Just like Geoff’s horrific dad jokes, people wish that they could forget about Indiana Jones 4. On paper, the return of Indiana Jones should have been the stuff of legend, another entry in a magnificent franchise that should have turned a ground-breaking trilogy of movies into a legendary quadrilogy. The end result however? An over reliance on CGI, a complete waste of John Hurt’s acting talents and the introduction of Mutt.
No seriously, what happened there? Some of that blame could possibly go back to George Lucas, who came up with the story for Indy 4 with screenwriter David Koepp. It wasn’t exactly Lucas at his finest, as the film failed to hit the narrative high-notes that the original films did. But Indiana Jones 5? You won’t see Lucas handling a script for that film, as he’ll be confined to executive production duties.
So said Koepp to Collider, who confirmed that Lucas was absent from any plot duties on Indiana Jones 5:
He’s not, to my knowledge. I’ve had no contact with him.
Usually, an Indiana Jones movie revolved around George Lucas coming up with an idea that Steven Spielberg would direct. But with The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull taking a severe beating at the box office, there were obviously some lessons to be learnt there, as Koepp explained:
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.
Basically, the focus for Indiana Jones 5 will be to not focus too heavily on said MacGuffin:
It’s hard because you can learn like if something maybe didn’t work as well as you think it would well we certainly wouldn’t do that again, but you wouldn’t have done that again anyway, you already did it, so it’s hard to say. For me it was the MacGuffin dictates everything, and so we tried to make the best possible choice we could. Not that nobody didn’t try to make the best choice that they could in the past, but we tried to give us the one that gave us the Indiana Jones movie we most wanted to see.
Thing is, Indiana Jones 5 could be stuck in development hell for a very long time, and Harrison Ford isn’t exactly getting any younger. Unless the fifth film has him searching for the fountain of youth that is. So what’s the actual progress then on the fifth film? “ It feels like it has a lot of momentum behind it,” Koepp explained.
We have ‘top men’ working on it as we speak (laughs). No, it’s going really well. 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.
It’s probably going to be a while before Spielberg even has enough time to make Indiana Jones 5 however. He’s still busy with his sci-fi flick Ready Player One, and his next project happens to be The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara with Mark Rylance and Oscar Isaac next year. And that’s with Disney forecasting that Indiana Jones 5 will hit cinemas in July of 2019. That Spielberg certainly is one busy fella.