Sallah, aka John Rhys-Davies, will return in Indiana Jones 5, and that’s great news for the movie! We explain why.
Unveiled on September 10 during D23, the Indiana Jones 5 trailer confirmed the return of Sallah, a character much loved by fans!
Present in Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, this friendly, jovial and cheeky Egyptian was an unfailing ally for Indy, saving him several times.
Subsequently, Sallah did not appear in The Temple of Doom or in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, John Rhys-Davies having refused a cameo at the end of this 4th episode.
“I declined, because it felt like it would be a bit of a betrayal of audience expectations. Sallah is a popular character, there is a greatness of soul in him that we all love and admire”explained the actor in the columns of Digital Spy in 2016.
WHY IS SALLAH’S RETURN GREAT NEWS?
This time, John Rhys-Davies did not hesitate! He accepted director James Mangold’s proposal, again donning the character’s emblematic Fez for this 5th opus. We can therefore deduce that his role will be more substantial and important, which must have convinced the 78-year-old actor.
“I miss the desert, I miss the sea, and I miss waking up every morning wondering what kind of adventure the new day will bring us”, can we hear on the first images of the 5th episode shown at the D23. These words come from the mouth of Sallah, which did not fail to excite many spectators present.
If James Mangold, experienced director of Logan, Walk The Line, Copland or Le Mans 66, decided to call on this character, it is not out of pure nostalgia, but with the idea of making him a central element. of story. And it is precisely for this reason that John Rhys-Davies agreed to return.
Plus, Harrison Ford’s tears on the D23 stage, evoking a fantastic 5th film, filled with adventure, mystery and heart, speaks volumes about his involvement for his latest Indy costume boost. .
WITHOUT SALLAH, NOTHING WILL GO!
Moreover, the two feature films in which Sallah does not appear, The Temple of Doom and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, are the two most controversial opuses of the Indiana Jones saga. The first is almost denied by Spielberg, who has always found it too dark. The gloomy atmosphere of this episode baffled fans, although it was still highly regarded.
As for the second, it is often cited as being the worst part of the franchise, aficionados not recovering from the outrageous use of digital effects, the plot revolving around extraterrestrials, nor the sequence of the nuclear explosion. with Indy in a fridge.
To summarize, the two best Indiana Jones have the distinction of being those where Sallah is present, playing an important role. We can therefore afford to have high hopes for the 5th part.
INDY AND SALLAH, AN ICONIC DUO
Why does the Indiana Jones / Sallah tandem work so well? The characters are two facets of the same coin, both very different and very close. The first is a fiery explorer, of a taciturn and solitary nature, not really turned towards the spiritual.
As for the second, he has a jovial and playful personality, very sociable, with patter. Also, while Indy is unattached, Sallah has a large family that he can rely on. Reliable, generous and believing, he has a great sense of justice.
It is partly thanks to these values that he dares to put himself and his family in danger by helping Indy against the Nazis. He is aware that if the archaeologist fails in his quests, the consequences on the world will be terrible.
If the two men get along so well, it’s because they envy and admire each other. For the Egyptian, Dr. Jones represents a facet of his life that he would have liked to embrace, like going on an adventure overnight without having to worry about the rest. Indy, meanwhile, projects himself with melancholy into the life of his friend, surrounded by his wife, Fayah, and his 9 children.
This life, he could only touch it with Marion, whom he will abandon to better find her 30 years later. But too late to found a real united family. Indy’s impulsive, sometimes rude and brash side is balanced by Sallah’s cheerful, friendly and lovable personality. The balance between the two is subtle and allows viewers to identify with each other in order to fully experience their adventures during the film.
INDY’S LUCKY DRAGON
The return of this character, lucky charm of the Indiana Jones saga, is therefore excellent news! The actor has long pleaded for a return of Sallah, provided that this comeback has a real importance.
“Of course I would like to do another one, he’s a great character! But I would like him to do something meaningful. Perhaps the real tragedy of our time is that there is no place now in Western popular culture for a positive Arab character; this is my perception of the public, not a value judgment”he lamented in 2016 with our colleagues from DigitalSpy.
Very attached to the character, the Briton imagined a heroic destiny for him as a protector of artefacts and antiquities:
“I like to think he would have been someone like Khaled al-Asaad, this wonderful 80-year-old man who defended his museum in Palmyra and hid his major treasures. He refused to hand them over to Daesh and was beheaded in public. I think that’s probably how I would have seen Sallah”he specified.
Did James Mangold grant John Rhys-Davies’ wish of making Sallah a protector of artifacts? Answer on June 28, 2023 at the cinema.