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Long before Indiana Jones 5 was ever added to Disney's release calendar, we knew the movie was coming. The studio always made it clear that they had plans to make more films with the property. Now, we have some information about what Disney wants to do moving forward, but now, they're really not very clear at all. Disney CEO Bob Iger says that the key to Indy 5 is bringing back Harrison Ford in the title role, so the new film isn't really a reboot. Except that is? Or maybe not? Fuck, we have no idea.
Bob Iger is absolutely clear that there will be more Indiana Jones films after the fifth installment planned for 2019. Beyond that, it gets more fuzzy. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Iger seems to go back and forth about whether or not this movie, or the next one, might be a reboot. Or what exactly a reboot would look like, if and when it happened.
You can almost hear Bob Iger's inner monolog screaming "we got Indiana Jones back, what more do you want? Now please leave me alone." THR gives Iger the word "requel" as a description of a film in a franchise that is both a direct sequel to the previous films, while also launching it into a new direction. It sounds like this might be the best description of what Disney may be planning for Indy. Something in a similar vein to what Jurassic World did last summer. That movie was a sequel, in that it took the original movie as canon, while also setting up additional sequels which will launch directly from the new film.
The last movie in the franchise, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, could be viewed in this same light. It was clearly a sequel which followed from the original trilogy, while the introduction of Shia LeBeouf as the son of Indiana Jones was an obvious attempt to set up future sequels. As that movie went over like a lead balloon, sequels following it never materialized. The one thing we can probably say, with a fair degree of certainty, is that if Indy 5 is looking to reboot the series in any way, it means that there are no plans for the film to follow directly from the events of Crystal Skull.
So while we still have no idea what we'll see with the Indiana Jones franchise, after Indiana Jones 5 we know we will see something. We're sure we'll hear more, as soon as Disney figures out what they're talking about.