This week, we passed the 40th anniversary for Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s hard to believe that all these years later, Indiana Jones 5 is now filming. To celebrate the anniversary, actor John Rhys-Davies went on camera with Adventurer’s Summit, a German Indiana Jones fan community. They have since taken down the public YouTube video where the conversation happened, but not before fans got to talk to John Rhys-Davies about his role as Sallah in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. While the actor never said that he is going to be in the fifth movie, he did heavily hint at it with looks on his face and possibly by mentioning the filming location. Let’s break down the details.
The biggest moment was simply when John Rhys-Davies makes a face and says something super coy about Indiana Jones 5. If he’s in the movie and the studio doesn’t want us to know, then the actor has likely signed something promising that he won’t disclose that information. And yet, during his online conversation, the 77-year-old actor looks at the camera and says, “And Indy 5 is brewing, I hear. Hmmmm….” And then he paused to look dramatically at the camera, as seen in the screenshot below, and adds another, “Hmmmm.” Suspicious? Absolutely. But not a promise of anything.
In addition, he added that Raiders of the Lost Ark was a fabulous film and said that they filmed that movie in Morocco, and then said, “Was it Morocco? No! Tunisia.” This felt significant in context because that’s where they are rumored to be shooting Indiana Jones 5.
Sallah is a character that would likely not be written today. This is something that John Rhys-Davies pointed out when talking to Express about a possible Indiana Jones 5 return in an interview in 2019. He said, “I’ve got an idea that perhaps I’m not quite as politically correct enough to survive in it anymore.” Adding about Sallah the Egyptain excavator, “And that’s for a number of reasons, adding to which Sallah is no longer a believable character given the history of the Arab world and the West since we did the first one.”
While Sallah may no longer be a politically correct character, he’s still a fan-favorite. Many wondered why he didn’t appear in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It’s been said that John Rhys-Davies was offered a cameo in the final scene of the movie, but he didn’t feel that did justice to his character. To get around that, the filmmakers put a photo of Sallah and Indiana Jones into the home of Indiana Jones in the movie. But will Indiana Jones 5 finally take that a step further and see the return of Sallah? Was John Rhys-Davis hinting at that with his significant look, or was he only hinting that he would like a big part in the film?
We’ve heard news about new actors coming into Indiana Jones 5. Mads Mikkelsen and Phoebe Waller-Bridge have joined the official cast. However, isn’t part of the fun of doing the fifth installment recapturing much of the magic fans loved from the original? The fifth Indiana Jones film has been in production in the UK. Harrison Ford has been spotted walking around the area. Later, they’ll be filming in the deserts of North Africa. The movie is happening, and yet we know only the smallest details about what to expect from it. Hopefully, as more details come out, they’ll release their plans for Sallah.