Been hoping for an Indiana Jones 5? Never going to happen, says Frank Marshall, the producer who has been instrumental in the series from Raiders to Crystal Skull. The film, like the 2008 snooze-fest before it, is languishing in “development hell” where ideas go to die, and it’s getting comfortable there.
Indiana Jones 5 has been the subject of internet rumor and speculation since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out in 2008, with big-wigs Steven Spielberg and George Lucas actively (read: barely) working on it. The third biggest sound box of Indy-sequel news after Spielberg and Lucas news is producer Frank Marshall, who has worked on every film in the series. Marshall says that Crystal Skull, however lame, was the “last hurrah” of the series, and that star Harrison Ford isn’t likely to don he iconic fedora for another go-round.
“I say, for me, [Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is] the last hurrah. I know that yes, we talk about it, but there’s no idea, there’s no MacGuffin,” said Marshall in an interview with Collider.
Wait, MacGuffin? A “MacGuffin” is a literary device that both the protagonist and antagonist want, but really bears no further significance to the plot, outside of moving the action forward. A MacGuffin is crucial to Indiana Jones, because every film has had one, and it’s usually the first idea thrown onto the table – the resulting Indiana Jones film is made on the strength of the MacGuffin. In Raiders, it was the Ark of the Covenant. In Temple of Doom, it was the Shankara Stones (sp?). Last Crusade? The Holy Grail. Crystal Skull? You get the idea.
So, no MacGuffin, no Indiana Jones 5.
George Lucas, the man usually responsible for providing the MacGuffin, told Vulture last year that he’s having trouble thinking up an interesting artifact for Indy & co. to hunt. “I really haven’t found the MacGuffin yet,” he lamented. “I mean, I know what it’s about, but I just have to find a MacGuffin that fits into the arena we’re working in.”
They should probably leave well-enough alone anyway. Crystal Skull may have raked in a cool $800 million worldwide, but it was considered a disappointment by fans. Even co-star Shia LeBeouf (ironically, one of the worst things about the film) said that the film “drop[ped] the ball.”
Still hoping for Indiana Jones 5 or do you believe that producer Frank Marshall is right about the fate of the franchise?
Oh btw – fun Indiana Jones fact – Frank Marshall had a cameo in Raiders as the Nazi pilot in the fight scene between Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones and that massive, shirtless, bald Nazi henchman. Eeeee!