How To Save The Next ‘Indiana Jones’ Movie

Published 6 years ago by

harrison indiana jones How To Save The Next Indiana Jones Movie

The holiday season is upon us once again. And in the time-honored tradition of making a wishlist of what we hope to receive, I thought I would present something from my personal list for 2009:

A fifth Indiana Jones movie.

Now don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t expect to receive one in 2009. What I am hoping for is the official announcement that one is in progress; that the contracts have been signed, and pre-production is well under way.

I know that some of my colleagues here at Screen Rant have weighed in on their opinion regarding a fifth Indy movie. Harrison Ford, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times, stated that George Lucas was working on an idea that was “crazy but great.”

As unhappy as many people were with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I was happy they managed to get the band back together again. The movie felt like a sound-check, a warm up jam session in preparation of the concert to come. It is my opinion that if Steven Spielberg, Lucas and Ford truly listen to the criticism regarding the last film, they have the ability to win back the fans of the franchise, and maybe even end the series on a high note. Is this likely? George Lucas certainly doesn’t have a history of caring what the fans of his films think.

Granted, while another film seems to be a sure thing, it still took seventeen years before we got our fourth Indy movie. One of the reasons for this is the MacGuffin, or object of Indy’ quest. Lucas has stated in the past that Indiana Jones’ greatest obstacle is finding a MacGuffin that he, Ford, and Steven Spielberg can all agree on. The two greatest, most memorable quests have been for the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. But for many fans, it is not the Grail nor the Ark that are so fantastic, but the story that surrounds them. They are mere plot devices for the adventures of Indiana Jones.

indy crystal skull How To Save The Next Indiana Jones Movie

What I am basically saying is: Don’t stress too much about the object of the adventure… just focus more on the characters and the action. Everyone knows that Indy will find what he is seeking – it’s how he achieves his goal that keeps us entertained.

To that end, one thing I’d like to see less of in the fifth movie is exposition. The last film featured more expository dialogue than any of the previous films. This slowed the pacing down noticeably at several points in the movie. While exposition is necessary in any film to get some points across, just tone it down a bit next time, please.

In regards to the characters, it should remain an Indiana Jones adventure, NOT a Mutt Williams picture featuring guest star Indiana Jones. If Lucas and company want to feature Mutt, I might be up for it in the future, but only after Indy has received a proper send-off. Personally, I enjoyed the character growth of Indy as a father, with the parallels drawn between the relationships of Henry Sr. and Indy with those between Indy and Mutt. In this context, Mutt as a character worked for me. What drew the ill-will for Mutt from so many was the way he took too much focus off of Indy.  Henry Sr. was more of a foil for Indy, whereas Mutt seemed groomed as more of a successor.

shia lebouf indy 4 How To Save The Next Indiana Jones Movie

Who would I like to see in a fifth movie? Aside from Indy, Mutt would be welcomed if he doesn’t take too much focus off of Indy. I would love to see Henry Sr. , but it would seem Sean Connery won’t be coming out of retirement any time soon. The two characters I’d really love to see are Marion and Sallah. Marion was such a pleasure to see in Crystal Skull, but she should have been given more. I’d like to see her utilized further in the fifth movie. Sallah, on the other hand, was greatly missed this last time around. I would love to see John Rhys-Davies return in the fifth Indiana Jones movie, and preferably as more than just a cameo.

karen allen indy 4 How To Save The Next Indiana Jones Movie

Finally, in regards to the action in the fifth Indy movie, obviously I want to see more. Just keep it as close to plausible as possible.  Keeping the CGI to a minimum would help in this case. Mutt swinging through the trees was so implausible that it took me out of the movie experience. And please, return to the super-natural tones of the first three films. The aliens, inter-dimensional beings or whatever they were just didn’t feel like a good fit for the Indiana Jones series.

Eventually, the Indiana Jones series featuring Harrison Ford will come to an end. My wish is for everyone involved to end it on the highest note possible.  Crystal Skull featured many things I enjoyed, but I still feel there is at least one more great adventure awaiting us.  With Harrison Ford in his mid-sixties we can’t wait another seventeen years for the next sequel.

indiana jones How To Save The Next Indiana Jones Movie

So my wish is that before the end of 2009, we get the official confirmation that at least one more Indiana Jones film will arrive within the next three years.

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  1. @790

    I agree with a lot of what you’ve said, but I do have a question for you. What part of Raiders of the Lost Ark do you consider as Jumping The Shark??

    Also, let us all never forget that one of the greatest aspects of *every* Indy movie is John Williams’ music! He could probably score a bowel movement scene with excitement and tension :) Speaking of which, whomever does a YouTube mashup of the bathroom scene from Dumb & Dumber set to Raiders music will forever be my best friend!

  2. This is what I should have typed:
    “You have to take into account that all the Indy films (after Raiders) jump the shark at least once…. :-)

  3. What I liked about 4th Indy was the fact he actually mentioned something that happened in the Young Indy Chronicles. I would like him to loose an eye.

  4. I think that one of Indy’s first PC game adventures was about the Lost City of Atlantis but I’m not 100% about that. Those games were really fun. I’m too old to play the new stuff – I get motion sickness from all the moving around. How lame is that?

  5. I never saw I4 but I guess I will just to see how it turned out.

  6. prtfvr,

    Aliens are really overused in pop culture right now, and trying to explain (and show) “Indy’s” aliens over and over again was just a bad idea. I really just loved the mystery in the first three movies. They were simply devices with little more than superstitious reasoning’s behind their workings.

    Now I feel like the Aliens have to come back in the next movie to invade, or help Indy find out that Henry Sr. is still being held captive by the North Korean commies.

  7. Or better yet, do something modern and politically correct by having North American corporate CEO’s holding him for their own perverted purposes.

  8. A fifth Indy film probably won’t happen. Well not with the Big 3 anyway. Lucas already officially screwed up the Indy franchise forever. Whatever he does now will only get worse. I can’t imagine getting worse then Indy 4. I said the same thing to Episode 1 of Star Wars. Boy was I wrong. Episode 2 was even worse. There will NEVER be another good Indy film ever. Quit dreaming about a fifth one. Indy’s time was up in ’89. As for Harriosn Ford. 10 years ago he would of spit in Lucas face about the screenplay of Indy 4 and said NO WAY. Now the guy is 66 and he’s desperate to do anything. I mean anything. As for Speilberg I really have a hard time believing he would come back and direct a fifth film. He knows Indy was over in the 80′s, but wanted to make one last one. He’s got bigger projects on the plate then another pathetic Indy sequel. If they do make another one, don’t be surprised to see one of the Big 3 sitting it out.

  9. Drink a few beers and then watch Indy 4,,,

    Its better that way,,, ;-)

    Indy 4 was a great popcorn flick!

  10. Hi George.

    The odds of Harrison Ford needing to do anything “desperately”? I seriously doubt it. If he’s desperate, it sure ain’t for the money.

  11. TWO COMMENTS: 1) Sallah! (JRD), and 2) Noah’s ArK!

  12. I love Indy I wish they make as many as George Lucas can think up. I just watched the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and I loved it. I want more Indiana Jones!

  13. Once Lucas and Spielberg hit 50 they lost their imaginations for the fun stuff. Spielberg still makes great movies but they’re not usually fun but meaningful. Except for a a few, I just see a mid-life lack of fun.

    And Lucas, he’s lost his touch (judging by the recent Star Wars Redux). The second trilogy he cast a cute kid who’d never acted before and boy did it show. He used to be fun with a side order of seriousness and meaningful moments. Now it feels forced.

    I don’t think the last Indy was horrible. I just think the Wonder Twin Powers weren’t used to doing light hearted movies anymore. If they do another one, I’ll go see it even if it sucks because I’m a dedicated Indy fan. But hopefully they’ll both get they’re crap together and remember how to write Indy.

    And no, I don’t want it to be “Indiana Jones – The Next Generation starring Shia Lebeof”. I like the kid but I don’t go to see Indy movies to see where this saga is turning. And during the last movie, much was made of Indy’s age, and they didn’t make everything as easy for him as it used to be. I really liked that.

    So if they do another one and it sucks, lets pretend it never happened. That’s what I did with Lucas’ Star Wars prequels. Never happened.

  14. I agree about keeping CGI to a minimum. That was probably my biggest fault with the 4th film was that the special effects went overboard. It takes away from the realism. I would personally like to see two more Indy movies and have the series ultimately end with a proper send-off for one of the greatest action heroes of our time. And absolutely, Mutt Williams should not take the spotlight from Indy in these films. I know Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford can pull this off, as long as they listen to fan’s criticism(because most of us are criticizing the same elements of the 4th film), then this series could end on the right note. When I was a kid I used to cry at the end of the 3rd movie, I’m not sure why, but i want a series finally that will having me bawling my eyes out; not because it’s sad, nor because it’s happy, but because it’s the perfect combination of the two.