Indiana Jones is swinging back into theaters in just over three years, and fans will probably be pleased to know that Steven Spielberg is directing and Harrison Ford will be donning the iconic fedora once again.
Disney just announced that a still-untitled fifth Indiana Jones film will be released in theaters on July 19, 2019, with Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall producing. One name noticeably absent from the press release? George Lucas. Lucas co-created the character and wrote the stories for all of the Indy films thus far, but since he's now retired, it seems like he's sitting this one out. I feel like if he were involved, his name would be among those listed in the press release. I know he's buddies with Spielberg, but even the director has essentially blamed the worst aspects of Kingdom of The Crystal Skull on Lucas, so as much as I respect Lucas as a major player in the success of this franchise, I'll be excited to see what an Indy movie looks like that doesn't have his name on it (if that truly is the case here).
When Disney bought Lucasfilm, we knew it was only a matter of time before a new Indian Jones movie was going to arrive in theaters, and discussions about it have ramped up over the past year or so. Marshall and Spielberg both said they wouldn't be recasting the role, and we knew Ford was up for reprising it once more, so if you've been paying attention, this announcement isn't much of a surprise. But here's a theory: Ford will have just turned 77-years-old in 2019 (!), so my guess is that they're bringing him back to play an older Jones while also introducing a younger actor to play him in flashbacks. That way it can serves as one last hurrah for Ford, paying respect to the man who originated the role, while also providing Disney/Lucasfilm with a new actor to play the iconic character in future movies. (Because we all know there are going to be more movies after this one, whether Ford or Spielberg are involved or not.)
Read the full press release below:
Indiana Jones will return to the big screen on July 19, 2019, for a fifth epic adventure in the blockbuster series. Steven Spielberg, who directed all four previous films, will helm the as-yet-untitled project with star Harrison Ford reprising his iconic role. Franchise veterans Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall will produce.
“Indiana Jones is one of the greatest heroes in cinematic history, and we can’t wait to bring him back to the screen in 2019,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “It’s rare to have such a perfect combination of director, producers, actor and role, and we couldn’t be more excited to embark on this adventure with Harrison and Steven.”
Famed archaeologist and explorer Indiana Jones was introduced in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark – one of AFI’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time – and later thrilled audiences in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The four films have brought in nearly $2 billion at the global box office.