If 2015 heralded the long-anticipated return of Harisson Ford as Han Solo, assuming everything goes according to plan, 2019 will tee up Ford’s next outing as cinema’s greatest archaeologist thanks to the release of Indiana Jones 5.
Word of the action-adventure sequel kicking into gear first surfaced last last year, when it was confirmed that both Ford and director Steven Spielberg were on board for yet another swashbuckling romp – even considering the woeful response to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. One key creative that won’t be back, however, is George Lucas, after screenwriter David Koepp told Collider, “he’s not returning, to my knowledge. I’ve had no contact with him.”
Depending on your reaction to Crystal Skull, an Indy movie that incorporated a full-blown alien subplot, you’ll either bemoan Lucas’ lack of involvement or jump for joy. On the topic of the 2008 sequel, Koepp touched base on some of the takeaways and, in particular, what he as a writer learned from the entire experience.
“I think that what [Indy] looks for and when he looks for it dictates what the movie’s gonna be. So the selection of the MacGuffin is everything. I think Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, being set in 1957 there was a conscious desire to say, ‘Much like two of the other ones were World War II movies set in the 30s and early 40s, this is ’57 so a lot of our influences are gonna be science-fiction movies.’ You got that with the original [script], Jeb Stuart took the first shot at it with Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars. That was a really conscious decision that dictated a lot about what the story would be and what the movie would be like, and I think that was followed through on really nicely. I thought Steve did a really good job with that. I don’t know that the idea was most suited to an Indiana Jones movie, but that was what we did. So we tried to be very careful with the selection of the MacGuffin and the eras to give ourselves as much latitude to make the best kind of Indiana Jones movie that we most want to see. Learning how that’s the importance of the choice of the MacGuffin is a big deal.”
Koepp is naturally much more secretive when it comes to Indiana Jones 5, revealing to Collider that, “I’m deeply immersed as we speak. All I can say is that there’s lots of aliens and Indy dies at the end (laughs). Lots of hiding in lead-lined refrigerators, aliens, and he dies. Should go over very well.” He’s joking, of course; Spielberg reportedly has no intentions of bumping off Ford’s wise-cracking hero.
Indiana Jones 5 has been earmarked for release on July 19, 2019 and is not, according to Disney, simply a one-off.