When Disney bought LucasFilm for $4.05 billion in 2012, fans held their collective breath in anticipation of news regarding two of the most successful movie franchises in the history of cinema: Star Wars and Indiana Jones. The Star Wars news came quickly, with details of a series re-boot and planned spin-off movies. Indiana Jones, on the other hand, has required a bit more patience on the part of audiences. Rumours have been flying since the last film appeared in 2008, with nothing ever specifically confirmed. However, Deadline is now reporting that the cogs are finally turning for the smooth-talking archaeologist, with Chris Pratt tipped for the titular role.
Pratt is currently Hollywood's franchise favourite. In the past 12 months, he has played a major role in kick-starting two enormous film series - The Lego Movie and Guardians Of The Galaxy - and has also helped re-boot one of the most successful franchises of all time with the upcoming Jurassic World. These huge roles in huge projects have made the actor a sought-after performer, but the mention of his name in connection with the role of Indiana Jones represents an entirely new level of professional success.
The saga of the much-discussed fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise has involved a vast amount of rumor, as many Hollywood projects do. Variously, Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) has been mentioned as screenwriter, and both Robert Pattinson and Bradley Cooper have been said to be "circling" the role at different times. However, none of these rumors have crystalized into official announcements, as the studio's attention has been firmly focused on the Star Wars franchise.
Now, as reported by Screen Rant, Disney is finally looking at how to resuscitate Indiana Jones - a series that has seen consistent returns on financial investment over time, but worsening critical response. That combination of factors confirms that a loyal fanbase still exists for the series - making Disney keen to cash-in.
In terms of the form an Indiana Jones re-boot would take, Screen Rant also reports that discussions among industry insiders have revolved around the character becoming something of an American James Bond - with a different actor donning the iconic fedora every few years. This, and the suggestion of Chris Pratt, contradicts the year-old rumour that the involvement of Harrison Ford in Star Wars: Episode VII was dependent upon his getting to star in another Indiana Jones movie.
For their part, Disney has yet to confirm anything with regard to this Deadline exclusive about the possibly imminent casting of Chris Pratt. The most the studio has offered on the subject of Indiana Jones was a comment from CEO Robert Iger last month, when he reportedly addressed the topic with Variety editor, Marc Graser.
Disney's Bob Iger: "We'd love to make another Indiana Jones movie but we're pacing ourselves right now," launching Star Wars first.
— Marc Graser (@marcgraser) December 10, 2014
[Lead image via Geek Nation.]