Acclaimed director George Lucas has slammed reports Harrison Ford is too old to play his famous character INDIANA JONES in the forthcoming fourth installment.

The Star Wars movie-maker is co-writing the script with Rush Hour creator Jeff Nathanson, titled INDIANA JONES AND THE OPAL OF THE MERMAN PRINCE.

But Lucas has denied 62-year-old Ford was originally rejected from his legendary role because of the ravages of time.

Lucas says, "I'm working on a script now... Hopefully we're going have something done by the autumn, which Steve and Harrison will like, and then we'll move on from there."

The action film - to be directed by OSCAR-winner STEVEN SPIELBERG - is due to be released late next year (06) and will see Ford play the adventurous archeologist for the first time since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989.

12/06/2005 14:06