Thanks to the ongoing resurgence of popular franchises from the '80s, it was only a matter of time before the action hero who inspired an entire generation to take up archaeology only to be met with the harsh realization that the profession does not include punching Nazis in the face made his presence felt again. If a nuked out fridge in a 2008 sequel featuring aliens and generally divided audience opinions can't stop Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) from saving historical relics and world in general, then a few more years of waiting won't have a chance of doing so.
Three months ago, Disney and Lucasfilm confirmed that there were plans for a new Indiana Jones sequel but nothing else beyond that was given. Rumors began to circulate, including one where producers were thinking about replacing Harrison Ford with Chris Pratt as the main character while others suggested that the next Indiana Jones movie will reboot the franchise and start everything from scratch but in the past few days, Disney has finally begun to loosen its lips and shed some light on the next adventure for the Nazi hating ass-kicking history professor.
The newest entry into the Indiana Jones franchise, which has been confirmed to arrive in theaters on July 2019, will see the return of some familiar faces, specifically that of director Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford back in the shoes of the titular character. Along for the ride are other frequent Spielberg collaborators who also had a hand in some if not all of the Indiana Jones movies, including composer John Williams, writer David Koepp and Indy co-creator George Lucas, albeit only in a producer's role this time around.
Details and other elements are still being kept in the dark but during a recent interview with THR's Matthew Belloni, Disney CEO Robert Iger dropped a few hints on what to expect from the next Indiana Jones adventure by clarifying that the new movie is not a reboot but a "requel" or rebooting sequel, similar to both X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) which served as both direct sequels to their respective original trilogies while being the perfect starting point for brand new ones that still take place in the same continuity.
Matthew Belloni: THR has been using the term “requel” for these sequels that reboot the franchise.
Robert Iger: Requel. (Laughs.) We [got] Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in the film. But then what’s the direction? I’ve had discussions about what the direction is, [but] I don’t want to get into it.
The only other thing Iger was willing to confirm was that this won't be the last Indiana Jones movie as there are plans to make more after the fifth one but it won't be done in the expanded universe approach the Star Wars franchise has taken. This confirmation on Iger's part is only made stronger by the statements Spielberg made earlier where he assured worried fans that Indy won't be killed in his next movie, opening the possibility for more Indy movies starring Ford.
Minus official statements from the producers, all fans have to go on for the actual plot is speculation and mass guessing since the creative team behind the upcoming Indiana Jones sequel is most probably brainstorming ideas right now. There's still no word on which characters will be returning, what specific decade in history the new movie will be set in following its transition into the Cold War or what historical/scientific artifact will be at the story's center but if one thing is for sure, it's that Harrison Ford will be 77 years old by the time the movie comes out. Contrary to those Shia LaBeouf rumors that circulated his role as Indy's son and possible successor in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), no one else can play Indiana Jones like Harrison Ford but practically speaking, Disney may not be willing to rest the fate of a potential new blockbuster franchise on the shoulders of the currently 73 year old actor. The franchise's narrative future is still up in the air as Iger only gave hints of things to come and assuring the franchise's continuation alongside Ford's involvement.
Robert Iger: Well, we’ll bring him back, then we have to figure out what comes next. That’s what I mean. It’s not really a reboot, it’s a boot — a reboot. I don’t know.
After the credits roll up and conclude the fifth entry's story, we may see a soft reboot that features Indy handing the torch to a new generation of Nazi hating ass-kicking professors or we may end up with a complete overhaul and maybe in the off-chance, get another Harrison Ford action vehicle but until more information comes out, those who were waiting for more Indiana Jones will be more than glad to know that he won't be hanging up his whip and fedora any time soon.