically frozen corpse and ransom it for billions. Jonnie/Joan/Juanita/Jeanne/Juana/Jen McClane secures the safe release of the Tomorrowland hostages and prevents the thawing of Walt Disney’s corpse, all while getting her daughter to the front of the Space Mountain line. (I don’t understand why nobody has made this movie yet.)

I am afraid, though, that my version of Die Hard will start as a legitimate action flick, but then devolve into something completely unrecognizable. Please do not let it become Dye Hard, a tale of the high stakes world of competitive hairdressing. (Confession: It negates what I’m writing, but I would watch the heck out of Dye Hard.)

James Bond
With some exceptions, most women in James Bond’s world die. Falling in love with James Bond is fatal. If you sleep with him, there is a 93% chance you will suffer a violently creative death. (I made that percentage up, but it sounds about right). Sex with James Bond=death. (Why isn’t his picture used in more high school health classes to illustrate the dangers of sex?)

Women typically don’t drive the plots in James Bond films. However, all that will change once we have Jaime Bond. James Bond is intelligent, calculating and sexy, and Jaime Bond is, of course, no different. As hot as Daniel Craig looks in a tuxedo, imagine how good his real-life wife, Rachel Weisz, or fellow British actresses Thandie Newton and Archie Panjabi, would look in a tux. No Bond movie is complete without a Bond Girl, and this reboot features Ryan Gosling as a Bond Boy. In much the same way Bond Girls are there to serve as eye candy, Baby Goose is contractually obligated to appear with his shirt off for the entirety of the movie.

Indiana Jones
Growing up, the Indiana Jones movies were my favorites. (I refuse to acknowledge the abomination that was the fourth Indiana Jones movie. I mean…what fourth Indiana Jones movie? They never made a fourth Indiana Jones movie.) I wanted to be Indiana Jones. I wanted historically-based, international adventures. (I also look really, really good in a fedora.) I can’t possibly be the only woman who felt this way. So, instead of Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr., we need Henrietta “Indiana” Jones, Jr.

Everyone knows the best Indiana Jones film is The Last Crusade. In the updated version, Helen Mirren plays Henrietta Jones, Sr. and reprises the role made famous by Sean Connery. Indy and her mother seek the Holy Grail on a road trip through Europe and North Africa while healing their complicated mother-daughter relationship and battling Nazis.

Hollywood, do you see now how wonderful it would be if you rebooted classic action movies to star women? I suppose I would even be willing to settle for some brand new action movies that feature adventurous, diverse, well-rounded, ass-kicking, brilliant women. In fact, that sounds like an even better idea!

You can read more from Mandi Harris on her blog and follow her on Twitter.

Feature image via.

  • Kati Ber

    PLEASE no remakes!!
    Hollywood needs to stop making remakes… and I don’t want them to ruin Indi with a stupid remake!
    But for new action heroine movies, I am all in! 😀

    • Mandi Harris

      You’re right, Kati. It goes a little bit against what I wrote, but I am totally tired of remakes. I lost my mind when I heard about them wanting to remake Dirty Dancing.

  • Katy Littlejohn

    I think Jane Bond sounds sleeker. Jamie Bond sounds like a kid sister (or brother). Meanwhile, Jane is clearly a name that can kick ass with class (as we saw in Mr. and Mrs. Smith).

    • Mandi Harris

      Jane Bond does sound sleeker. Plus a lot of great ladies in fiction and real life were named Jane: Jane Eyre and Jane Austen come to mind…

  • Annie Hatmaker

    I’ve read several books about women in movies, especially violent women, and find this topic to be fascinating! However, I can only read about Thelma and Louise so many times…it’s time for Hollywood to get their act into gear and make more action movies staring women! If you want to learn from some awesome leading ladies, television is the place to look right now. Kate Beckett, Temperance Brennan, Abby Sciuto, and Ziva David are all intelligent, resourceful, and can definitely hold their own against the boys or the bad guys. And those are just the shows I watch. Times are changing, and we’ll just have to wait and see which new and inspiring woman next takes Hollywood by storm.

  • Lori Wyatt

    I love the idea of India Jones, I have a friend named Indi! I also wanted to be the action hero too. I had a hard time choosing to be Luke Skywalker or Han Solo at recess playtime. How come there are so many great books with strong female action characters and not so much in Film? I think this will get better as time goes on, but it will be a slow evolution.

  • Cassi Baker

    I am all for female action stars, but I am very against them leading any of the film franchises you mentioned. Maybe I am biased over here. Maybe using extremely hot leading men in these movies was just another way to get females to watch them. And I have to agree with the above comment, there may not be a ton of women in movies like this, but they are darn sure taking over television.

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