Harrison Ford as Dr. Henry Jones (Jr.) will pick up his bullwhip once last time (?) in 2019, when Indiana Jones 5 makes it way into theaters. Although it has not yet been confirmed that this will be the final Indiana Jones movie starring Ford, it’s a fair assumption that this film will close out the actor’s run on the franchise (seeing as he’ll be 77 when the movie arrives), as well as that for his longtime collaborators behind the camera on the series, in the forms of director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams.
Naturally, neither an official title nor plot details have been revealed for Indiana Jones 5 at this point in time. However, Spielberg has now taken it upon himself to go ahead and “spoil” one element of the film’s screenplay (currently being written by the director’s frequent collaborator, David Koepp) – by revealing that Indy will not be dead by the time that the end credits start rolling on his fifth big-screen adventure.
Spielberg, speaking to THR as part of an extensive interview/profile piece about the director and his current work load, talked briefly about Indiana Jones 5, saying “I think this one is straight down the pike for the fans.” He then added that there is one aspect of the movie that he doesn’t mind giving away ahead of time:
“The one thing I will tell you is I’m not killing off Harrison [Ford] at the end of it.”
The question surrounding the ultimate fate of Ford’s Dr. Jones is no doubt something that’s been weighing on fans’ minds in the build-up to Indiana Jones 5, not least of all because (as mentioned) this will almost certainly be Ford’s last Indiana Jones film. With the actor having firmly ended his time playing the smuggler Han Solo in the Star Wars movie franchise, with his role in last year’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, there was fair reason to believe he would do the same with the Indiana Jones series in the fifth installment, before Spielberg made his comments.
On the other hand, Ford has long held a different outlook towards the Han Solo character than he has Indiana Jones, in part because Han Solo has alway been part of an ensemble in the Star Wars franchise – whereas Indy has always been the central character in the Indiana Jones series. Even after Spielberg introduced Indy’s son Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, both the director and Ford played down the idea that Mutt would take over the series moving forward. More recently, Spielberg has been openly adamant that only Ford should play Indiana Jones, following months of rumors suggesting that the actor could end up being recast in a reboot of the franchise.
It’s clear, then, that Spielberg and Ford agree that the Indiana Jones movies should always be about Indy’s ongoing story – meaning, killing him onscreen reads as being an unimaginative way to conclude his adventures, once and for all. How Ford and Spielberg decide to conclude their run on the franchise remains to be seen, but seeing as they will have worked on the series for nearly forty years by the time Indiana Jones 5 reaches theaters, it’s fair to say: they have earned the right to wrap up Indy’s story in whatever way they deem fit.
Indiana Jones 5 opens in U.S. theaters on July 19th, 2019.