Amy Ryan
April 13, 2007 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Less than a month ago, Shia LaBeouf was denying, to PopWatch and anyone else who would listen, that the reports of him being cast in Indiana Jones IV were anything more than rumors. Now, however, the Disturbia star’s casting is a done deal, and as much as I think LaBeouf is a funny and inventive young performer, I’m on the fence as to whether his casting is a good idea.

On the minus side: Do we really need to see Indy distracted from his adventures by some midlife father-son drama, the playing out of some abandonment issues that will read like an allegory of the midlife crisis of a busy Hollywood power player? Been there, done that, in both Last Crusade and Temple of Doom (pictured). Or, if LaBeouf isn’t playing Indy’s son, but perhaps some impostor who claims to be the whipcracker’s offspring in order to scam him into an adventure, would that really be any better? Either way, there’s something artificial about using these old warhorse/young hipster-geek pairings to prop up long-dormant action franchises, which is why I have similar apprehensions about Bruce Willis and Justin Long in Live Free or Die Hard. If Adam Brody pops up as a junior freedom fighter in Stallone’s fourth Rambo, run for the hills.

On the plus side: Kid’s got talent, Cate Blanchett and Ray Winstone are also going to be on hand to step up everyone’s game, the franchise could certainly use some youthful energy, and Spielberg can usually be trusted to know what he’s doing. And if Shia gets out of line, Ford’ll make him feel the sting of the lash.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Does LaBeouf’s casting make you more or less eager to see Indy don his fedora one more time?

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