By Travis Johnson

Remember when Disney bought Lucasfilm and they publicly said that they were too busy drooling over the potential Star Wars moolah to even consider doing much with Indiana Jones, Lucasfilm’s other big property? Well, new information has come to light, man (yesterday was The Day of the Dude). Disney has released an official statement vis-a-vis the continuing exploits of Dr. Henry Jones, Jr.

Spielberg and Ford Reunite as Indiana Jones Returns to Theaters July 19, 2019

Indiana Jones will return to the big screen on July 19, 2019, for a fifth epic adventure in the blockbuster series. Steven Spielberg, who directed all four previous films, will helm the as-yet-untitled project with star Harrison Ford reprising his iconic role. Franchise veterans Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall will produce.

“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.”

Famed archaeologist and explorer Indiana Jones was introduced in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark – one of AFI’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time – and later thrilled audiences in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The four films have brought in nearly $2 billion at the global box office.

So, Spielberg and Marshall are back in the saddle, as is the seventy-goddamn-six-as-of-2019 Harrison Ford. You guys remember when we used to make fun of Sean Connery for making crap like Entrapment and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen when he was well past it? Same principle applies.

But you know who isn’t back? George Lucas. You might gripe about the while ancient aliens thing in Crystal Skull, but it still feels a bit mean making an Indy film without him. Star Wars has always had a lot of cooks in the kitchen, what with the (mostly risible) Expanded Universe – Indy Jones began with two dudes making a sandcastle on a beach in Hawaii, and while the Lucas/Spielberg alchemy has never produced anything as good as Raiders again in the history of the franchise, you have to wonder if it’s an essential part of the magic.

But that age thing – that’s a bit of a killer. What could work is using Ford for a framing device to narrate an adventure that introduces a younger model of adventuring archaeologist. Now we can all look forward to a year of fan-casting and arguing on the internet. You know, come to think of it, that Ehrenreich kid looks good in a hat…

 

 

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