Last Updated: May 7, 2020
Indiana Jones 5 is the latest installment in the popular Indiana Jones franchise, and here’s everything we know about it so far. The Indiana Jones legacy began with 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, then continued with 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.
Presumably, this will be the final adventure for Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, though it’s unknown if Indiana Jones 5 will pave the way for a new lead actor to take over for future installments. Steven Spielberg, who helmed the previous four movies in the series, was originally set to call the shots once again, but there’s since been a shakeup behind the scenes.
Can Ford’s Indy still provide the same action and adventure thrills he used to in Indiana Jones 5? That remains to be seen, but for now, here’s what we know.
To say that Indiana Jones 5 has had a rocky road to production would be an understatement. The sequel has been pushed back and delayed numerous times, and has also gone through multiple writers. As of April 3, 2020, Indiana Jones 5 is set to release in theaters on July 29, 2022, after production ended up delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Whether this date will finally stick is anyone’s guess.
Hollywood is no stranger to recasting iconic roles (see: Batman, James Bond), but only one many has portrayed Indiana Jones since the franchise started back in 1981. Living legend Harrison Ford will play the character for the fifth and (presumably) final time in this latest installment. Though in the earliest stages of development there was talk Chris Pratt would headline a reboot, both Steven Spielberg and producer Frank Marshall went on record to state Ford will not be replaced. Indiana Jones 5 concludes Ford’s unofficial “legacy sequel” trilogy, following Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Blade Runner 2049.
The previous Indiana Jones films were well-known for their supporting casts, giving the archeologist memorable allies (Sallah, Marion, Short Round) and menacing villains (Belloq, the Nazis). Since the fifth movie is still a ways off, none of these roles have been cast yet. The only official update on the matter is confirmation Shia LaBeouf will not reprise Mutt Williams, Indy’s son who debuted to mixed results in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. On the flip side, John Rhys-Davies has expressed hope to play Sallah again.
In stark contrast to Star Wars, this Lucasfilm action/adventure series has been helmed by a single filmmaker from day one. Steven Spielberg called the shots on the first four, but surprisingly, he won’t be returning for a fifth go-around. When Disney announced Indiana Jones 5, Ford and Spielberg were the two main players attached. Now, Spielberg has bowed out, with Logan helmer James Mangold set to take over as director. Spielberg will remain onboard as a producer though.
Raiders of the Lost Ark was the brainchild of Spielberg and George Lucas, and the dynamic duo collaborated on the first three sequels. But after selling Lucasfilm to Disney, Lucas is now retired from filmmaking and no longer involved in the production of the upcoming tentpoles. Since it was Lucas who pushed for the sci-fi elements that derailed Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, this development is arguably for the best.
While Lucas isn’t coming back, producer Spielberg is set to reunite once again with his old friend, composer John Williams. The two have been working together since the 1970s, with Williams’ music brilliantly complementing Spielberg’s sensibilities as a filmmaker – including the now-iconic main Indy theme. Williams continues to deliver outstanding work, earning Oscar nominations for Force Awakens and The Last Jedi in recent years. Hopefully, he’s got another great score left in him.
So far, no official details about Indiana Jones 5‘s story have been released. Several writers have taken passes at the sequel’s script this point, including Crystal Skull writer David Koepp, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman, and Solo: A Star Wars Story‘s Jonathan Kasdan. With as massive a franchise as Indiana Jones is, one assumes Disney will try to go the Marvel Studios route on this one and keep things mysterious for as long as possible.
When Harrison Ford returned to the Star Wars franchise for Episode VII, many assumed Han Solo would meet his end (which is precisely what happened). However, something similar will not be in the cards for Indiana Jones 5. The only aspect of the story Spielberg was willing to reveal is that he is not killing Indiana Jones, meaning the archeologist should have (another) happy ending after riding off into the sunset and getting married.
The Indiana Jones franchise sneakily made one of the best movie prequels in Temple of Doom, which in-universe is set one year before Raiders. The creative team won’t be utilizing that approach for the fifth installment though, as producer Frank Marshall stated it’ll be a “continuation” of the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull story. This doesn’t necessarily mean Indy 5 will be a direct sequel, but it reads as confirmation the film will take place after Crystal Skull. Given LaBeouf isn’t coming back, there may not be that much connective tissue.
Lucasfilm brought back the Star Wars franchise in a big way, expanding the films beyond the Skywalker family saga to make spinoffs like Rogue One and Solo. The galaxy far, far away will continue to grow with Rian Johnson’s new trilogy and another separate series produced by Game of Thrones‘ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. It sounds like the Indiana Jones property will follow suit soon, with Disney CEO Bob Iger saying he hopes Indy 5 isn’t just a one-off and they make more down the line.
Because principal photography on Indiana Jones 5 hasn’t commenced and the film doesn’t hit theaters until 2022, Lucasfilm has not released a teaser trailer yet. A preview likely won’t be unveiled until late 2021, perhaps attached to prints of James Cameron’s Avatar 2, which premieres in December of that year. A first poster will likely be unveiled a bit prior to the trailer.
The first four Indiana Jones films were released by Paramount, but with Lucasfilm now a Disney subsidiary, the Mouse House will distribute Indiana Jones 5 (as well as any others that follow). In order to gain full control over production of future Indy projects, Disney and Paramount had to make a deal. Under the terms of the agreement, Paramount will receive a slice of the pie from any theatrically released Indiana Jones film from here on out.