Some 12 years after 66-year-old (at the time) Harrison Ford last wore the fedora in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a fifth installment in the saga of everyone’s favorite adventurer and archaeology professor is still in the works.
A new script is being penned by James Mangold (Logan), who has also been tapped to succeed Steven Spielberg in the director’s chair for Indiana Jones 5, Den of Geek had a chance to speak with producer Frank Marshall about the current state of development on the movie, starting with the screenplay, Ford’s status (he’s now edging toward 79), and what Mangold potentially brings to the franchise.
“Yeah, we are working on the script,” says Marshall. “There will only be one Indiana Jones and that’s Harrison Ford. What I’m excited about with Jim is a great story. I think you see that in his movies like Ford Vs Ferrari. It’s all about characters and telling a good story. So I’m excited to see what he comes up with. I haven’t seen (the script) yet so I don’t know what to tell you.”
Indiana Jones 5 has been an ongoing concern for years, with the project getting new life after Disney purchased Lucasfilm, which owns the property and had licensed the previous four films to Paramount, in 2012. With Crystal Skull winding its way through development hell for some 19 years before emerging to a less than joyous response in 2008, it was hoped at the time that Disney would pick up the pace.
Alas, the fifth entry seems to be going through the same contortions: several screenwriters have come and gone on the film, including Crystal Skull writer David Koepp twice. At one point it was announced that the film would come out in July 2019, with Spielberg again directing and Koepp writing, but that was shifted to July 2021 three years ago before being moved again to 2022.
The ongoing development, coupled with this year’s industry shutdown due to COVID-19, has pushed the movie even further into the future, with Spielberg finally abdicating the director’s throne earlier this year in favor of Mangold (Spielberg remains on board as a producer alongside Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy).
If someone other than Spielberg is going to take over the Indiana Jones series, Mangold is perhaps one of the best options available: he has a knack for combining gritty character melodrama with visceral, immersive action sequences and hops genres easily, as films like Logan, Ford vs. Ferrari, 3:10 to Yuma and Walk the Line have proven.
Indiana Jones 5 is currently set for release on July 29, 2022.