By day, he’s a mild-mannered archaeology professor with longstanding daddy issues. By night—and, actually, also plenty of daylight hours—he’s a jet-setting, whip-wielding adventurer with a yen for preservation. He, of course, is Henry Jones, Jr., a.k.a. Indiana (after the dog). And he’s gearing up for a fifth cinematic adventure, more than 40 years after his first.
Years in Development Hell
The prospect of a fifth Indiana Jones movie has been underway, formally or otherwise, since shortly after the fourth film. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull released in 2008; middling reception notwithstanding, Steven Spielberg maintained the intention to carry forth with another story.
Given Harrison Ford’s alleged skepticism about the project, early rumblings suggested the graduation of Shia LaBeouf to the starring role; LaBeouf had portrayed sidekick Mutt in Crystal Skull. For one reason or another—or both, or all, or every conceivable—that idea died out before long.
Further development stalled up through Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012. Another three years passed before Kathleen Kennedy confirmed development on Indy 5, just shy of The Force Awakens’ release. (And overwhelming box office success.) Lucasfilm originally scheduled the movie for a 2019 release. However, further shakeups behind the scenes preempted that plan…
Switch-Ups Behind the Camera
The first big switcheroo involved replacing original screenwriter David Koepp. Koepp was enlisted for the script after writing Crystal Skull. In 2018, Koepp left the project and the team brought in Jonathan Kasdan, son of Lawrence Kasdan and co-writer of that year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. However, Kasdan’s draft was eschewed in favor of a new turn by Dan Fogelman.
Most fans expected that Spielberg, director of each Indy film so far, would return to helm No. 5; in fact, it seemed as though Spielberg was considering the job for some time. However, in 2020, the still-unproduced movie fell into the hands of a different director: James Mangold. Mangold had recently earned renewed acclaim for his turn as Logan director; that’s not to mention a Best Picture nomination for his Ford vs. Ferrari.
At this point, the screenplay saw yet another change of hands. Mangold took the reins in this department alongside screenwriting partners and brothers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth. In a more harmonious fashion (in more ways than one), John Williams is returning to score the picture.
Who’s in the Cast?
Early resistance notwithstanding, Harrison Ford ultimately signed on to revive the character of Indy proper. This time, he’d be joined by a slew of exciting costars. Topping the list: Fleabag creator and No Time to Die writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who costarred in the aforementioned Solo; and Mads Mikkelsen (per Deadline), ever the welcome entry in any anticipated project. Also on board (per The Hollywood Reporter): Narcos‘ Boyd Holbrook, and the MCU’s Shaunette Renée Wilson and Thomas Kretschmann. (She played a Dora Milaje; he played Baron von Strucker.)
Where Will the Story Take Indy This Time?
No word yet on the where, when, or what of Indiana Jones’ next adventure. But given that it (presumably) takes place 15 or so years after Crystal Skull, that lands us in the early 1970s. We wonder how Indy will take to the times…
When Will the Film Hit Theaters?
Deadline has reported a yet-unconfirmed rumor that Indy 5 will begin filming in the United Kingdom on the week of June 7.
Featured Image: Paramount Pictures
Originally published on May 14, 2021.