A fifth Indiana Jones movie has been on the cards for a while now. Ever since 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull gave us geriatric Indy fighting the Soviets in the ‘50s, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas have been dropping hints about a sequel.
The development of that sequel took some steps forward when Disney bought Lucasfilm. After the initial hype of a new Star Wars trilogy wore off, moviegoers realized that Disney now also had the rights to Indiana Jones and they announced they would do something with the franchise. But the question is: what? Here is Everything We Know (So Far) About Indiana Jones 5.
The ending of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull seemed to set up Shia LaBeouf’s character Mutt Williams to take the fedora from Indy and carry the torch of the franchise from there.
However, LaBeouf himself has said, “Am I into it? Who wouldn’t be? I don’t think that’s reality. It’s a fun rumor.” Meanwhile, Ford shut down those rumors when he was asked if he’d be handing over the fedora: “What are you talking about? It’s mine. I would love to do another Indiana Jones movie. George Lucas is working on an idea now. Shia can get his own hat. I earned that hat.”
A number of younger actors have been rumored to replace Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in a Disney reboot, including Chris Pratt and Bradley Cooper. But despite being nearly killed by the Millennium Falcon set while shooting Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and despite the fact that he’s 76 years old, Ford is still eager to return to his other most iconic role.
“I’d love to do another Indiana Jones [movie]. You know, an audience being there that has enjoyed the films, a character that has a history and a potential, kind of a rollicking good movie ride for the audience, Steven Spielberg as a director – what’s not to like?”
Disney confirmed recently that Indiana Jones 5 will still meet its previously announced release date of July 9, 2021. It’s kind of a bummer that a new Indiana Jones movie is still two years away, but it’s better that they take their time with it and not rush it. Still, Harrison Ford will be 79 years old in the summer of 2021 when the movie releases, so there is a little bit of a sense of urgency with the project.
If he was playing an old man who spends his days sitting in a rocking chair on his porch, that would be one thing. But he’s playing Indiana Jones, the guy who outruns boulders and swings through the jungle and gets dragged along by moving cars. It’s not the ideal role for an octogenarian.
Steven Spielberg has been confirmed to be directing the new Indiana Jones movie from the very first announcement about it. This is no surprise, since Spielberg has directed every other Indy movie and the fans wouldn’t have it any other way.
In fact, interestingly, when Lucas came up with the idea for the Indiana Jones character shortly after releasing the highest grossing movie of all time, he and Spielberg made a deal with Paramount to make five Indiana Jones movies. So, directing the fifth movie in 2021 will just see Spielberg completing the commitment he made way back in 1981.
George Lucas has executive-produced every Indiana Jones movie, but it was initially reported that he wouldn’t be involved with the fifth one. Steven Spielberg, who has directed all the others alongside Lucas’ creative input, quickly debunked this report and confirmed, “I would never make an Indiana Jones film without George Lucas. That’d be insane.”
Lucas was the one who originally created the character and brought the idea to Spielberg. When Spielberg realized it could be America’s answer to the James Bond franchise, they were on the same page. The rest is history. If Lucas wasn’t involved with Indy 5, it would be a travesty.
John Williams, who has scored every past Indiana Jones film (and wrote the theme) as well as damn near every other movie Steven Spielberg has ever directed, will return to compose the score for the fifth one.
We’d be able to tell if Williams hadn’t composed the score, because his musical compositions have a uniquely magical quality. There aren’t many film scores that can be enjoyed as music on their own without being played over the movies they were written for, but the film scores by a select few composers – including Ennio Morricone, Alan Silvestri, and yes, John Williams – can.
Initially, David Koepp was set to write the script for Indiana Jones 5. Koepp has written a few movies for Steven Spielberg, including Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, so he seemed to be plenty qualified. However, Crystal Skull is almost universally hated, so it might not be the wisest decision to get the same guy back.
Koepp was eventually replaced with Jonathan Kasdan, the son of Raiders of the Lost Ark writer Lawrence Kasdan, with whom he wrote last year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. However, Kasdan has also been replaced by This is Us creator Dan Fogelman, who is reportedly starting from scratch.
When Harrison Ford was asked if being married to Marion Ravenwood and having a fully-grown son in Mutt Williams would affect Indy’s life in the fifth movie, the actor said, “He’s seen something [aliens, meh]. Remember, those are the only witnesses to what he’s seen.
That’s kind of interesting...I think it would be interesting to advance the understanding of the character, as we always have had that ambition throughout the series. I think it would be interesting to deepen the relationship between he and his son and play on that relationship...It’s full of opportunity. The series is full of opportunity.”
According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, the intention with the studio’s new Indiana Jones movie is to set up something sustainable to keep the movies coming. He said that the fifth film “won’t be just a one-off.” Harrison Ford is getting pretty old, but Iger suggested that his involvement with the fifth movie was unclear. So, somehow, the movie has to please fans, have a really old Indy, and set up future films.
Hopefully, this doesn’t mean setting up a cinematic universe that will attack the multiplex with a barrage of unnecessary Indy-related projects like Sallah: An Indiana Jones Story, because nobody wants that.