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.

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Watching Indy 5 for the first time on DVD, I came in with really low expectations. I was actually fairly impressed for the first half, had no idea the crystal skulls had anything to do with aliens, and was actually surprised with Mutt being Indy’s son.

    About midway, somewhere near the over explanation of the aliens and the swinging in the trees (which immediately proceeded with flying Ewoks, hokey sword fights, and a terrible CG ant battle), it lost me.

    What I thought really killed the movie at the end was the total lack of mystery. Everything is revealed, and they didn’t even allow us the courtesy of *NOT SEEING THE CG ALIENS*. They never went into lengthy details at the end of “The Temple of Doom” about the stones Indy went to fetch. The Indian guy simply says, “Now you understand its power”.

    Oh, and of course, the evil capitalist just HAS to die in the last few minutes.

  2. You have to take into account that all Indy Films jump the shark at least once during the course…
    While I had some probs with I4, it was better than watching High School Musical 8,,,

    I’ve learned to deal with it and use the power of the ff button on my dvd remote…

    Good points Brian but Lucas aint gonna change his Jar Jar Binks movie making logic… Yes its only getting worse as he gets older…

    Damn Mad Cow disease. ;-)

  3. I’ll be up for another ride as long as there is some sort of oversight committee for George Lucas to keep him and his lust for CG to a minimum.

  4. I’m sorry but Lucas needs to just recuse himself to ILM and spend the rest of his life enjoying himself playing with his CGI rendering programs.

    As a filmmaker, he’s done.


  5. Oversite committee,,,, lol

    There will be one however they will be secretly controled through a Skywalker Ranch,,, :-O

  6. I bet Speilberg would secretly love to ditch Lucas but he can’t ,,,

  7. No more CGI whip action, please.

    I agree, if they do another one, more action, less talk. It just usually makes for a better film if you can show something as opposed to talking about it.

    Less is often more. Only show us just enough to keep us involved and leave some mystery for us to wonder over.

    Nuking the fridge didn’t bother me. The aliens didn’t bother me. The fact that they took a bunch of great elements, chock full of potential, and wasted most of them, that was the biggest disappointment. The fact is there were scenes that appeared to be written around a desire to show off a particular adventure movie trope (giant ant scene) rather than writing a story and letting that tell you which trope to use.

    If you’re going to include former cast members like Marion Ravenwood, make sure they have a real reason to be involved. Fan interest is not a real reason, as much as I’ve always thought Marion was the best of Indy’s relationships.

    Lastly, don’t let the villain lose focus. Spalko said “we will make you like us from the inside out”. That’s freakin’ scary doo-doo right there. EXPLOIT A GREAT VILLAIN – don’t rob them of what makes them scary. By the end of the film, all Spalko seemingly wanted was to “know lotsa stuff”, which isn’t nearly as frightening as losing free will via mind control. She could have been one of the most frightening of Indy’s foes, but alas.

    The first Indy film still is the only one that hit every note pitch perfect. The second and third were both admirable sequels, if not quite at that level. This one was an extreme drop off in quality of film-making. They’re really going to have to do a lot of soul searching if they’re going to make another one in earnest.

  8. Biggest prob I had with Indy 4 was the, “Squeeze the Rubber Snake if you want to Live”,,,

    That part was the low point in Indy franchise history…
    Ed Wood laughs at that scene…

  9. Sorry, you’ll never see Henry Jones Sr.

    He’s dead.

  10. I’ve had an Indiana Joes movie title buzzing around in my head since just after the second (and dissapointing, IMHO…)installment of the franchise. It seems like a natural to me, and would send Indy into one of the most legendary of settings, a great way to send his fans away with a smile. What would you guys think of:


  11. OOPS!!! Sorry all die-hards for the mis spelling of Jones…Indians Joes? Sheesh! my total bad…

  12. I loved the new indy movie. I just couldn’t stand his son’s name; Mutt. Could’nt they have come up with a better more original name?

  13. And nowhereman, by second installment, do you mean the newest one which is actually the 4th installment? Or the actual second one Temple of Doom?

  14. The first half was much better than the second. I pretty much liked it until they got to the jungle, then it just got a bit crap, partly because of the overuse of bad CGI. The green screen swordfight looked awful, the rendered alien was completely unnecessary and if you can’t think of anything better than unrealistic CG ants to replace the snakes/bugs/rats, just don’t bother!

    I agree it felt more like a warmup, so hopefully if they do make another one they’ll learn from the mistakes they made here.

  15. The only way to save this movie is to NOT make it in the first place.
    Don’t make a movie just for the money. Look at what Lucas ruined with the newest Star Wars films – complete trash.

  16. Yeah this is pretty much how I feel about Indy 4:

    They’re right, we did nothing and let them rape him…

  17. The only way to save the next Indiana Jones movie is to put George Lucas in a straight jacket,lock him in a padded cell with a helmet on his head and force him to watch the Star Wars prequels over and over,until he wishes Jar Jar Binks was dead!Then and only then would we get a great Indy movie,not just a crazy Indy movie.

  18. I don’t know if that’s a good idea Cleantalkingchimp, he might decide that Jar Jar should have been in all the films and decide to re-edited him (Digitally) into the trilogy.

    Your gravatar is sick yet hilarious…

  19. Your right 790,it just might give him more insane ideas and who knows he might enjoy it too.

    Sick and hilarious is what my last girl friend said about me.:p

  20. the only thing i enjoyed about I4 was seeing the old gang together. that being said, if they do decide to make a 5th, i’m not sure how great it’d be to see marion or mutt. marion has this perfect place in my mind from the original and even her on I4 betrayed that place. mutt was just stupid, which says a lot about an indy movie with cgi aliens.

  21. I of course, have acouple thoughts on this subject.
    What I4 lacked, was substance to the the story. The first half started out with some real potential, and kept me engaged in the film. However from the Jungle onward, it felt that the substance was dimished or forgotten and they moved on to a CG crapfest. They deviated from what meade the orginal triolgy great, which was awesome stunt and camera work wrapped up in a great story, that made you forget all about the Macguffin. To save Indy 5, ditch the CGI,focus less on the Macguffin (which i think they focused on the Mcguffin in I4). And finally, what ruined I4 for me was the wedding at the end. If they do make I5, Indy will ave to bring the whole family along, which if i want to see afamily of archialogists running aroung the globe, I’ll watch “The Mummy” franchise. Its already done.I really wished that they could have saved the wedding for another film in the Indy series, thus allowing a proper, more fasionable send of for the Indy charactor.
    However these are just my two cents. They really should avoid I5 like the plague.

  22. George Lucas should be forced to understand when to say NO

  23. i hate to post this here, but i cant find a user setup. how do i post an avatar? i set one up with gravatar, but i cant figure out where to implement it on the site.

  24. I liked the latest Indy film and it was loads better than the Temple of Doom. I agree with everything in the article and I hope they do soon have a plan or a good story so we can send Indy off in style. It was nice to see Sylvester Stallone send off Rocky in the best possibe way and it will be nice for Harrison Ford to leave the franchice he is most famous for with the fans and himself happy with the product.

  25. @Stritch

    You have to post your comments here using the same email address you used to register at and it should automatically appear shortly.


  26. I actually liked I4. It wasn’t a work of art but it was great to see Harrison Ford in that Fedora again and wielding the whip. He said that he had to practice how to use it all over again – 17 years and all that. And how about him wearing the original costume from the series because it still fit? I don’t have one thing from 17 years ago that I can still wear. But I digress about the superficial stuff.

    What’s the big fricking deal about it being aliens? Is god from earth? The Temple of Doom stones not supernatural enough for you? The Holy Grail an every day cup that just magically keeps the guardian alive FOREVER? That’s all alien stuff to me.

    I just think all the CGI messed it up. Indy doesn’t need that crap. It makes everything so fake. I know, ’cause it is. But Harrison Ford still has some moves on him and god knows they commented about how old he was enough times.

    I thank George Lucas for his huge part in moving CGI into reality but I think he’s like a kid with a toy and that toy has to be bigger and badder than everyone else’s when we all know that things are much more impressive when you don’t have to say “WOW! The CGI is really good in this movie.” I don’t even want that to come to mind. I want to be lost in the moment.

    I agree that they changed the entire plot of the movie when they made the bad guy actually become a scholar. WTF? How’d that happen? And Cate Blanchett who’s an excellent actress and normally great with accents kept slipping in and out of her which was a little distracting. Still, I liked her. She was suitably evil.

    I’m glad Indy married Marion. He’s almost 70 for pete’s sake. He’s entitled to a happy ending, so to speak. The thing that almost ruined it for me was Indy’s hat blowing to Mutt in the church. If Mutt would have put that hat on I would have pulled a Marvin the Martin and been VERY angry. Indy’s not dead yet. Please don’t shove his obvious replacement down our throats quite yet. I don’t want Indy ever be the bumbling one. He’s a teacher. Let him stay a teacher.

    And the poor kid’s dumb name? Does no one get the joke? Indy took his name from the family dog, Mutt is a mixture of Indy and Marion- he’s a mutt, get it? Dog joke people. A bad one but still, why didn’t anyone catch that?

    Wow, I had more to say about this than My Own Worst Enemy. Who knew I cared so much. Guess it’s because I grew up with Indy and I’d be more than happy to plunk my money down to give a new movie another chance.

  27. I guess George Lucas hasn’t read my article yet:
    “George Lucas: Yes – we’re looking for a “MacGuffin,” which is an object that he goes after. They’re very hard to come by!”

  28. @ppnkof

    That South Park episode was the clue I included in my 2008 Scream Awards article regarding the special guest. It took everyone a few guesses before John “Kahless” Taylor guessed correctly.

  29. They should try some kind of Atlantis Macguffen.,,?