With Indiana Jones: The Complete Collection Blu-Ray now available, and many of the franchise's stars out and about to promote the release, it was inevitable that someone would bring up Indiana Jones 5. It has been something the cast and crew have mulled over since the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, with George Lucas, Harrison Ford, and Steven Spielberg each saying they would like to do it.
It appears now that there is only one major roadblock in the Indy 5 conversation, and it's not the overwhelmingly negative critical reaction to Crystal Skull either. According to Karen Allen (Marion Ravenwood), whether or not Indy 5 gets made is entirely up to George Lucas.
Speaking with Movies.com, Allen revealed that most of the fourth film's cast and crew are on board - namely herself, Stephen Spielberg, and star Harrison Ford - but the decision to press forward ultimately rests with Lucas. This echoes comments made by Spielberg said last year about Lucas, as Indy's creator, being "in charge of breaking the ['Indiana Jones'] stories" whether Spielberg likes it or not.
However, producer Frank Marshall revealed about two months ago that there was "no idea, no Macguffin" for a fifth film, which leads us to believe that little to no progress has been made with the story.
Still, Allen appears to be resolute in her belief that everyone else is on board and that they're just waiting on Lucas to figure out a story. Here's Allen's response when asked about whether she would return for Indy 5:
"I would! And I, in fact, just talked with Steven Spielberg recently - we e-mailed back and forth, and I said, 'What should I say? I'm doing this publicity, what should I say if people ask me that question?' And he said, 'It's in George's [Lucas] hands! I'm game, Harrison's game, and now it's up to George to write the script or to get the script organized, and the story.' And so I think it's - they want to do a fifth, from what I understand, but they don't want to do it just to do it, they want to do it if they can come up with a story that everybody is happy with and that everybody likes."
If Lucas were to sign off on Indiana Jones 5, the production would presumably have to act fast since Harrison Ford isn't getting any younger. Yes, Crystal Skull featured plenty of stunt double work for Indy, but seeing Ford go toe-to-toe with some henchman is only going to get harder to replicate on the big screen.
Another interesting thing to point out is Allen's failure to mention Shia LaBeouf in the Indy 5 conversation. While not necessarily the worst part of Crystal Skull, LaBeouf's character, Mutt Williams (later revealed to be Indy's son), took a lot of attention away from the franchise's true star. The belief early on was that LaBeouf would assume the Indiana Jones mantle after Ford walked away from the franchise - hence the fair amount of screen time - but seeing the former Even Stevens star swing from vines with computer-generated monkeys gave fans pause about the wisdom of that direction.
About three years ago, when Shia was promoting Transformers 2, he said that Spielberg had "cracked" the story and was "gearing up" for production, which suggested the actor was still very much involved with the franchise. However, LaBeouf has since said that he would like to move away from blockbusters and focus on more performance-driven films, like this year's Lawless.
Without LaBeouf, the Indiana Jones crew has the opportunity to focus on what arguably makes the franchise appealing: watching Indiana Jones fight bad guys over the possession of a supernatural artifact. Hopefully, if Lucas does give Indy 5 the green light and begins writing a script (if he hasn't already), it'll be more Raiders and less Crystal Skull.
How do you feel about an Indiana Jones 5? Does the franchise deserve an opportunity to redeem itself after Crystal Skull?
Indiana Jones: The Complete Collection is now available on Blu-ray.