Steven Spielberg Left Indiana Jones 5 Because It Wasn’t Coming Together

Indiana Jones

Is Indiana Jones 5 really a good idea?

It’s now been more than a decade since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which is generally considered to have failed to capture the thrills and charm of the classic 1980s originals. Then there’s the fact that Harrison Ford is 78 and simply can’t play the character as he once did. It’s not as if they even have a hugely compelling story they need to tell. After all, the project has been burning through spec scripts for years as writers struggle to work out an action movie starring a (nearly) octogenarian archaeology professor.

Steven Spielberg seems to have agreed, too. The famed director was once set to helm his fifth Indy pic, though bowed out in early 2020 citing scheduling conflicts with his other productions and was replaced by Logan‘s James Mangold. But that may not have been the whole story. Indiana Jones writer David Koepp has hinted in interviews that things just weren’t coming together creatively, saying:

“I tried a couple different versions with Steven and they all had some good stuff about them and they all had some stuff that didn’t work, which happens. But it was just very hard to have everybody come together and have all the elements – Steven, Harrison, the script and Disney – come together at once. And it didn’t.”

Indiana Jones Harrison Ford

After working on the script for so long and getting nowhere, Koepp also departed the project, with the scribe explaining:

“When James Mangold came in and Steven stepped out, that was a pretty logical breaking point. It’s a gracious time to step out the door because I think the last thing a new director wants is the old director’s writer. I mean, that’s a drag. The last thing you need is some guy sitting around with his arms folded saying: ‘Well, the way Steven would have done it is…’ I had one nice friendly conversation with him and then I’m sure he wanted to be able to move on anyway. Everybody was pretty polite, I thought.”

Even with a new director, the film still faces some fairly big hurdles. Despite Indiana Jones 5 apparently shooting soon, we haven’t had confirmation that they’ve finalized a script. Plus, there’s COVID-19, which has already caused “scheduling issues” and delayed the release by a year. Fortunately, though, the vaccine rollout means that they probably don’t need to worry about Ford catching the virus on set, as while Indy might be able to escape a rolling boulder, he’s not outrunning COVID-19.

Indiana Jones 5 is scheduled for release in July 2022, though I’ll only truly believe it’s happening once I see some pictures of the Star Wars legend on set with a fedora on his head and a whip in his hand.