Earlier this week most of us gave a collective groan when Shia LaBeouf mentioned that Steven Spielberg had cracked the story for a fifth Indiana Jones film. So how far off is it, really? Empire‘s headline today (“Indy 5 Is A Go!”) might lead you to think sooner rather than later, but that may not be the case. Producer Frank Marshall said things that Empire interpreted as meaning the film “could be approaching the pencil-chewing script development stage,” which means it isn’t anywhere close to happening.
“It’s really about the script,” Marshall said. “Once we see that, we’ll see. We’re not going to wait another 20 years. We’d all love to make another one. I’m anxious to hear the idea!” Translation: standard producer stuff. That line could mean anything. The one thing to take away from this is that, given the outrageous box office Indy 4 did worldwide, everyone involved won’t be as reluctant to give it another go. But how much of that $786m worldwide take was due to anticipation and interest built up over twenty years? After Crystal Skull, you can bet that audiences won’t be as quick to embrace another Indy movie just because Harrison Ford puts on a fedora.
And in case the situation still isn’t clear, Marshall weighs in again. “Until there’s a script, nothing’s definite. I haven’t heard the idea.” Last time settling on a script took years, as Spielberg, Lucas and Ford all have to approve the story and any draft. I’d like to think that after taking a long, hard look at the fourth film, Spielberg at least might be severely critical of any pages that cross his desk. Especially if they involve Indy Jr. in a serious capacity, which has to be part of the idea.
In the meantime, there’s a wonderful adventure movie about an old guy in theatres right now. Hopefully Spielberg& Co. have seen it a few times.