"It's not the years, it's the mileage." Old legends never really die. No matter what happens, the adventures of Indiana Jones will continue in one form or another until the end of time. The archaeologist/explorer/college professor has starred in four feature films, as well as the Young Indiana Chronicles on television, not to mention the countless novels, comic books, and video games starring the character.
Indy's next big screen adventure will be in the as-yet-untitled Indiana Jones 5, scheduled for release in July 2019. Harrison Ford is set to reprise his iconic role, and Steven Spielberg will return to direct. Every Indiana Jones story has revolved around some time of precious artifact serving as the MacGuffin of the story, the object which Indy and his enemies are doggedly pursuing. If a fifth Indy film is to be successful, it needs a unique hook to keep audiences engaged. We've put a lot of thought and research on the matter, and here are 15 Artifacts Indy Could Pursue In Indiana Jones 5.
15 Voynich Manuscript
The Voynich Manuscript is a 240-page document (though some pages are missing) which is believed to be around 600 years old. Despite years of research and analysis, nobody actually knows what it says. Cryptographers all over the world have been stumped by its mysteries, and its true purpose remains a mystery to this day. Maybe Indiana Jones, genius explorer, could figure out the secret of the Manuscript.
We could easily envision Indy's next adventure revolving around deciphering the meaning of the curious text and following its instructions on some kind of ancient treasure hunt, all while being pursued by villains. In this respect, the Manuscript could function like a more esoteric version of Dr. Henry Jones's diary from The Last Crusade, dragging Indy and his allies to a variety of wild places in the search of fortune and glory, while focusing the story and keeping the action moving at a blistering pace.
14 Spear of Longinus
Also known as the Holy Lance and the Spear of Destiny, the Spear of Longinus is said to be the weapon which pierced the dying Jesus of Nazareth as he hung from the cross. According to Christian legend, Longinus is said to have been so moved by the events of the crucifixion that he dedicated the rest of his life to spreading Jesus's teachings, and is today remembered as a Holy Saint. Numerous cities claim to hold the Spear of Longinus today, though such a claim is practically impossible to verify.
If there's one (fictional) man who could find a way to prove the legitimacy of any of the so-called Holy Lances, it's Indiana Jones. The man has prior experience with biblical artifacts, having successfully tracked down both the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. We trust in Indy to recover the spear from... Let's say, satanic occultists, and put it in a museum, where it belongs.
13 Al Capone's Treasure
In 1986, Geraldo Rivera hosted what could have been the television event of the decade, The Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults. Al Capone is probably the most famous gangster of all time; during the late 1920s, Capone practically had the whole of Chicago under his thumb. Eventually, he was busted for tax evasion (of all crimes) and sent to Alcatraz prison. He died in 1947. However, years later, secret tunnels belonging to the dead gangster were discovered, including locked vaults, and Geraldo subsequently hosted a two-hour television special dedicated to opening the vault. In the end, however, only a handful of empty moonshine bottles were found.
What if Indiana Jones did battle with the mob over Al Capone's treasure, which is the reason why it was empty in 1986? Indy fighting against Mafia hitmen in a big city would be a cool change of pace for the character. Likewise, pursuing a more modern treasure would offer a new take on the classic Indy formula.
12 The White Whale
We're all familiar with the Moby Dick, the ultimate story of revenge over reason. The 1851 novel continues to inspire storytellers to this day; movies like Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and video games like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain all pay overt homage to the book. Moby Dick is actually based on the true story of The Essex, a whaling ship which was attacked and sank by an over-sized Sperm Whale, as dramatized in 2015's little-seen, but visually stunning, In the Heart of the Sea.
What if The Essex wasn't attacked by a regular whale? What if it was some type of gargantuan, Kraken-esque sea monster, protecting a secret treasure of untold riches? Indiana Jones, in his quest for fortune and glory, also possesses a scholarly desire to learn the truth; such an incredible story (like that of The Essex) warrants his investigative eye. For the sake of awesome ship-to-whale combat sequences, the whale, or whatever it really is, will surely turn out to still be alive -- and ready for a fight.
It might not be a terribly popular opinion, but we love Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Sure, Willie Scott may be loud and annoying, but Indy himself is at his most rugged and righteous, saving children, feeding the bad guys to crocodiles, and delivering our favorite line in the whole series: "Prepare to meet Kali... In hell."
If Indiana Jones 5 wanted to follow-up on the themes of Temple of Doom, it could do a lot worse than Pashupatastra, the personal weapon of Kali, capable of destroying all existence. In Hindu mythology, the only weapon which can deflect its awesome might is the Kameswaraastra. We would love to see Indy and a Mola Ram-esque villain beat the tar out of each other with weapons powerful enough to destroy mountains and leave desolate canyons in their wake. Hindu texts vary on the physical forms of these weapons, so the filmmakers would have a lot of room for artistic interpretation and unprecedented visuals with regards to how these weapons may function.
10 Philosopher's Stone
Alchemy is the art of reforging elements into completely new elements; turning rocks into steel, or creating life-extending potions. It's basically witchcraft, but back in the Middle Ages, it was genuinely believed that alchemy was the future of science. The ultimate goal of any would-be alchemist was the nigh-magical act of turning metal into gold. This could be accomplished using The Philosopher's Stone.
Various texts explain that such a stone can be found or forged, but, like alchemy itself, it's all smoke and mirrors. That being said, a device with the power to transmogrify a substance into something completely different would fit perfectly in an Indiana Jones movie. In fact, back in the day, LucasArts were planning on making a sequel to their beloved videogame, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, which would have involved Neo-Nazis attempting to use the Philosopher's Stone to revive Hitler... But we'll have more on Hitler and Atlantis later.
9 Noah's Ark
While there are many interpretations of the stories in The Bible, some Christians believe the book to be a historical document, that every word is completely and literally true. Adam and Eve were literally the first two people to ever live, Moses actually talked to a burning bush, and Noah and his family managed to fit two of every single animal in the world onto his boat.
We're not here to debate religion (the comments section would surely collapse under the weight), but what if the story of Noah's Ark was literally true? What if the reason so many animals could fit on the Ark was because God equipped the ship with some type of wormhole storage device, transporting the animals to another dimension? And, finally, what if some unsavory types wanted to harness that power to commit evil deeds? Indiana Jones would have to come out of retirement to put a stop to their nefarious plans!
8 Thor's Hammer
These days, Thor may best be known as the comic book hero played by Australian beefcake Chris Hemsworth. The 34 year old first played the character in 2011's Thor, as well The Avengers, and will next star as the Asgardian Thunder God in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. Before he was a comic book icon, however, Thor had a rich history in Norse Mythology. The son of Odin, he wields Mjolnir, a legendary weapon crafted by Sindri and Brokkr on a bet from the trickster Loki, and then presented to Thor, who immediately makes it his signature weapon of choice.
A weapon of Mjolnir's unparalleled power absolutely belongs in a museum, and Indy needs to be the man to place it there, though perhaps not before using it to kill some bad guys and otherwise look like a total Norse badass, leading a band of lost viking warriors into battle against a lost battalion of Nazis who would try to steal the hammer and use its power to conquer the world.
7 Daedalus's Labyrinth
In Greek mythology, Daedalus created a large and complex maze for King Minos, designed to hold the fearsome Minotaur, the half-bull/half-human son of Minos's wife. Old Greek myths generally have more beastiality than we're comfortable with. Anyway, the hero Theseus eventually infiltrated the labyrinth and killed the monstrous Minotaur, and that was that.
But what if that wasn't the only thing being kept secret in Daedalus's contraption? What if King Minos also hid a big pile of treasure, or artifacts from Greek mythology, like the Golden Fleece? Indiana Jones needs to uncover and navigate the Labyrinth himself to find out for sure. Maybe he can do battle against some Jason and the Argonauts-styled skeleton warriors while he's at it, or even the Minotaur itself! Every Indiana Jones movie has featured our hero wandering around some type of underground puzzle-cave, so Daedalus's Labyrinth would be a perfect fit for Indy 5.
6 Anything From Uncharted
There had been plans for a PS3/Xbox 360 Indiana Jones video game, but it was sadly cancelled. While there were surely many factors which contributed to the game's demise, competition from Sony and Naughty Dog's Uncharted series definitely played a part. 2007's Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, heavily inspired by Indiana Jones, made it clear that there was a new adventurer in town, and 2009's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is universally beloved as one of the greatest action/adventure games of all time. LucasArts probably saw no way for their own Indiana Jones title to challenge Uncharted's utter dominance.
In Uncharted, hero Nathan Drake (basically a more bubbly version of Indy in the modern day) pursues such mythical artifacts as El Dorado, the Cintamani Stone, the fabled city of Ubar, and, in Uncharted 4, the lost treasure of the pirate Henry Avery. Any of these artifacts could easily support a new Indiana Jones film, and we wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see it happen. Uncharted 4 concluded the series in spectacular fashion, so it would be a nice passing back of the torch for Indy to retread Uncharted's territory after Uncharted made its own fortune building off of the legacy of Indiana Jones.
5 Pandora's Box
Pandora's Box contained all of the evil in the world, as well as hope, which was all humanity was left with to protect themselves after the box was opened. Indiana Jones has surprisingly not explored Greek mythology in the movies, and we think it's time to change that. We'd love to see Indy chase after some secret cabal of evil-doers across scenic Greece in a race to discover Pandora's Box and the power concealed within.
Also, Pandora's Box would be a good place for Disney to go if they want to try to evoke the first film in the series, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Both the Ark of the Covenant and Pandora's Box are mysterious chests containing a powerful esoteric force within that can presumably destroy entire armies in an instant. Maybe the movie can even use these similarities to make an attempt to connect the Christian and Greek mythologies.
The mythology of King Arthur and his knights of the round table is universally known in one form or another. From the Disney classic, The Sword in the Stone, to Guy Ritchie's upcoming King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. King Arthur's iconic signature weapon is Excalibur, given to him by the Lady of the Lake; in most versions of the legend, Excalibur is not the same as the Sword in the Stone, contrary to popular belief.
We know that Indy is a whip-and-six-shooter kind of guy, but we still would love to see him wield the famous sword of Arthurian legend, perhaps doing battle with evil knights clad in full armor or some other sinister villains who want to seize the blade's power to blind its enemies, and make the wielder immune to damage. Unless they're going up against Daredevil, any army that went up against Excalibur would be useless against its great might. This one definitely "belongs in a museum."
Outside of the movies, Indy's greatest adventure is generally accepted to be the Lucas Arts videogame, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Developed on the same SCUMM engine which powered classic games like Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island, Fate of Atlantis had Indy race against Nazis to uncover the secrets of the lost underwater city of Atlantis.
If Indiana Jones 5 features Atlantis as its central plot device, we don't necessarily want the movie to follow the plot of that 1992 gaming classic, though we would love for characters like Sophia Hopgood to appear, even if only as a name given to an otherwise completely new person. Atlantis is always ripe for exploration; God of War, Tomb Raider, Cocoon, and even characters like MacGyver have explored their own interpretations of the myth of Atlantis, but we bet that none of them would be able to hold a candle to what George Lucas and Steven Spielberg might be able to come up with when they put their heads together.
2 Hitler's Zombie Corpse
"Nazis. I hate these guys." During World War II, the Nazis nearly brought the world to ruin, killing millions of people and spreading a hateful ideology that discriminated against people who didn't match their own vision of perfection. In Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, Indiana Jones did battle with these folks, happily throwing them off of mountains, into helicopter propellers, under massive tanks, and otherwise doing righteous harm to history's least sympathetic bad guys.
Temple of Doom shifted the action to a group of Indian slavers, and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull featured Soviet Russians as their main henchmen, but we'd like to see Indy's greatest and most dangerous enemies, Nazis, make a return appearance. The new film will most likely take place in the late 1960s, and we could see a group of neo-Nazis trying to start a new empire. If they came into possession of their old leader's corpse, Zombie Hitler could certainly be brought into the mix, adding back the gory and gothic elements that were somewhat lacking in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
1 The Fountain of Youth
Indiana Jones is old. Harrison Ford is 74 years old, and will be 77 when Indy 5 comes out, if the film meets its 2019 release date. In real life, there's no way to halt the inevitable march of time and the toll it takes on the human body. Botox helps, but only a little.
However, thanks to Hollywood magic, we have the technology to digitally de-age actors in movies. There have been tremendous strides forward in the technology since Jeff Bridges played a younger version of himself as a computer program in Tron: Legacy; just look at Michael Douglas's 1991 scene in Ant-Man, or the teenage version of Robert Downey Jr. in Captain America: Civil War, and the results are nothing short of downright stunning. What if Indiana Jones discovers the fountain of youth about halfway through Indy 5, and we are treated to a gloriously young and vibrant version of the swashbuckling hero? Maybe the effect will wear off or have some kind of undesirable side-effect, and Indy will have to accept that it's okay to be old, and resolve to make the most of the time he has left. This will satisfy the audience's desire to see a young Indy, as well as tackle the perceived problem of Harrison Ford's advanced age (though he was certainly awesome in Star Wars: The Force Awakens!), all without having to resort to recasting one of cinema's most adored and respected characters.
What to you want to see Indy on the hunt for in his fifth big screen adventure? Let us know in the comments.