SPEC: Lucas And Spielberg Planning A New Indy Trilogy After Crystal Skull?

Sure, every fan has probably considered it. But it's extremely rare when an entertainment journalist issues a long editorial admitting that he may not have dug deep enough for a giant scoop, and Vanity Fair contributing editor Jim Windolf has done just that. Regarding his Feb. '08 cover story on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Windolf goes so far as to offer an apology to fans for not pressing director Steven Spielberg and producer Frank Marshall on their plans for a new post-Crystal Skull Indiana Jones trilogy. Windolf sounds so convinced that the franchise will continue with Shia LaBeouf's still-unnamed character dropping his greaser 'do and silly switchblade to pick up Jones' fedora and five o'clock shadow that I wonder if he's received fresh intelligence about the production, on top of his rumbling gut intuition.

When I asked [Spielberg] why he hadn't gone forward with the Indy IV script written by writer-director Frank Darabont, he said, "In this case George [Lucas] was passionate that this was not the story he wanted to tell at this point in the Indiana Jones saga …" Noting that he had used the magic phrase "at this point," I followed up by asking him, "Is that leaving room open for another one?" To which Spielberg replied, "Oh, I don't know. I haven't even thought about that. I'm still in the cutting room. I can't even think beyond the next cut."

After the increasingly strong box office and clear hunger for the National Treasure adventure franchise-which Lucas seems to allude to as not on Indy's level in the original VF feature-and Spielberg's growing stock in LaBeouf (whose prior three films and this summer's Eagle Eye gleam with Spielberg's fingerprints), I'd say the arrows start pointing in the "hell yeah" direction once the first trailer hits, when the excitement of fanboys' reaches boiler room intensity.