If all goes to plan, Harrison Ford will be over three quarters of a century old when he stars in Indiana Jones V. Yes, Disney has just confirmed that a fifth movie about the action-man archeologist will be released in 2019 and Steven Spielberg will once again be calling the shots. This’ll be the first one without Lucas producing, though, and rumours that it’ll be called Indiana Jones And The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel remain a mere rumour the moment. Started by us.
“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,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “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.”
The exact release date for the moment is 19 July 2019, with Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall returning to produce. And as various pundits have pointed out, if the respective released dates don’t change, 2019 will be the first year ever to witness the release of both a Star Wars film (Episode IX) and an Indiana Jones film in the same year.
Will audiences accept a septuagenarian Indy? Hell, why not? They accepted a septuagenarian Han Solo. Besides, we’ve been here before with Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull when everybody wondered if Ford could do the action man shtick in his sixties. And while there were a lot of problems with the film that briefly popularised the phrase “nuke the fridge”, Ford’s performance wasn’t one of them.
However, another 1o years on at Ford’s time a life makes a big difference. He was fantastic in The Force Awakens, sure, despite of the on-set injuries, but the film was carefully crafted to strengths and age-enforced limitations. He wasn’t carrying the film.
You’d have to assume that the new Indy film will have to similarly accommodate what he can and can’t do. Stunt doubles (real or virtual) are all very well, but it would be ridiculous to have him doing anything too outrageous. It may be time to have a more stately Indy.
The obvious approach is to have Indy passing the torch to some new young adventurer… but they already did that with Shia LaBeouf in Crystal Skull and it was a terrible misjudgement. Whether that misjudgement was creating the character in the first place, or casting Shia LaBeouf to play him is open to debate, but the problem now is that having failed to pull off the trick once, will the new film’s writers give it another go and risk claims of regurgitating old ideas or will they try something fresh. Team Indy, perhaps?
Also, when will it be set? Again, Ford’s age means they can’t go back in time. In the ’60s, maybe? Cuban missile crisis era? Something with a ’60s Bond flavour?
There’s bound to be scepticism, especially after Crystal Skull was generally regarded as a disappointment. But there’s also the chance to to something fresh with the franchise and – though we feel mean saying it – the film may well benefit from George Lucas not being involved. After all, look what happen with Episode VII.
And whatever else happens, we’ll get another great Drew Struzan poster.
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