What's next for Indiana Jones 5 and beyond?

Rosie Fletcher, Hugh Armitage, Matt Hill
Photo credit: Lucasfilm

From Digital Spy

With a release date finally announced for Indiana Jones 5 – it's heading your way in 2019 – our minds are turning to what's next for the intrepid archaeologist. Here's where Indy might take us next…

Not to the morgue, that's for sure.

Photo credit: Lucasfilm

Speculation that Indy might "pull a Han Solo" and return only to be spectacularly bumped off should be silenced immediately. Spielberg has already promised us that he won't be killing off Doctor Jones.

"The one thing I will tell you is I'm not killing off Harrison at the end of it," he told THR.

Phew. Though that doesn't mean he won't be retired.

It won't be a one-off

Photo credit: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP / Getty Images

We're not sure how long Ford will stick around making more Indiana Jones films (even if they do finally stop him flying his plane), but it looks like the plan is to keep the franchise going, with or without him.

Disney CEO Bob Iger reckons that Indiana Jones 5 is going to be a franchise re-starter. Or a reboot. Or a "Boot" at least (it's not the clearest statement ever made, tbh).

"Right now, we're focused on a reboot, or a continuum and then a reboot of some sort," he told The Hollywood Reporter."Well, we'll bring [Harrison Ford] back, then we have to figure out what comes next. That's what I mean. It's not really a reboot, it's a boot-a reboot. I don't know."

A direct sequel to the Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

Photo credit: Paramount

Last year, Marshall promised that (like Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi), Indiana Jones 5 will pick up directly after the events of The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

That movie left us with Indy just married to Marion Ravenwood/Williams (Karen Allen), who he was reunited with after their adventure in Raiders of the Lost Ark. His newly revealed son Mutt Williams/Henry Jones III (Shia LaBeouf) goes to pick up his dad's iconic hat, only for Indy to snatch it up and make a hasty exit.

Even if that is still the case, it seems very unlikely that LaBeouf would want to come back, or that Disney would want him even if he did. We can't imagine much more than a mention, or at best a brief cameo (maybe just long enough to reveal that he was an evil fembot all along).

Allen is still working, and if Spielberg was able to get her to come back to the series after 27 years, we imagine he could get her to return again if she's needed for the story.

Young Indiana Jones

We love Indy and Marion but in all seriousness it seems unlikely that two would be asked to carry the franchise restart alone. Therefore we expect some sort of youthful protege character to be introduced.

For a time there was speculation that someone other than Ford would be playing Indy – Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt and Robert Pattinson's names were bandied about. Now that's off the table we're expecting the insanely successful Star Wars reboot to be the template.

Therefore, if we had to call it, we'd expect Ford and Allen to get some decent action with plenty of nostalgic references and great one-liners, while several next-generation characters are introduced. And we're confident, post Rogue One and The Force Awakens, that at least one of the newbies will be female. India Jones, maybe?

More spin-offs a-coming?

Photo credit: Patrick Schoenmaker

Disney came into possession of the Indiana Jones franchise at the same time as Star Wars when it bought Lucasfilm in 2012, and it looks like there's a chance that it might approach the former in a similar way to the latter.

"I don't think it reaches the scale of the universe of Star Wars, but I see making more. It won't be just a one-off," Iger said as part of the aforementioned, ambiguous statement.

As we know, the approach to Star Wars has incorporated sequels, prequels and spin-offs like Rogue One that fill in gaps in the series' past. And Indiana Jones has a lot of material to work with...

What's the story?

Photo credit: Paramount

David Koepp, who wrote the godawful Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but also, crucially, Jurassic Park (he consulted on Jurassic World) is back on screenwriting duties. There is a whole world of source material he could tap into – from rejected scripts as well as books, comics and games. In fact if you add the behemoth Young Indiana Jones TV series into the mix, Indy must be the busiest and most well travelled man on the planet.

One fan favourite, which is basically never going to happen, is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. The idea for the game was by LucasArts, conceived at Skywalker Ranch, and they even used Harrison Ford on the artwork. It was huge, had critical acclaim and sold well. It was apparently conceived after they rejected making a game from scripts by George Lucas called Indiana Jones and the Monkey King, and Chris Columbus called Indiana Jones and the Garden of Life.

Photo credit: LucasArts

Of course, now we know how the game ends, it's ruled out for a big screen adap.

More likely is an entirely new story which will feature references and returning characters. Spielberg is working with Koepp on the development and certainly Ford has faith. He told the BBC last March that his two conditions for a return were:

"I didn't want to do it without Steven [Spielberg]. And I didn't want to do it without a really good script. And happily we're working on both."

Indiana Jones 5 will be released in 2019.

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