Harrison Ford Says Indy Is 'At The End Of His Journey' In Indiana Jones 5

Steven Spielberg's first Indiana Jones movie, "Raiders of the Lost Ark," was released in the summer of 1981, and further codified the director as one of his generation's preeminent hitmakers. "Raiders" — like "Star Wars" before it — was based explicitly on low-budget adventure serials that Spielberg and story writer George Lucas watched as kids. The idea was to make a modern movie that felt as grand to adult audiences as the serials had to little kids decades before. Perhaps because of the vast traditions "Raiders" borrowed from, Indiana Jones became a mainstay in popular culture, and actor Harrison Ford would return to the part for three sequels in 1984, 1989, and 2008. 

Currently in production, a fifth Indiana Jones film (whose title is still unannounced) is set for release in 2023. Ford, now 80, will return to the role, and it will be directed by James Mangold, the filmmaker behind "Ford v Ferrari" and "Logan." 

In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, Mangold announced that this fifth film would be a "sunset" story for the character. Like his "Logan," the fifth Indiana Jones movie would detail the end of a legendary character's journey. Mangold said that Indy's age needed to be a central part of the story, and not just the source of jokes:

"It became really important to me to figure out how to make this a movie about a hero at sunset.[...] The issues I brought up about Indy's age were not things I thought were being addressed in the material being developed at the time. There were 'old' jokes, but the material itself wasn't about it. To me, whatever you greatest liability, you should fly straight towards that. If you try to pretend it's not there, you end up getting slings and arrows the whole way."

Indy in the 1960s

Ford backs up Mangold's sentiment, wanting to see a character he has long been associated with finally come to a close. The script for "Indiana Jones 5" was just the right thing. As Ford said: 

"I just thought it would be nice to see one where Indiana Jones was at the end of his journey. If a script came along that I felt gave me a way to extend the character."

According to reports, the fifth "Indiana Jones" film will take place in the 1960s, following a general chronology of the series. "Raiders" was set in 1936. "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," in a fun twist, was set in 1935. "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" was set in 1938. Finally, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" was set in 1957. Given Ford's age, the jumps forward make logical sense, even as the films are generally fantastical and contain ancient holy artifacts and space aliens. To have an 80-year-old Ford playing Indy in the 1960s follows the timeline perfectly. 

If Indiana Jones goes to a theater in 1966 to see "Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round," he might catch the first screen appearance of a young Harrison Ford. 

It's worth noting that Old Indy was a character in the 1992 TV series "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles." In that show, a 93-year-old Indiana Jones was played by actor George Hall, who was 76 at the time of filming. Indy wore an eyepatch and was considered too aged to be adventuring. With Ford having just turned 80, it seems to fall in line with the series as well. Everything, it seems, will come full circle.