There will be a new Indiana Jones movie. It will star Harrison Ford. Steven Spielberg will direct it. Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall will produce. July 19, 2019 is the target release date. That’s all we know right now.
Take a moment to exhale. You can stop angrily staring at photoshopped images of Chris Pratt as Indiana Jones.
That particular ghost of rumored movie reboot future (or should it be past since it’s an old rumor?) has been vanguished. Spielberg has been true to his word. As he told ScreenDaily (via USA Today) last December, “There is only going to be one actor playing Indiana Jones, and that’s Harrison Ford.”
In that same interview, Spielberg expressed his hope to make another Indiana Jones movie some day, echoing what Harrison Ford told The Guardian a month earlier, “Yeah, I’d love to do another Indiana Jones. 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?”
That sounds so good in theory, but must you make us talk about Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is to Indiana Jones what The Last Stand/Origins: Wolverine are to the X-Men, i.e., the franchise installment we’ve all agreed to simply never speak of again. Our last cinematic adventure with old man Jones obviously left a bad taste in our mouths, although as many others have argued it doesn’t warrant the level of hate it receives. A new adventure could Days of Future Past us into forgiving past sins, and it could be as good as The Force Awakens. However, for as entertaining as The Force Awakens is it also hews too closely to familiar formula for some.
I’m choosing to embrace optimism, largely because I was so pessimistic about Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy and proved me completely wrong. I now trust Kennedy’s ability to engineer another successful franchise revival with Indiana Jones 5, especially if Lucas remains unattached to it. Spielberg previously threw him under the bus for Crystal Skull, telling Empire, “I sympathize with people who didn’t like the MacGuffin because I never liked the MacGuffin. George and I had big arguments about the MacGuffin. I didn’t want these things to be either aliens or inter-dimensional beings. But I am loyal to my best friend. When he writes a story he believes in—even if I don’t believe in it—I’m going to shoot the movie the way George envisioned it.”
Then again, Spielberg also admitted, “[Nuke the fridge] was my silly idea.”
Either way, considering the way Ford seamlessly slipped back into Han for Force Awakens he should have no problem playing Indiana Jones again.
Well, that’s not true. He did literally break his back on his second day on Force Awakens, and he’ll be 77 when Indiana Jones 5 comes out. Indy will need a sidekick to do more of the action scenes, which was already true when they made Crystal Skull. 77 is also old enough for us to start wondering how much longer Ford will be around, especially in light of the odd run of celebrity deaths we’ve seen this year. Natalie Cole, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Glen Frey weren’t fortunate enough to make it to 70. On the opposite end, George Kennedy is gone at the age of 91.
Maybe they’re still better off hedging their bets. Have Indy pass the baton to someone new.
That, um, didn’t work out so well last time. Still, it’s jarring to see headlines about a new Indiana Jones movie on the same day THR revealed LucasFilms is close to picking its new Han Solo for the upcoming prequel. Indiana is lurching toward his end while Han is going back to the beginning. Maybe Indiana 5 will make preparations for the franhise’s future, giving us a character to look forward to in a spin-off franchise. Maybe Indiana 5 will simply serve as the swan song for the entire franchise, i.e., make one more and call it good, don’t worry about grooming Indy’s son or grandson for a spin-off franchise.
Whatever they do, please don’t kill off Indy. [SPOILER ALERT FOR ANY FORCE AWAKENS HOLDOUTS] Han Solo’s dead. That happened. It was traumatic. Please don’t make it two for two. One of Ford’s iconic characters should be allowed to ride off into the sunset. Maybe Karen Allen comes back with him. Maybe she doesn’t. Maybe George Lucas eventually joins the production in some capacity. Maybe he doesn’t. I don’t care. Just don’t kill Indy.
Actually, wouldn’t it be funny if he’s also killed by a son who looks nothing like him, Kylo Jones maybe?
That could be pretty…no! Don’t kill Indy!