Harrison Ford Turned Down Iconic 1984 Movie To Star in Steven Spielberg’s Most Hated Film of All Time

Harrison Ford rejected the iconic 1980s cop character Axel Foley to feature in a movie dreaded by Steven Spielberg.

Harrison Ford Turned Down Iconic 1984 Movie To Star in Steven Spielberg’s Most Hated Film of All Time


  • His commitment to the Indy genre led Harrison Ford to pass on an iconic role in Beverly Hills Cop.
  • Ford was considered for the role of Axel Foley, which eventually went to Eddie Murphy.
  • Harrison Ford instead starred is Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which the director said was his least favored film from the series.
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Harrison Ford probably felt a strong sense of duty towards Indiana Jones, which made it impossible for him to turn down the second film, Temple of Doom. This is despite the fact that the movie eventually became Steven Spielberg’s most hated work of all time. However, this commitment to Indy led him to pass on another iconic role in Beverly Hills Cop. Here’s what happened behind the lens.

Harrison Ford Indiana Jones 5
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones

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Harrison Ford Turned Down Beverly Hills Cop

Before Eddie Murphy stepped into the iconic role of Foley in the 1984 classic, Beverly Hills Cop, the casting carousel spun with various big names in consideration. Among the contenders, Sylvester Stallone was initially in the frame before the baton passed to Murphy. However, the tale of potential Foleys doesn’t end there.


Surprisingly, Harrison Ford’s name also was in the mix, adding yet another high-profile contender to the roster. The list of almost-Foley actors consisted of Hollywood who’s who, spanning from Al Pacino to James Caan, this shows how big of a search it was to find the perfect fit before Murphy ultimately brought Axel Foley to life.

Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

This revelation sparks a whirlwind of imagination, unraveling a Pandora’s box filled with intriguing ‘what if’ scenarios. Of course, there’s no doubt that Harrison Ford would have definitely brought his own essence to the film.

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Harrison Ford Instead Starred in Steven Spielberg’s One of the Most Hated Indiana Jones Sequel

Steven Spielberg openly admitted that he prefers Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull over Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, any day. The director deemed The Temple of Doom as his least favored adventure in the Indiana Jones series.

A still from Temple of Doom
A still from Temple of Doom

Spielberg also once revealed the reason behind his discomfort with respect to the second film. His main problem with the film was its darker themes, which he believed even surpassed the level of darkness seen in his own classic haunted house movie, Poltergeist. According to Spielberg, the occult elements and themes of demon worship in Temple of Doom outdid the horror elements so much so that it was plain and simply bad, in his eyes.

Also Read: “Is it a Death Star again?”: James Mangold’s Real Reason for Indiana Jones 5 Ending to Outshine Steven Spielberg’s Franchise, Revealed


Written by Sampurna Banerjee

Articles Published: 938

Sampurna Banerjee, an ardent enthusiast of pop culture and movies, pours her passion into her role as a writer for FandomWire. With a penchant for Marvel, DC, and sitcoms, she has contributed over 400 articles, staying up-to-date to the entertainment industry's latest buzz. Moreover, she's penned over 300 articles for Animated Times and shared her work across several Instagram pages. Currently she is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Calcutta University.