Over the years (decades really) Indiana Jones has seen his fair share of adventures. He’s found the Lost Ark of the Covenant, narrowly escaped some intense human sacrifice bros, discovered the Holy Grail and even mostly/kind of proved the existence of extraterrestrials. In a lot of ways, you’d think dude’s covered all of the big questions of human existence, “solving” a lot of the mysteries around our world even if the end results were sometimes less than ideal. So why do we need Indiana Jones 5?
No one knows why we need it but the big news that Indiana Jone 5 is firmly in the works. It would appear that there are still some mysteries to uncover, some enemies to whip and more reasons to don the leather hat and get to work.
The franchise has been around for what feels like forever with the original, Raiders of the Lost Ark released almost 40(!) years ago. That Indiana Jones has been around this long AND will come to theaters with the same star and director as the original is nothing short of amazing.
Let’s take a look at what we know about Henry Jones Jr’s (“We named the dog Indiana“) next adventure in Indiana Jones 5.
The Talent In Charge Of Indiana Jones Next Adventure
Steven Spielberg was supposed to be back to direct his final film in the Indy franchise. He has directed all four previous Indiana Jones movies. However, Variety says he has already bailed on the project and they’re in talks with another director to take over. Spielberg will stay on as a Exec Producer, but that’s a title which denotes varying levels of involvement ranging from a lot to absolutely none at all. It doesn’t tell us much.
That director being put in charge of Indiana Jones 5 is James Mangold. He’s done a lot of amazing work over his career. You probably know him best as the director of movies like Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma, Logan, and most recently the Oscar-nominated Ford V. Ferrari.
The script, on the other hand, is a little tougher to get a handle on with conflicting credits where this is concerned. IMDB still has initial credits by Jon Kasdan who penned Solo: A Star Wars Story which did well enough at 70% on the Tomatometer. Apart from that though, he has surprisingly few writing credits with only some television work on Freaks and Geeks and Dawson’s Creek as well as the little known 2007 rom-com In the Land of Women.
Kasdan had replaced David Koepp who was initially attached to write the film. But then the most recent news was This is Us’s Dan Fogelman would be the lead writer. Currently, Fogelman doesn’t appear to be officially credited. This kind of script bouncing is that red flag I was talking about.
Harrison Ford Is Back, But Who Else?
Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg teamed up for the original Indy movie in 1981 and both will be back for Indiana Jones 5. By all accounts, this will be the last Indiana Jones for the both of them. Honestly, it’s hard to imagine Ford swashbuckling and whipping his way through another adventure at the ripe old age of 78 but hell, 80 kind of feels like the new 50 these days so maybe it isn’t the stretch we thought it once to be.
Over the last few years, Ford has greatly reduced his starring roles but will features in the new Call of the Wild. If anything, this last Indiana Jones could be the relative culmination of his career after tying things off as Han Solo in Star Wars and putting a bow on Rick Deckard in 2017’s Blade Runner 2049.
As far as the rest of the Indiana Jones 5 cast, not much else is known except for who *won’t* be in the movie. After coming on as Indy’s son Mutt Williams in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Shia Labeouf won’t reprise his role thanks in large part to Labeouf’s criticism of Spielberg. So, even though Indiana has a son, that son won’t be around. Kind of a weird thing to work around.
Meanwhile, Karen Allen whose character Marion Ravenwood is the longtime love interest and married Indiana at the end of Crystal Skull hasn’t been officially confirmed in the role. Since his son won’t return, it might not make sense for his wife to return either.
The Plot Of Indiana Jones 5
Very little is known about the script/story but we do know Indiana Jones 5 isn’t a reboot, but rather a continuation in the story.
When Harrison Ford was asked about the movie’s story by MovieWeb, he had this to say: “Well, I’m not going to share the story with you because that doesn’t seem like a good idea. But we’ll see new developments in his life, his relationship. We’ll see part of his history resolved.”
With that in mind, we can make a few assumptions. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull kept a “real-life” timeline in the Indiana Jones world. It came out 19 years after The Last Crusade and the story stuck to that same timeframe, placing it in the year 1957. If we do that same math that would put this movie in 1970, with the Vietnam War still ongoing and US-USSR relations tenuous at best.
Since the antagonists of the previous movie were the KGB/Russians, placing them at the heart of this story would still make sense along this timeline.
But Indiana Jones movies have often had dual antagonists in that there’s some sort of superpowered mystery (ark, grail, aliens, etc) which both parties are in a race to find.
It’s this second part that will be interesting. The Indiana Jones franchise has always relied on the paranormal to drive its ultimate action. Will this last movie continue along the same trajectory (the after-life?) or wind it’s way down with a story about an aged archeologist reaching the twilight of his career (or both)?
One of the most likely plot rumors around this production is that the movie will actually be about Indiana Jones teaming up with his daughter, and that his daughter will then end up starring in a Disney Plus spinoff series. It’s been reported by more than a few outlets at this point, so don’t be surprised if another secret Jones family member shows up out of nowhere in Indiana Jones 5.
The Indiana Jones Theme Music
The Indiana Jones theme music is as much a part of the franchise as the action and story. The iconic refrain, composed by John Williams is seemingly central to all parts of the movie.
Williams will be back composing the music for Indiana Jones 5. He’s still firmly entrenched in the Spielberg/ George Lucas Universe having composed the music for every Star Wars movie including most recently The Last Jedi and Solo as well as Spielberg’s recent films The BFG and The Post.
We are still more than a year away from Indiana Jones 5 hitting the big screen again with an official release date set at July 9, 2021. I hate to be pessimistic here, and there is good momentum around the film right now, but this flick has also been jostled around for the better part of the last decade. An original release date was previously set years ago for July 19, 2019 but that was scrapped.
So yes, it does feel like things are finally moving in the right direction for Indiana Jones 5, but excuse me for still being just a little bit skeptical.
Steven Spielberg Controversy
Though he’s still active as a producer (and will produce Indiana Jones 5), Steven Spielberg’s directing career seems to be on hold recently. He hasn’t directed anything since 2018 and now that he has jumped ship from directing Indiana Jones 5, there’s not much in his future directing plans either.
Some have speculated that it might have something to do with the shocking news learned about his 24-year-old daughter Mikaela Spielberg. A few months ago she revealed that she’s working in porn. Since then we haven’t heard much more, but recently she opened up about her famous parents’, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, reaction to the news with The Sun. Apparently they weren’t surprised at all. Mikaela says…
“My parents – despite what people have written – aren’t embarrassed, they were actually kind of expecting it to be my career… some sort of outsider art… or taboo art, because they’ve always known that I was a little bit neurotic. That’s not to say all performers are neurotic…just the kind of performer I am – they’ve always known that whatever I wanted to do in life I probably was going to do it whether they liked it or not.“
Meanwhile her parents haven’t spoken about this at all and it does sort of seem like Steven Spielberg has withdrawn a little from public life. But Mikaela says…
“So it kind of felt like a little bit of a relief. It was like they were preparing themselves to get the news for this and they’re not sad for me and my choice of career. I’m not sad for them. People shouldn’t be sad for them. That’s the one big thing – people are like, ‘I feel sorry for your parents.’ Nobody here is a victim.“
In addition to Mikaela starting a career in porn, she’s had some run-ins with the law. She was arrested and charged with domestic violence and apparently has a drinking problem. So even if her parents aren’t freaked out the porn thing, you have to think they’re pretty worried about that. Mikaela confirmed as much in her interview…
“Before I got sober, they [my parents] were like, ‘We’re scared about your drinking. I’m more scared that you’re going to die from that.’ They also were thinking about the career stuff. They were like, as long as those two things are separate, we’re not embarrassed by you.“