Dr. Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) is an academic and curator who has known Indiana since he was a child. Marcus was friends with Indiana's father, Henry Sr., and served as something of a surrogate father figure, as Indiana did not get along well with his own father. In the film, Brody makes a deal with government agents that Indiana will recover the Ark of the Covenant and put it in a museum, but the agents put it away in a top secret hiding place (Hangar 51), much to his disappointment. He reappeared in The Last Crusade (1989), aiding Indiana on the search for his father and getting captured by the Nazis. In 1940, Marcus Brody retired as curator of the National Museum and accepted a position as Dean of Students at Marshall College. After he died in 1952, Indy lobbied hard for the bronze statue of Brody featured in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on the Marshall College grounds. The statue of Brody lists his years of service as Dean of Students from 1939 to 1944. Denholm Elliot's death was written into Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with the death of his character.
Spielberg cast Elliott in the role because he was a fan of the actor. His return in Crusade was motivated by the director's desire to have the film hew closer to Raiders. Brody has also appeared in Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, the Marvel Comics Indiana Jones series, aYoung Indiana Jones book and the Bantam novels series.