Exciting news for movie fans in Fresno and all over the world today as Disney has just announced that a fifth film in the blockbuster Indiana Jones franchise will officially be going into production and scheduled for release on July 19, 2019.
According the news sources, including Deadline.com, Disney will be pursuing a new film in the series in which Harrison Ford will be reprising his iconic role as Indiana Jones with Steven Spielberg once returning to the director’s chair for the fifth time. Also returning are franchise veterans Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall as producers.
One key player who will not be returning, however, is creator George Lucas, after selling his company Lucasfilm Ltd. to Disney in October 2012. Prior to the Disney buyout, the Indiana Jones titles wouldn’t move forward into production unless Lucas and Spielberg each saw eye to eye on the script and all of the film’s elements, making it one of the reasons why there has always been a gap between sequels. In the past, Lucas was also known for maintaining a tight influence on the story lines, and indeed some have blamed Lucas for some of the less favorable elements of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull‘s narrative.
Rumors about a fifth film had been going around ever since the buyout, but it as not until February 2015 that word broke Spielberg was indeed mounting this production. At the time, he expressed that he was interested in Chris Pratt joining the cast, but, this, as well as the entire cast itself, is still to be determined.
In a statement made by Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, he said: “Indiana Jones is one of the greatest heroes in cinematic history, and we can’t wait to bring him back to the screen in 2019. It’s rare to have such a perfect combination of director, producers, actor and role, and we couldn’t be more excited to embark on this adventure with Harrison and Steven.”
It was perhaps inevitable for Disney to make this announcement following their momentous with last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in which Ford also appeared, reprising his equally iconic role as Han Solo. With a success of that scope, it seems obvious that Disney would choose to take full advantage of their other inherited Lucasfilm franchise. Incidentally, Ford also has the Blade Runner sequel in the works slated for a January 2018 release date.
The famed archaeologist and adventurer Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. was first introduced in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, which is now regarded one of the greatest action films of all time and as one of the AFI’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time. The success of Raiders spawned three sequels: 1984’s Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, 1989’s Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, and 2008’s Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. All together, the four film series has grossed nearly $2 billion at the global box office.
There are no details at this time as to what the story of this currently untitled fifth installment may be, but at the end of Crystal Skull we got to see Indy settle down and marry his old flame Marion Ravenwood (played by Karen Allen) and connect with his newly-discovered son Henry “Mutt” Jones III (played by Shia LaBeouf). Whether this will be the path they follow in the new film or not remains to be seen however.
Whatever the case, fans are sure to begin speculating as they eagerly await Indy’s next adventure!