As Jurassic World reminded us last week, a beloved franchise hitting the big screen is like printing money for a studio, and not making new installments is a waste. However, they need to be careful with the most popular series to avoid alienating fans and doing constant damage control.
I don’t think Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull will be the last film in the Indiana Jones series, and last month producer Kathleen Kennedy confirmed to Vanity Fair that another Indiana Jones film, “will one day be made inside this company. When it will happen, I’m not quite sure. We haven’t started working on a script yet, but we are talking about it.”
However, now fellow producer Frank Marshall now tells /Film that there are currently no discussions for a fifth installment:
So that’s just Internet rumor?
Frank Marshall: Yeah. I mean, we’ve had no discussions on Indy 5 to date.
I find that hard to believe because it’s too valuable of an IP to ignore in a franchise-hungry environment. The X-factor is Steven Spielberg, who would need to give the movie his blessing, and he’s busy making his own movies at the moment. I also I doubt he would return for fifth go-around directing (Crystal Skull feels like it was done as a favor to Harrison Ford and George Lucas, and not something Spielberg felt passionate about). But if he signed off on Jurassic World, I don’t think he would automatically nix Indiana Jones 5.
In fact, AICN reports that Lucasfilm is targeting Q4 2018 for a new Indiana Jones movie, and even though that’s clearly a rumor at this point, I can see that happening. If they nail down Chris Pratt, who was previously rumored to take over and is now an even bigger star after Jurassic World, and get the rest of the wheels moving on getting a new Indy movie going, then it could be a fresh start for the franchise. Additionally, if Star Wars moves to summer starting with Episode VIII, then there’s a gap at the end of the year where Disney-Lucasfilm could also make some money.
Whether or not we actually need a new Indiana Jones movie is up for debate, but for Disney shareholders, I’m sure there’s no question on whether they want to see adventuring archeologist back on the big screen sooner rather than later.