Disney Takes Full Control of ‘Indiana Jones’ Franchise – What’s Next?

Published 7 months ago by

disney indiana jones 5 reboot Disney Takes Full Control of Indiana Jones Franchise   Whats Next?

When Disney announced its $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm, the Mouse House was quick to announce that it would develop, finance and release Star Wars: Episode VII in theaters by 2015 (that remains the plan). However, when it came to Indiana Jones – that other serial genre throwback IP and financial juggernaut conceived by George Lucas – the studio had to proceed forward with greater caution.

Paramount, at that time, still had partial ownership of the Indy Jones franchise, having distributed the four previous live-action feature installments in theaters. Still, the way that star Harrison Ford has been nonchalantly (wink, wink) making references to a fifth movie in recent months, it has seemed only a matter of time before Disney would make some official announcement – sooner rather than later – that concerns the future of the well-traveled archaeologist with the bullwhip and fedora.

THR is reporting that Disney and Paramount have reached an agreement, where Mickey Mouse’s company assumes full control over all the future Indiana Jones-related projects (movies, TV spinoffs, etc.) while Paramount will receive a slice – make that $lice – of the pie “on any future films that are produced and released,” according to the official joint statement from the studios. So, for every Indiana Jones movie that the Mouse House produces and distributes in theaters, Paramount is guaranteed to make some quick cash.

Frankly, that’s a sweet deal; though, not the first of a highly profitable nature that’s been struck between Disney and Paramount, coming three or so years after their exchanging of rights for Marvel’s The Avengers and Iron Man 3 (the Mouse House probably got the better end of that agreement, all things considered).

Indiana Jones 5 Harrison Ford 570x294 Disney Takes Full Control of Indiana Jones Franchise   Whats Next?

Rumor has it that Disney and Lucasfilm have re-started development on Indiana Jones 5, as part of a deal that assures Ford will return to play an older version of Han Solo in Episode VII in exchange. Basically, in the five years since the fourth movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – which grossed $787 million worldwide despite 19 years passing between installments (and lukewarm critical reactions) – concerned parties like Karen Allen (who plays Indy’s ex-flame-turned wife, Marion) and director Steven Spielberg (helmer on the previous movies) have said the same thing: a fifth installment depends on George Lucas.

Except, of course, it no longer does; Lucas presumably won’t be involved with Indiana Jones 5 beyond a creative consultant level, as is the case with Star Wars: Episode VII. Meanwhile, chances are good that if Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy – who served as Spielberg’s trusted executive producer on all his projects from 1982-2012 – can find a suitable writer to put together a script, then Spielberg and Ford will reunite for one final (?) adventure with Henry Jones (Jr.). And seeing how Kennedy got the likes of Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), followed by Episode VII director J.J. Abrams and writer Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back), to work on the Episode VII script, she ought to have little trouble doing just that.

indiana jones 5 harrison ford Disney Takes Full Control of Indiana Jones Franchise   Whats Next?

But what about when Ford permanently retires his hat and whip (which the 71-year old actor will have to do in the foreseeable future)? Clearly, Disney intends to keep milking this cow for years to come, which could mean a movie reboot down the line, in addition to spinoffs like an animated TV series (similar to Disney XD’s upcoming Star Wars Rebels) and/or a modern attempt at a young Indiana Jones live-action TV show, in the vein of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (which aired from 1992-93).

Do you think the Indiana Jones character should live on, even when the actor who originated the role of the globe-trotting archaeologist finally calls it a day (a la James Bond, Batman, etc.)? Or would you rather the series conclude with a really great version of Indiana Jones 5 – one that makes up for the disappointment of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? (Pick one, since it’s safe to say the series won’t simply be laid to rest hereon out.)

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We’ll keep you posted on all news Indiana Jones-related as it comes our way.

Source: THR

TAGS: Indiana Jones, indiana jones 5

77 Comments

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  1. I guess no one took to Indy’s son, passing the torch and all. ?

  2. I am a little conflicted… In some ways the actor-change thing could work without it being a reboot, just do the same system that Bond movies have had, keeping the continuity but with different actors. In some ways Indy movies have elements that resemble Bond movies, such as beginning in media res, during a previous adventure, etc. If they had a killer script, and truly found someone that could own the role, match the swagger of Ford at his best, then sure it could be great again without him.

    On the other hand… the situation is pretty different…Indiana Jones has been solely Harrison Ford for a long time. It would take something/someone truly amazing to get people to accept the idea of it being a different actor.

    I just hope they don’t go down the ‘passing the torch to my son’ route hinted at in the ending of 4. Just… no.

    • Thats one thing I hate about both DC and Marvel, how they choose uncles or cousins, sons, daughters to take on the name or power, it weak, and lame.

      • No, the movie itself lampshaded that sort of legacy thing. The fedora blew in and it looked like Mutt was going to put it on, symbolically becoming the new Indy. But nope, Harrison Ford snatches it back and keeps it, meaning the true Indy’s here to stay, folks.

        • Well not to stay, but always the original face. More Indiana Jones stories means a new face. Or what we have seen is all there will ever be.

    • Changing actors worked for James Bond, more so for some fans than others, but it might not fit for Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford and his charisma is what helped carry the first three films and even that was not enough for that fourth installment. The whole tone and setting of Indiana Jones films is not like James Bond and the 1940-1950′s settings will not be as much of as draw for fans of younger generations.

      And why do we need to drag another movie character through the decades, aren’t there enough franchises and characters being used and abused for people’s viewing pleasure already ?

  3. wow, psychic that you mentioned the passing the torch thing just as I was writing my last post!

    I am just not a fan of that concept. For me, for it to be the Indiana Jones franchise, it needs to be Indiana Jones. Not necessarily Ford if they can find someone exceptional, but I want it to be the Indy character.

    I just don’t thing Mutt Jones, or whatever, has the same ring to it! (even if they named the dog Indy)

  4. Indiana Jones Jr. and bring on Ford as a Dad just like Sean Connery did about 23 years ago or so

    • +1

    • Except for the fact that Shia LaBeouf doesn’t have the charisma, star power or acting ability of his fictional father. He is best suited to movies like Transformers.

      • This.

        How I longed for Mutt to be killed off in Indy 4. Shia seems to be capable of playing annoying spoiled brats that anger viewers every second they’re on screen and nothing else.

        Mutt was honestly the only thing I hated about Indy 4.

        • +1 they should cameo a new Indian Jones in Agents of Shield, the should totally combine Indy with Marvel….oh the possibilities…..

      • Harrison Ford was never really that good of an actor. l agree with the rest of your points though . l think Shia’s not suitable for the franchise

        • Harrison Ford is an intermittently good actor, but it’s impossible to overstate his charisma, charm and also his believability as a physical actor (even in Indy 4 and Cowboys and Aliens). It’s a certain combination combined with a raw vulnerability and intelligence that I don’t find many other actors have replicated in quite the same way, so it’s hard to pin down an obvious successor to Ford’s utility as a thinking action hero, let alone Indiana Jones which he’s brought so much of his personaility into. There’s more Ford in Indy than there was Connery in Bond, and on top of that the two have been inseparably linked for over 30 years, whereas 007 changes every decade.
          But the biggest missed opportunity was Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams. The name isn’t going to stick like Indiana Jones so that’s not helping the franchise, but the character also isn’t memorable. He’s a pastiche of James Dean and Marlon Brando played by an underrated actor who is nonetheless unconvincing in either of those molds (there’s a reason he was once touted as the next Tom Hanks rather than the next Brando, and he’s certainly never been compared to Ford). Ryan Gosling maybe gets hyped up too much but he’s much more believable to imagine as Indy’s Beat Generation son. Jensen Ackles might have been able to pull it off, or maybe Chris Evans, but Shia was the wrong person for Spielberg to push. He starts as an unconvincing little rebel without a cause and ends up acting like every other incredulous Shia LaBeouf in a blockbuster character.

    • Doesn’t need to be Shia who plays Mutt in the next movie. Give it to Gosling or someone who can actually act and this idea is a winner.

  5. Legend of Prester John. Jones searches for magic mirror (speculum) that can see anywhere on earth and allow to transport anywhere.

  6. indiana jedi 5 : legend of carribean’s marvel vs mickey mouse.. all have possibilities

    • (yawn)…”huh? what? someone talking? Eh…back to sleep.”

  7. I wish they would have just left it alone after the Last Crusade, since they didn’t they should just leave it with Harrison Ford.

  8. I love the old Indy films and the fourth one was just OK. They should just let it rest and stop making these movies until the franchise gets stale. They already pushed its becoming stale with that fourth film, so I think it’s best to just stop now.

    • The fourth one was fine. Sure the swinging through the jungle like Tarzan and the inter-dimensional thing was pushing it, but it was as enjoyable as Temple of Doom. Both were a side distraction to Temple of Doom and Last Crusade. In fact, by the end Kingdom, I forgot how old Harrison Ford was.

      Stopping now is a mistake. Money is to be made with this franchise (for the capitalists), but more importantly the potential to spark new great adventures on the screen exists. How great was the recent James Bond trilogy (with a fourth on the way)? It was great because, it not only involved a really good actor, but its premise involved the story of how James Bond became James Bond. Never been done before. The recent Star Trek movies? Great for the same reasons. The aging of Sean Connery and William Shatner simply could not mean the end of these great stories. Indiana Jones has mass potential yet to be tapped into.

  9. I could do with an animated cartoon series, but Indiana Jones films needed to end with The Last Crusade.

  10. Just make a good Indy game already – the fate of Atlantis was probably one of the best games ever – we need more like that….

  11. I say the best route they can take with this franchise is to find a new actor. I will always love Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, but he is just too old to do the character justice. I say avoid a reboot, just recast Indiana, but set the new movies between Last Crusade and Crystal Skull. Honestly I think someone like Chris Pine or Ryan Reynolds could do this character justice, I would take either of those actors in a heartbeat over Shia LaBEouf. Reynolds would have to lessen the goofiness a little, but Chris Pine fits the mold very well, he already looks like he will be a suitable Jack Ryan.

  12. I miss young Harrison. That man was foxy. I can’t think of a younger actor today who has the same aura. Continue the series, it’s possible to make another great Indy movie, but I have a hard time believing they’ll find another actor to match his charisma.

  13. Get a 5th film with Ford together first before he really does get too old and then worry about the rest later. Indy 5 with all the returning players is basically a license to print money. I’m amazed Paramount was able to be persuaded to give up that kind of market share booster to Disney after losing Dreamworks and Marvel.

  14. A movie reboot would be utter blasphemy on Disney’s part. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a bona-fide classic. I think Disney would be pretty stupid to go down that road. People would be burning effigies of Mickey Mouse in the street. I know I would.

    • Well when people start talking about names like Chris Pine and Ryan Reynolds as potential replacements, I certainly agree with you. Ford is so intrinsically linked with the role, it’s wise to squeeze another blockbuster out of the current cast before trying to do the unthinkable and reboot the film franchise with a younger pretender. There are a number of older actors who have heir apparents, Harrison Ford is not someone with an obvious successor. Disney can get a lot more merchandising leeway out of a 5th film even with a protagonist in his mid 70s – he’ll be surrounded by fantastic action adventure, villains and set pieces if they play things right. “Crystal Skull” had major script problems starting around halfway through, but the ingredients were mostly there (apart from George Lucas needing to get his alien B movie fix out of his system). It’s not impossible to do a great next film unless people really think Harrison Ford is past it. I for one do not, I was amazed at how well he handled the action in the last one. That said, they better take this momentum and run with it, in interviews he’s starting to relish not having to be a lead actor anymore.

  15. If they do a reboot/recast, my vote is for Joe Flanigan (Stargate Atlantis’s Lt. Col. John Sheppard). He’s a rugged hottie like Ford that’ll get the ladies into the theaters, and he’s got the swashbuckle down pat.

    • I love Joe Flanigan, he has my vote too

  16. Disney should not own all these amazing franchises, that is too much gold for one person/entity to own.

    Not to mention, leave Indy be once he wraps up the 5th one. Let those movies stand the test of time as they will, don’t get greedy and end it on a high note.

  17. I would not mind the James Bond approach. That is what Lucas intended for the character originally right?

    Guy Hamilton and Sean Connery gave us “Goldfinger” and the like, but they couldn’t have given us “Skyfall”. I think there will be hits and misses, but ultimately, allowing for creativity will yield some excellent films for this genre.

    James Bond is bigger than Ian Flemming, as Star Wars is to Lucas, and I suspect Indiana Jones may be cut from this same cloth (Though I’m VERY okay will Ford playing the part, and Lucas writing the stories until they decide it’s time to move on).

    • “James Bond is bigger than Ian Flemming, as Star Wars is to Lucas.”

      Very well stated. In the theme of Daniel Craig’s James Bond, I would be very excited to see a story about the evolution of Indiana Jones from archeology student/professor to real world adventurer. Obviously this would need a younger actor. Harrison Ford will always be the idea of Indiana Jones just as Sean Connery will always be the face of James Bond. If we want to see more stories, however, we have to accept that time marches on when it comes to screen portrayals.

  18. Just like Clint Eastwood was Dirty Harry, Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones. I say make a spectacular Indiana Jones 5 and then call it a day!

  19. It’s become common knowledge that Indy was the key to the Star Wars deal. Ford agrees to reprise Han Solo as part of an agreement to do Indy 5. Speilberg drops Robopacalypse & Exodus to focus on Indy 5. JJ Abrahms jumps ship from Paramount to Disney in the middle of the Star Trek franchise, not to mention all the film & tv productions his company, Bad Robot, is working on…so Disney greenlights Indy 5 as compensation. As for 2016 and Fords age, it was always the deal that Indy and a major Star Wars episode would never be released in the same year. It’s too much for Lucasfilm to focus on when quality is your top priority. Since SW7 comes out in 2015 it only makes sense for Indy 5 to come out in 2016. As to Fords age, relax. Movie magic is pretty good these days, not to mention that Ford has dedicated himself to staying in the best possible condition. Working with Sly on Expendables 3 I’m sure he’s picked up a few pointers on how to pull off being a bad ass senior citizen. Can’t wait. Nuff said.

  20. If I had to pick one for the sake of this article, I would say one last awesome film with Ford, then let the franchise live on in video games and an animated series. Obviously, Disney will milk this for all it’s worth, though. And they should. For me, I want two more with Ford to round off an “old” Indy trilogy. After that they can do whatever the hell they want and I wouldn’t care.

  21. I think have Harrison Ford back for 5 with someone to be “trained” by him. The training-aspect would be good fun. Naturally there would need to be a major plot, but training as a sub-plot. Then have that person continue the role with disney.

    • Couldn’t do it. The fourth addition layed out the Mutt angle. A fifth addition that would introduce “someone” would make the fourth pointless. If people want to see more Indiana Jones stories then they have to accept that it means everything is new.

  22. As someone that was 9 when Raiders was released, for me there will only ever be ONE Indy.
    I’m sure that’s the case for many fans, but the truth is, we had our time, and while any new movies just won’t have the same appeal for us, the formula and characters are still rich and well enough established to keep the franchise going for a long time.

    Newer generations of kids will enjoy any new movies (Indy or Star Wars) and will associate more with the new characters and movie style, than the ones we loved when WE were kids. Us fogies can still appreciate and treasure what we knew as Indy..and yes..the kids wont know what they’re missing.

    I’ll still watch any new movies they make and they will be fun I’m sure.
    No reason you cant enjoy the changes and still appreciate the original.

    These characters are a cash cow, smart move Disney…”Fortune and Glory”

  23. I wish that Harrison could stay young for ever and be the only one to play Indy, that being said, of course it’s not realistic. They need to take a step back from Crystal Skull…I didn’t hate Mutt nearly as much as I thought I would, however, I HATED Marion’s comeback…not sure what happened, but Mrs Allen was horrible. As a HUGE Indy fan, what I think they should do is revisit and idea they did during the Indiana Jones Chronicles. Have Harrison be in the movie and narrate a memory (yet make him more involved than the chronicles version), and bring back Sean Patrick Flannery to play the younger (yet now 12 years older) Indy…that is my ideal Indy 5 (oh, and have Patrick Warburton play Indy’s sidekick of some sort, and Gary Oldman and or Christophe Waltz be the villain).

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