Well it’s official: the fedora will now be hanging next to the mouse ears. Variety is reporting that Walt Disney Studios has acquired from Paramount Pictures the distribution and marketing rights to future Indiana Jones projects, in addition to the ownership rights it already received from the Lucasfilm purchase last year. Paramount will still distribute the first four films and “receive a financial participation on any future films that are produced and released.” There is still no word on whether this means there will be a fifth Indiana Jones film.
A couple of months ago, there were reports about Harrison Ford’s terms for appearing in Star Wars: Episode VII, and one of them was to start the creative process for a fifth Indiana Jones film. Although there’s no news on that front, it’s likely that work is going to begin on it soon now that Disney has acquired the franchise. Even though he’s in his ’70s, Ford has expressed interest in returning for a fifth installment, and although 2008’s The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was criticized by fans and led to the creation of the term “nuke the fridge,” it grossed over $786,000,000 at the box office. Disney would be crazy not to jump at that opportunity to start putting something in motion.
Now that Disney has the Indiana Jones franchise at their disposal, it’s likely we’ll see a full-scale revival of the two most popular Lucasfilm franchises, what with Star Wars Episode VII and its sequels coming out as well. One of my stipulations: bring back Steven Spielberg for a fifth film. Opinions about the fourth film aside, he’s been a constant with these movies and he has said he would come back for another film if the story was good enough. So scriptwriters, start hashing something out and make it good! Spielberg is one of the few constants for each film, and Disney would be wise to keep him on as director.