The search for Indiana Jones news continues! The long-in-production fifth Indiana Jones movie did get some attention during the studio showcase at last week’s D23 fan expo, but while the general public learned that John Rhys-Davies would return as Sallah, and Harrison Ford and his Temple of Doom co-star Ke Huy Kwan shared an adorable photo op, only those in attendance got to see a trailer. And nobody, present at the Expo or otherwise, learned the title of the upcoming film. I don’t know if Disney expects us to look for clues in words engraved on the shield of a dead knight’s tomb, but they are not being very forthcoming so far!
However, producer Frank Marshall did offer a bit more info via his Twitter. Retweeting a snapshot of Ford and co-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge from the latter’s account, Marshall added the headline: “Indy and his goddaughter, Helena.”
To be sure, that’s not much to go on, but that’s more than we know about any other character in the film, save for Indy and Sallah. Unsurprisingly, Mads Mikkelsen will play the bad guy, but the roles of Thomas Kretschmann, Boyd Holbrook, and Shaunette Renée Wilson remain unannounced. Very little information about the trailer shown to D23 attendees has made it out of that room, but it has been reported that the footage includes flashback scenes with a digitally de-aged Ford. It’s a safe bet that Indy’s old enemies the Nazis will be involved somehow (unless director James Mangold and his co-writers want to get nuts and bring back the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull aliens), but we don’t know how, or who will be playing them.
However, the connection between Indy and Helena does point to a way to bring the decidedly elderly Henry Jones Jr. back into action. If Helena found herself in trouble, especially with an enemy from Indy’s past, then he would be bound to come and help her, leading to the movie’s central adventure. Helena’s parentage certainly remains a mystery. As Kingdom of the Crystal Skull showed, the franchise has no problem introducing characters who apparently had a long off-screen relationship with Indy. With a new director and writing team at the helm, and Disney ultimately calling the shots this time, the movie may tie Helena to a previously-seen character.
Whatever their relationship, it seems clear that Helena will play a major role in the story. During his tearful address to the D23 audience, Ford declared “I’m very proud to say that this one is fantastic, and this is one of the reasons,” pointing at Waller-Bridge. “Indiana Jones movies are about mystery and adventure, but they’re also about heart,” he explained. “And I’m really, really happy that we have a really human story to tell, as well as a movie that will kick your ass.”
In the role of Indy’s goddaughter, it’s easy to see how Waller-Bridge would provide that heart, especially if this is Ford’s final film in the franchise, as he repeatedly promised. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to put a bag of sand on this obelisk to retrieve a rough cut of the trailer.