Would Raiders have been Raiders without Harrison Ford? I kinda think it wouldn't have. In 1981 when the film was originally released both Ford and Tom Selleck were relatively 'new' stars. Both had done a variety of projects but Ford was really known for Star Wars and Selleck for Magnum PI, which had premiered the year before.
Obviously Star Wars and Magnum PI appealed to very different audiences and while Selleck's series was successful Star Wars was the Beatlemania of the era. Ford had appeared in the Empire Strikes Back the year before Raiders was released and it was almost, sort-of as if Han Solo was appearing without his Wookie in a film set on Earth.
Everyone knew that it was a different character, and Indiana Jones went on to be a legend in his own right but in 1981 any association with Star Wars was box office gold. Selleck is a good actor and in many ways was 'right' for role but I think if he had been cast over Ford that the movie might be remembered in much the same way as Romancing the Stone is, rather than going on to become a mega-franchise in its own right.
Here, via Geeks are Sexy, is Selleck's screen test for Raiders, with Sean Young as Marion Ravenwood.
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