Indiana Jones 5 is in the cards, to the surprise of no one. It was really a no-brainer after Disney bought out Lucasfilm.
While the early talk surrounding the $4.26 billion sale was centered on Star Wars — and it still is — the four Indiana Jones movies did too well at the box office to let it all die. Now, Disney is speaking openly about making Indiana Jones 5 a reality, and fans are already skeptical of the direction the film is likely to take.
In a recent piece for the Mary Sue entitled, “Disney Is Committed to Indiana Jones 5. That Makes One of Us,” writer Dan Van Winkle gives his concerns, reminding readers that the fourth film — Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull — was a bit of a disaster.
Sure, it did boffo box office based on the successes of the original trilogy films, the long buildup of anticipation, and the fact that Ford would be returning to the iconic role when he could have been recast. But at this point, most fans of the originals despise it not unlike the hatred they have for the Star Wars prequels.
It may have been this scene from the fourth entry that got Indy’s fan base off on the wrong foot.
Even so, after seeing what Disney was able to do with the return of Harrison Ford in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, hopes are high. Also, Steven Spielberg, one of the main driving forces behind the first three, has confirmed he would want to do an Indiana Jones 5 only if Ford was involved.
But there is some speculation that a Ford return could doom Indiana Jones 5 from ever rebooting the franchise.
Buying the character from Lucasfilm presents the House of Mouse with a golden opportunity to hit the reset button by recasting with a younger actor and making as many Indy adventures as movie audiences will allow. That would be considerably hard to do with Ford in his 70s and noticeably slower of step.
While most agree that he would give a fine performance on the acting front, Indy is about action, and most of the heavy lifting would have to be done with a new star. At that point, it becomes difficult to get mileage out of the “Indiana Jones” brand.
Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger’s comments on the matter aren’t that revelatory.
“It starts with great storytelling,” he explains in an interview with Bloomberg Business. “That’s the heart of the company, going all the way back to 1923 when it was founded by Walt Disney and his brother Roy. It’s all about storytelling.”
He continued, “That’s what creates the most value. We had in Pixar, some of the greatest storytellers that existed in motion pictures, certainly the best in animation. We had in Marvel, stories and characters, great storytelling, and obviously in George Lucas’ Star Wars, and Indiana Jones, by the way, as well, which will be coming, we have more great stories.”
The question that remains following Iger’s comments is where do Disney’s loyalties lie at this point — the creators or the fans?
There is reason to think, given George Lucas’s frustrations with the new Star Wars, that Disney will want to make another movie “for the fans” when revisiting Indy.
They’ve already demonstrated that that is where their heads are at, but it would be really difficult to do a credible reboot with Ford attached, and it appears that Disney wants to continue that relationship.
Also, it can’t hurt to have Spielberg on your side either, and with both men game for Indiana Jones 5, this one may be more of an uphill battle. But what do you think, readers? Is it time to recast Dr. Jones since Disney is insisting on a continuation, or should the new film involve Ford? Sound off in the comments section.
[Images via Raiders of the Lost Ark screen grab]