George Lucas has not been involved in the development of the story for Indiana Jones 5, according to the man that has been tasked with writing it, David Koepp.
Lucas, who created the character as well as the outline and inspiration for his previous adventures, has previously come up with the ideas for Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, Last Crusade, and Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls, which he then allowed director Steven Spielberg and a team of writers to create.
When it was announced earlier this year that Indiana Jones would indeed be returning for a fifth installment, not only was it given a release date of July 19, 2019, but it was confirmed that Spielberg would be returning to directing duties and that Harrison Ford would be donning the famous hat once again.
— Yahoo Movies (@YahooMovies) October 25, 2016
However, George Lucas’ name was rather conspicuous in its absence. This was later clarified when Steven Spielberg confirmed that Lucas would once again be returning as an executive producer on the film, but there was scant information about whether Lucas would help to sculpt the story for Indy 5 like he’s done on the previous four films.
While speaking to Collider, David Koepp looked to clear up any confusion by revealing whether Lucas is involved in the story for Indiana Jones 5.
“He’s not, to my knowledge. I’ve had no contact with him,” he remarked.
That’s a pretty big indication that George Lucas won’t be involved in Indiana Jones 5 in any integral fashion. Since David Koepp also went on to admit that he’s deep into trying to plan out the film, as he’s currently deciding which MacGuffin he wants to use to drive its plot and which era to set it in, it’s safe to assume that he should have talked to Lucas at some point by now regarding both of these.
It was George Lucas who originally insisted that Indiana Jones 4, which would go on to become Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, needed to be set during the 1950s and that it needed to revolve around Indy coming into contact with aliens.
In fact, while discussing the development of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which he wrote the final script for, David Koepp teased that the issues that ultimately arose with the blockbuster all actually stemmed from Lucas’ original idea, setting, and MacGuffin.
Speaking of the first screenplay for Crystal Skull, Koepp remarked, “Jeb Stuart took the first shot at it with Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men From Mars. That was a really conscious decision that dictated a lot about what the story would be and what the movie would be like, and I think that was followed through on really nicely. I thought Steve did a really good job with that.”
But after defending Jeb Stuart’s original screenplay Koepp added the kicker, “I don’t know that the idea was most suited to an Indiana Jones movie, but that was what we did.”
— ScreenCrush (@screencrushnews) October 24, 2016
If it turns out that George Lucas has indeed been booted off Indiana Jones 5, it will be the latest franchise of his that he’s been ostracized from. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh installment to Lucas’ Star Wars universe, was written by Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt and directed by J.J. Abrams after Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney back in 2012.
Shortly after this sale, Lucas submitted his rough story ideas and treatments for Episode VII, VIII, and IX to Disney, only for them to be rejected. Lucas later admitted that even though he was listed as a creative consultant on the film, he had no involvement with The Force Awakens, which ultimately went on to gross $2.068 billion and earn a Rotten Tomatoes score of 92 percent.
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]