Thank The Maker! George Lucas Not Involved With 'Indiana Jones 5' Story

In March, Disney announced that Steven Spielberg would be returning to direct Harrison Ford in a new Indiana Jones movie. While most of the internet was skeptical and cynical about the announcement, I was hopeful that Indiana Jones 5 could be a return to form for the beloved franchise. One of the reasons I cited was that George Lucas is not involved in this new film. Director Steven Spielberg later commented that Lucas would be involved as an executive producer on the project, stating "I would never make an Indiana Jones film without George Lucas. That'd be insane." This comment has worried a lot of people, as Lucas was widely blamed for the most horrible aspects of the last installment, Indiana Jones and the Kindom of the Crystal Skull.

But don't worry, my initial report seems to be confirmed by new comments from Indiana Jones 5 screenwriter David Koepp. Find out what he says about George Lucas Indiana Jones 5 involvement, after the jump.

Collider caught up with Indiana Jones 5 screenwriter David Koepp, who revealed that Lucas is not involved in the project, at least at a script level: "He's not, to my knowledge. I've had no contact with him." Koepp also says that how they are approaching the next installment weighs heavily on the MacGuffin:

"I think that what [Indy] looks for and when he looks for it dictates what the movie's gonna be. So the selection of the MacGuffin is everything. I think Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, being set in 1957 there was a conscious desire to say, 'Much like two of the other ones were World War II movies set in the 30s and early 40s, this is '57 so a lot of our influences are gonna be science-fiction movies.' You got that with the original [script], Jeb Stuart took the first shot at it with Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars. That was a really conscious decision that dictated a lot about what the story would be and what the movie would be like, and I think that was followed through on really nicely. I thought Steve did a really good job with that. I don't know that the idea was most suited to an Indiana Jones movie, but that was what we did. So we tried to be very careful with the selection of the MacGuffin and the eras to give ourselves as much latitude to make the best kind of Indiana Jones movie that we most want to see. Learning how that's the importance of the choice of the MacGuffin is a big deal."

The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull screenwriter seems to believe that the MacGuffin may have been the reason why the last film may not have worked as well as it should have. And I agree, most of my problems with the fourth film stem from the alien and sci-fi framing that George Lucas reportedly wouldn't let go of. The idea for the new film was apparently designed by Spielberg himself alongside Koepp. He won't give much away, only saying: "I really like our idea; I think it's clean and simple and makes a lot of sense, and I feel like the writing is going really well."

I'm very grateful for everything George Lucas has created, but I'm happy he will not have his fingers in this installment. And remember, this whole thing will be spearheaded by Kathleen Kennedy at Lucasfilm. It's a very different environment this time around. As I stated in my argument for why you should be excited about this sequel, I think Speilberg feels he has something to prove with this next movie and Disney apparently wants to run with this franchise in the same way they are with Star Wars