We know that Harrison Ford will be back and that Indiana Jones 5 will be released on July 9, 2021. On top of that, we now know that Steven Spielberg will not be returning as director — which is the first time in the history of this near-40-year-old franchise that’s the situation. Talks are currently underway with Ford vs. Ferrari director James Mangold, whose previous credits also include Knight and Day, Walk the Line and Hugh Jackman’s critically acclaimed final adventure as Wolverine, Logan, to take over.
While Spielberg will remain as a so-called “hands-on” producer, there’s been no explanation given for his exit. That being said, some assumptions can be made. For starters, Indiana Jones was the creation of George Lucas (perhaps you’ve heard of his other franchise, Star Wars), who has created or co-created the story for each of the Indy films and served as producer. However, back in 2012 when Lucas sold Lucasfilm, Ltd. to Disney (for $4 billion), they became the owner of both franchises. In the aftermath of that deal, the Mouse House has created five Star Wars feature films and the Disney+ streaming series The Mandalorian, with much more on the way. However, Lucas hasn’t exactly hidden his disappointment in the direction they’ve gone in.
The situation with Indy is the same: Disney owns it lock, stock and barrel, and hasn’t involved Lucas at all (not are they required to). It could be, given their long-standing friendship and a feeling of loyalty to Lucas, Spielberg simply isn’t comfortable sitting in the director’s chair. There is, however, some reassurance in the fact that he’ll still be involved with the project. The script for Indiana Jones 5 is being written by Jonathan Kasdan (The First Time, Solo: A Star Wars Story).
Indiana Jones was first introduced to the world in 1981 via the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. That was followed by 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (the violence of which played a role in the creation of the PG-13 rating), 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (which brought onboard Sean Connery as Indy’s father — the two actors having amazing chemistry with each other) and 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The character was also featured on the 1992 to 1996 television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (which, as you can assume, told adventures of the young Indy) as well as numerous games, novels, comic books, theme park live shows and more.
Again, look for Indiana Jones 5 on July 9, 2021.