The release of Indiana Jones 5 may be delayed according to Variety for as much as a year. The movie, originally slated to hit theaters in 2019, then pushed to July 2020, will be delayed yet again, this time due to a change of writers. Crew members have already been given the news and schedules are being adjusted accordingly.
David Koepp, one of the writers for Jurassic Park, was hired back in 2016 to write the script for the fifth installment in the Indiana Jones franchise. He had written for the previous installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and has worked on other Spielberg films such as Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, and War of the Worlds. Thursday, however, Collider reported that he is leaving the film. He’s off to work on a Blumhouse film titled You Should Have Left that he will direct and write. Koepp is being replaced with Jonathan Kasden who worked with his father on Solo: A Star Wars Story. His father is none other than Lawrence Kasden, who wrote on the original Indiana Jones. So while Spielberg and Harrison Ford remain fully committed to the film, it seems the creative leads aren’t currently as enthusiastic about the script.
What isn’t known is the exact nature of Jonathan Kasden’s job. He could be polishing up or rewriting Koepp’s script or he could be starting all over from scratch. There are many unknowns, like, is he working on it alone, or could he be working with his father since he has previous Indy experience? And although we know he’s on the team as a writer now, we don’t really know how long ago he became involved.
What is known is that the mixed responses to Crystal Skull has left Steven Spielberg with a burning desire to wrap up Harrison Ford’s role in the franchise with a bang. It’s expected that Ford will “pass the whip” to a younger actor (or actress) in Indiana Jones 5, and Spielberg wants him to go out on the high note he deserves.
Both men have other work to keep them busy. Spielberg has pre-production for an updated version of the West Side Story musical to work on while he waits for the right script. Leads are being cast and the screenplay is in progress. Then there’s his Blackhawk film that will be an adaptation of the DC Comic character. Harrison Ford, in the meantime, will be busy voicing a character on The Secret Life of Pets 2.