Disney/Lucasfilm now fully owns the rights to both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises alike (among other Lucasfilm properties), though for the time being the studios have kept their focus solely on developing new installments set in a galaxy far, far away. Indiana Jones 5 is nonetheless a topic that continues to be raised in conversations around the movie news-sphere.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has likewise said that she will turn her attention to the future of the Indiana Jones property in 2016, after Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens hits theaters. Of course, perhaps the big question is when Indiana Jones 5 - or whatever project involving the globe-trotting adventurer Dr. Jones comes next - does happen, will Harrison Ford be starring and/or Steven Spielberg calling the shots?
Spielberg, during an interview with Screen Daily that focuses heavily on his new critically-acclaimed Cold War drama Bridge of Spies, had the following to say regarding the prospect of Ford being recast as Dr. Jones:
“I don’t think anyone could replace Harrison as Indy, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. It’s certainly not my intention to ever have another actor step into his shoes in the way there have been many actors that have played Spider-Man or Batman. There is only going to be one actor playing Indiana Jones and that’s Harrison Ford.”
Indiana Jones franchise producer Frank Marshall has likewise said in the past that Ford (who is now in his mid-70s) will not be replaced as Indiana Jones, but it's noteworthy that Spielberg has now formally taken a public stance on the issue. It's an ongoing discussion point amongst fans, as to whether Ford's performance as Dr. Jones is so iconic that recasting the character would be ill-advised... or if even that modern Hollywood legend is replaceable in the role, for reasons similar to why Samuel L. Jackson feels superhero actors will always be replaceable. Ford, for his part, has indicated that for the time being, he remains both willing (and ready) to put on the fedora one more time.
Spielberg, to be clear, is not yet confirmed to direct Indiana Jones 5; and if he does, it won't be until after he finishes making his Ready Player One film adaptation (scheduled for release in 2017). All the same, Spielberg indicated to Newsarama that he is game to revisit the world of Indiana Jones again, explaining his reasoning as follows:
“Because there are more adventures out there than films. So as long as there’s more adventures out there, I’ve got a bullwhip, a fedora, a leather jacket and a man on a horse who knows how to get the job done.”
While Spielberg's fourth Indiana Jones installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, is regarded as a disappointment by many, some of those same disappointed fans have also expressed their interest in seeing the filmmaker return to the franchise - and in turn, conclude his and Ford's run on the franchise on a stronger note that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. On the other hand, bringing in a new director could re-invigorate the series in fresh ways - like what happened recently with the Rocky franchise, when Ryan Coogler delivered the acclaimed sequel/spinoff Creed.
Question is, is Spielberg as non-replaceable behind the camera as Ford is onscreen? Or can both be replaced? Let us know what you think in the comments section!
We'll bring you more information on Indiana Jones 5 when we have it.
Source: Screen Daily