Waikato-based actor John Rhys-Davies turned down a part in the last Indiana Jones film because he did not want to short-change fans.
Rhys-Davies, who played the famous archaeologist's Egyptian pal Sallah in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), said he would love to play the larger-than-life character again if the part was worth playing.
"I got offered a little cameo in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which involved coming into a green screen room, sitting down on a chair, smiling and applauding," Rhys-Davies, who lives near Te Kauwhata with his family, said.
"They were going to cut that into the wedding sequence but it seemed to me to be short-changing the fans so I said no, but would I love to do one more again."
The actor, well-known for playing Gimli the dwarf in Sir Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, was talking after the recent release of all four Indiana Jones films on high definition Blu-ray disk which included a new behind-the-scenes documentary using archival footage from the location shoot in Tunisia.
Whether Sallah, who rode off into the sunset with Indy in 1989, returns to the franchise is still up for debate.
"It may be that the times have changed for a friend like Sallah," Rhys-Davies laments.
"Does the world really believe we have a loyal, pro-American Arab after 9/11? And what a sad case for the world if we can't believe it any more. Maybe he should come back to reaffirm that and reassert that. There are always all sorts of extra considerations you have to consider.
"I know the writers can do anything."
Rhys-Davies has seen parts of the new box set, but not all.
"It's an astonishingly good rendition. I've particularly been interested in the extra material.
"The thing that comes out of that is the extraordinary way that, right from the word go, Harrison Ford knows exactly what he wants to create."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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