J.J. Abrams knows a thing or two about developing movie franchises. He made his directorial debut taking the helm of Mission: Impossible III, and has since helped bring both Star Trek and Star Wars back to the big screen as well. It begs the question what other notable properties he could eventually help reinvigorate, and given his relationship with both producer Kathleen Kennedy and director Steven Spielberg, Indiana Jones certainly seems like a title that could be on Abrams' radar. Hopefully that idea isn't something that excites you, however, because it's something that he really doesn't have any interest in -- as he is ready to shift focus away from franchises and develop more original material.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with J.J. Abrams earlier this afternoon at the Star Trek Beyond press day, and after a nice long chat about the development of the new sci-fi blockbuster, I concluded the interview by inquiring about his possible interest in being a part of the future of Indiana Jones. Citing the aforementioned relationship with Kennedy and Spielberg, I asked if the future of that series was something he wanted to be a part of in any way -- but he fully explained why it wasn't really at all on his radar. Said Abrams,
I don't think so. First of all, they certainly don't need me. Secondly, I really do feel like, as someone who has been a very lucky recipient of other people's original ideas, and getting to sort of help shepherd them and be part of it, I'm looking forward to helping be a part of creating some stories that maybe one day someone can talk about rebooting. But it's been, with Mission: Impossible and Star Trek and Star Wars, and, frankly, now with Westworld too, which is a totally different thing, I do feel like it would be nice to work on something that doesn't necessarily pre-exist.
When you look at J.J. Abrams' filmography as a whole (particularly his work as a feature director), it's just about impossible to blame him for thinking this way. With the exception of 2011's Super 8, every movie that Abrams has helmed has been based on an existing property, and even though he seems to be also done directing Mission: Impossible, Star Trek and Star Wars movies -- passing on installments to other talented folks -- he has remained onboard as a producer for all of them. That's a lot of work on material he himself did not create, and it's not hard to see how that could weigh on a creative person.
Fortunately, Indiana Jones movies are in good hands even without J.J. Abrams involvement, as Indiana Jones 5 is now getting deeper into development with Steven Spielberg back at the helm, and the project is scheduled for release on July 19, 2019. As always, be sure to stay tuned here on Cinema Blend for more updates about that particular sequel, but also be on the lookout for more from my J.J. Abrams interview about Star Trek Beyond!