Recently, LucasFilm made an announcement regarding Indiana Jones 5 saying that they are moving forward with the project and that star Harrison Ford will reprise his titular role. It was also made public that director Steven Spielberg is back and will work from a script penned by the writer of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, David Koepp.
Producer Frank Marshall recently spoke with Variety regarding his excitement and anticipation of the next film in the Jones saga. He also avowed that there isn’t anyone else who could fill Indy’s shoes, in reference to the rumor mill about younger stars such as Chris Pratt or Bradley Cooper donning the fedora and whip.
“It’s all about the story. I think both in the ‘Jason Bourne’ series and on ‘Indiana Jones,’ we are not going to do the Bond thing,” Marshall said, referencing the revolving door of 007 actors. “We think those characters are iconic, and those are the only actors who can play that.”
While I can completely understand Frank Marshall’s stance on such an iconic role, there are two things that immediately come to mind:
1). When the movie is released in theaters, on June 19, 2019 as of right now, Harrison Ford will be 74 years old. Now I am not knocking the guy for his age or say that he can’t do it, it’s just a concern. In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), Ford seemed a little slower, older, and certainly not as sharp, quick, and smooth as he was when he first debuted in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Ford was 63 at the time of Crystal Skull. Harrison has always been a top-notch, first class actor with any project he is involved. My biggest fear that could happen here is that upon watching Jones 5, we see Harrison not for his role as Indiana or the adventure, but look upon him with saddened eyes as the actor appears a shell of his former self. It is always heartbreaking seeing an actor push beyond their prime. I hate when the final films they star in at the end of their career are more remembered for how bad, old, worn out, or lifeless they appear on-screen rather than being remembered for their brilliant acting roles. We will always remember how great Ford was in American Graffiti, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Blade Runner, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, The Fugitive and so on.
2). The other concern, and I imagine the creators and production team will consider this, is when in time will this take place? What made Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade great, other than the stories and acting, was they were set in the 1930s during the Nazi regime. They were the perfect enemy for archaeologist Dr. Henry Jones, especially with the emphasis on biblical artifacts: Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. Jump ahead about 20 years to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and now the global threat is the Soviets in the ’50s. Producer Marshall stated that Indiana Jones 5 will take place following the events of Crystal Skull, so it would seem that Indy is still in the 1950s. I think what didn’t come across in Jones 4, as compared to the first three films, is that the enemy (in this case the Soviets) didn’t evoke that kind of fear or hatred as the Nazis did. This is what needs to be looked at and addressed in this next movie. Especially if they intend to continue the saga with more sequels, which now being a Disney property should not come as a surprise. If Disney/LucasFilm can produce that kind of emotion from moviegoers for the Soviets, I feel it will go a long way in getting the audience to reconnect with Indy and be more apt to rooting him on in being triumphant over this worldwide threat. Let’s hear fans “Boooooo” again.
Since all of this information regarding Indiana Jones is fairly recent news, there is little more to report on as of now. We know the film is a ‘go,’ the script will follow Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg are back, which quite frankly cinches in the production of the fifth installment as they are the top two truly needed to make this film a success.
If we are bringing back Ford as Indiana Jones, I say let’s do it! But do it the right way by honoring him and his legacy with the character. If this winds up being Ford’s last Indy flick, make sure he goes out on top and not as a dud. You rock, Indy! <pun intended>
Indiana Jones 5 is scheduled to arrive in theaters July 19th, 2019.