With the financial success of Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens (and for the most part, a pass from fans), the hot new Hollywood trend appears to be not asking George Lucas for any help. When asked by Collider whether the bearded one was coming on board for Indiana Jones 5, screenwriter David Koepp replied. “He’s not, to my knowledge. I’ve had no contact with him.”
Lucas, the man who wrote and directed American Graffiti and Star Wars as well as helped bring Industrial Light & Magic into the world, is also widely regarded these days as the guy who ruined Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and your childhood for good measure. Lucas was not involved at all with last December’s The Force Awakens, and it would appear he’s just fine leaving Jones behind as well. (With the previous four Indy adventures, Lucas would come up with the idea and act as producer while Spielberg would direct.)
Koepp, who previously penned Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, goes on to explain that the core of Indiana Jones 5 is the MacGuffin:
“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. 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’s what we did. 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. For me, it was the MacGuffin dictates everything.”
Audiences did seem to feel slighted at the time of Crystal Skull’s release, when it was revealed that ancient aliens were involved, ignoring the irony of believing in the magical powers of the Ark of the Covenant, three magic rocks, and the Holy Grail, but not extraterrestrial life. No, the real issues with Crystal Skull lay in an aging (and perpetually bored) Harrison Ford, lame attempts at comedy, and—let’s face it—the Russians were never that bad, especially not when you compare them to Nazis, the best villains any screenwriter could ever ask for.
Koepp also cracks wise about killing Indiana Jones off this time around, which, as we all know, was the only way J.J. Abrams got Ford back for The Force Awakens. Koepp declined to reveal what the new MacGuffin would be (the Lost City Of Atlantis has long been a rumor), only stating that it was hatched by himself and Spielberg and that “top men are working on it.” He adds, “It’s clean and simple and makes a lot of sense.”
Indiana Jones 5 is slated for release on July 19th, 2019.