Indiana Jones 5 is seen by many, including actor Harrison Ford, as the final entry in the series. However, Lucasfilm may have other ideas as it explores a future for the popular adventure franchise without its titular character.
Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm, teased a continuation of the long-running movie franchise after Indiana Jones 5. The studio is exploring how to bring Indiana Jones to the small screen after Ford’s retirement.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kennedy confirmed that Ford is hanging up his fedora after Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. However, if Lucasfilm decides on continuing the franchise, "it might be in series television."
"It’s Harrison’s last entry," Kennedy said. "That’s how we look at the Indy franchise. I mean, truthfully, right now, if we were to do anything, it might be in series television down the road, but we’re not doing anything to replace Indiana Jones."
She adds, "This is it. There are five movies that Harrison Ford did. And Harrison is so specific and so unique to creating this role. We just, Steven [Spielberg] agrees, we just wouldn’t do that." Many popular movie series have seen reboots and recasts, but sometimes a face is just too iconic.
Ford has made it clear that Indiana Jones 5 will be his last movie as the famed adventurer. He believes that no other actor will take on the mantle of Indiana Jones. This echoes his comments about the role of Han Solo in The Force Awakens - even if a prequel film did star a different actor.
"This is the final film in the series, and this is the last time I’ll play the character," Ford said in an interview with Total Film. "I anticipate that it will be the last time that he appears in a film." This doesn't mean the series has run out of stories to tell - in fact, it has a US military hangar full of them.
There were reports of an Indiana Jones spin-off TV series centered around a younger version of Abner Ravenwood, who was mentioned as Indiana Jones’ mentor in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. Lucasfilm is also considering making a spin-off movie for Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Helena Shaw. However, the studio is reportedly "not having any of those conversations right now."
Dial of Destiny director James Mangold isn’t interested in making a movie for Waller-Bridge’s character. The director said that continuing the franchise through spin-offs would be just "large-scale advertising."
"I'm not interested... I refuse," Mangold stated. "I just can’t do it...The amount of lore and Easter eggs and fan service starts to become antithetical to any of this stuff at a certain point. It isn’t storytelling anymore. It’s "large-scale advertising."
The likelihood of an Indiana Jones spin-off will largely depend on the box office performance of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. It would take record-breaking box office numbers from the upcoming film to convince Lucasfilm to even consider making more movies without Ford. After all, what is an Indiana Jones movie without Indiana Jones?
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is coming to theaters on June 30, 2023.