With the new Star Wars trilogy now complete, all eyes are turning to another long-awaited Lucasfilm sequel. Despite years of delays, Indiana Jones 5 is still in the works, and Harrison Ford is still set to reprise one of his most iconic movie roles.
While we wait for the cameras to finally start rolling on Indy 5, here’s everything we know so far about the sequel, including the cast and crew, release date and plot.
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Indiana Jones 5 Cast & Crew
While Lucasfilm hasn’t made many casting announcements regarding Indy 5, they do have the most important ingredient in place. Harrison Ford will be returning for the sequel, as will producer Frank Marshall and composer John Williams. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy recently re-confirmed Ford’s involvement, addressing fears that mounting delays and Ford’s age might derail plans for the sequel. Ford himself announced in February 2020 that filming is expected to begin in April 2020.
Actor John Rhys-Davies has expressed an interest in reprising the role of Indy’s sidekick Sallah, but his involvement in the sequel hasn’t been confirmed.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull co-writer David Koepp was hired to write the screenplay for Indy 5, and Jon Kasdan (Solo: A Star Wars Story) was later brought on to rewrite the script.
Unfortunately, one major name is absent. Steven Spielberg won’t be back to direct Indy 5 despite being attached to the project for several years. Instead, James Mangold (Logan) is in talks to take over, with Spielberg staying on board as producer.
Koepp confirmed George Lucas isn’t returning as producer, as Lucas sold the Indy and Star Wars franchises to Disney back in 2012 and is no longer heavily involved with either series.
What Is Indiana Jones 5’s Movie Title?
Lucasfilm has yet to reveal the official title for the next Indiana Jones movie. Given that none of the other movies have relied on numbering, we’re assuming Indy 5 will follow a similar naming scheme and be called Indiana Jones and the [Insert Noun] of the [Insert Ancient Artifact].
As for when we’ll learn the official title, that’s anyone’s guess at this point. Lucasfilm could make an announcement to commemorate the start of filming, but they could also withhold the title reveal until the first trailer hits, as happened with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Indiana Jones 5 Release Date
Indiana Jones is currently scheduled for release on July 9, 2021. Unfortunately, that release date has already been pushed back twice, and the possibility of another delay is still there. Originally, Disney announced Indiana Jones 5 in 2016 with a planned release date of July 19, 2019. It was then delayed to July 10, 2020, with filming expected to begin in April 2019. Disney then pushed it back another year to 2021.
Why so many delays? Spielberg’s commitment to Disney’s West Side Story remake is one reason, but concerns over the script appears to be the biggest factor. Original writer David Koepp was replaced by Solo: A Star Wars Story’s Jon Kasdan, who seems to have become the go-to writer for punching up troubled blockbusters featuring iconic Harrison Ford characters. As recently as February 2020, Kathleen Kennedy said her team was still “getting the script where we want it to be.”
Fortunately, with filming now expected to begin in April 2020, it would seem Lucasfilm is finally pleased with the script and ready to move forward. Hopefully there’s enough of a window to still meet that July 2021 release.
Is There an Indiana Jones 5 Trailer?
With production not yet underway, it should come as no surprise that there’s no trailer yet for Indiana Jones 5. Best case scenario, we wouldn’t expect to see much footage before late 2020, with a trailer potentially debuting alongside a major Disney release like Marvel’s The Eternals or West Side Story.
It is possible Disney might commission an early teaser trailer in the vein of the Ghostbusters: Afterlife teaser released in early 2019. At that point, no actual footage of the new Ghostbusters movie existed yet, but director Jason Reitman released the teaser as a sort of proof of concept and tangible evidence that a long-delayed Hollywood sequel was finally taking shape. Disney may see wisdom in taking a similar approach with the chronically delayed Indy 5.
What Is the Plot of Indiana Jones 5?
Very little is known about the plot of Indiana Jones 5 right now. As we covered already, Ford is currently the only actor confirmed for the sequel, and it’s unclear if other major characters like Karen Allen’s Marion Ravenwood or Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams will return. We’re not anticipating LaBeouf’s return, given his public criticism of Indy 4 and the fact that Koepp’s original script didn’t feature Mutt. But with Indy and Marion getting married at the end of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, we assume the sequel will have to include or at least acknowledge her in some way, even if Marion is killed off between movies a la Sean Connery’s Henry Jones, Sr.
Ford’s age gives us at least some idea of the time period of the sequel. We assume Indy 5 will take place in the 1960’s or even ’70s. Don’t expect Indy to go back to battling Nazis, unless the story has him butting heads with ex-Nazi fugitives while searching for an artifact in South America (which doesn’t sound like a bad idea, actually). More likely he’ll again clash with the Soviets, as in Crystal Skull. We could also see the Vietnam War being used as a backdrop for the movie, especially if Indy’s travels take him to a place like Cambodia.
When IGN asked Ford himself about the story, his response was predictably cryptic. “We’ll see new developments in his life, his relationship,” Ford said. “We’ll see part of his history resolved.”
That’s not much to go on, but it does suggest Indy’s marriage will be explored and that some piece of his past will come back to haunt him. Some fans have speculated Indy will be reunited with Short Round, his underage sidekick from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and a character who curiously never appears anywhere else in the series. Perhaps there’s a story to be told about Short Round’s mysterious fate.
One thing we do know is that Indy 5 will be the last entry in the series. Whether or not Indy himself dies by the end of the movie (he won’t, according to Spielberg), Ford will be finished with the role. Moreover, Ford seems adamant that Disney won’t recast the role or reboot the series down the line, saying, “When I’m gone, he’s gone. It’s easy.” That said, we find it hard to believe Disney won’t eventually reboot Indiana Jones with a younger actor and a return to the classic WWII-era setting.
Indiana Jones 5 Development Details
With the long gap between movies and the many delays, it goes without saying Indiana Jones 5 has had a tumultuous development process. Here’s a brief rundown of Indy 5’s history:
- October 2012 – Disney announces its purchase of Lucasfilm Ltd., acquiring the rights to both Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
- October 2013 – Jedi News reports that Harrison Ford agrees to appear in Star Wars: Episode VII on the condition that Disney commits to making Indiana Jones 5.
- January 2015 – Deadline reports that Chris Pratt is being eyed to star in an Indiana Jones reboot.
- May 2015 – Kathleen Kennedy confirms a sequel is being discussed internally.
- October 2015 – Producer Frank Marshall shoots down rumors of a reboot, saying Lucasfilm has no plans of recasting the role.
- March 2016 – Indiana Jones 5 is officially announced, with Ford and Spielberg confirmed to return and a July 19, 2019 release date. David Koepp is revealed to be writing the film.
- June 2016 – Spielberg confirms John Williams will return as composer.
- April 2017 – Indy 5 is delayed until July 10, 2020, making room for Star Wars: Episode IX.
- March 2018 – Spielberg announces filming will begin in the UK in April 2019.
- April 2018 – Spielberg reveals Indy 5 will likely be Ford’s last.
- July 2018 – Indy 5 is delayed again until July 2021.
- June 2019 – Ford reveals filming will begin in 2020.
- February 2020 – Ford confirms filming will commence “in about two months.” Ford tells IGN the sequel “will see part of his history resolved.” Spielberg drops out as director, with James Mangold reportedly in talks to replace him.
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