Do audiences want to see someone else play Indiana Jones? In the early 1990s, there was a brief television series that served as a prequel to the movies. Naturally, it starred someone else as the young Indiana Jones. The series did not take off and was soon cancelled. If the same series were made today, it may be a lot more successful. Audiences are more receptive to prequels, Indiana Jones 5 is about to come out, and streaming services give shows a better chance of finding their viewers. Now, according to We Got This Covered, Lucasfilm is considering a reboot “of sorts”.
Right now, we’re expecting to see the fifth movie release in the summer of 2022. That may be delayed due to an injury Harrison Ford recently suffered on set. We’re still waiting for more news on his recovery. Long before filming began for the fifth installment, people have wondered what the future of the franchise will be. Harrison Ford is now 78 years old. While few imagined that he would sign on for another action-heavy sequel at his age, and his recent injury has led to more talk in this vein, producer Frank Marshall said in an interview in 2020 that Harrison Ford is the only Indiana Jones and that no one else would be taking on the iconic role. Of course, he can’t speak for the future of the franchise forever, and a young Indiana Jones in a prequel is another story. Right?
Still, while the idea of a prequel series is interesting, it’s good to take the rumor with a grain of salt here. In January, the outlet also said that an animated series was coming for Indiana Jones. Perhaps the studio is still mulling around ideas on what to do with the franchise moving forward.
We Got This Covered made the point that Lucasfilm is not shy about milking a franchise for all its worth. That’s a fair assessment, particularly when considering just how many Star Wars projects are coming out soon. However, with Star Wars, Disney+ has distribution rights for the properties. While, like Star Wars, the Indiana Jones franchise is from Lucasfilm, the distribution is a bit more complicated. Paramount Pictures has the distribution rights for everything Indiana Jones before 2013. That’s why the movies, and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, are all available for streaming on Paramount+.
Now, the fifth movie will be under Disney’s banner for distribution and marketing rights. They still have to pay some to Paramount, but they do own the distribution. While Disney should have the right to make a reboot of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, if they did so and put it on Disney+ for streaming, it would be the only content from the franchise on the streamer. That could still be profitable, but it’s not the same as having the entire franchise in one place. While making Indiana Jones 5 for theaters is one thing, making Young Indiana Jones entirely for a streaming service that doesn’t have the rest of the franchise on it may be less enticing.
Still, they have the distribution and marketing rights to a massive franchise that may soon see a resurgence with the release of the fifth movie in the summer of 2022. It will be interesting to see how Disney decides to capitalize on that, particularly with this unique streaming situation. Will they make more Indiana Jones content exclusively for the streamer? Is a Young Indiana Jones series in the cards? Will they make a new deal with Paramount to get the other movies on their own streaming service? How much further is Disney planning to go with Indiana Jones after this last movie with Harrison Ford?