Indiana Jones 5 is one of the most anticipated films currently in development. Considering the success and enduring popularity of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and its sequels Temple Of Doom, The Last Crusade, and even Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, it's easy to see why. But there's a lot of pressure that comes with trying to match these installments, which is why screenwriter David Koepp is currently working hard on trying to create a story and sequel that will live up to the anticipation. According to David Koepp the most integral step in this process is coming up with the perfect MacGuffin.
David Koepp made this admission to Collider, revealing that he and the Indiana Jones 5 team are currently trying to figure out not just the right MacGuffin, which the titular hero will be in pursuit of throughout the film, but the exact era and year when the film will take place. These two factors need to be perfectly entwined, insists Koepp, otherwise Indy runs the risk of not working. Koepp explained:
I think that what [Indy] looks for and when he looks for it dictates what the movie's gonna be. So the selection of the MacGuffin is everything. ... We tried to be very careful with the selection of the MacGuffin and the eras to give ourselves as much latitude to make the best kind of Indiana Jones movie that we most want to see. Learning how that's the importance of the choice of the MacGuffin is a big deal.
For those of you that are wondering what the hell a MacGuffin is, it's an object in a film or a book that's only service is to trigger the plot, and which is used as the object of desire for the protagonist. Famous examples include the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Rosebud in Citizen Kane, and the Ring in Lord Of The Rings.
David Koepp was previously hired to oversee the previous installment to the Indiana Jones franchise, 2008's The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, and his remarks about the importance of the MacGuffin could be interpreted as a reason for why that film was so poorly received. It was George Lucas' insistence that Crystal Skull be set in the 1950s and revolve around aliens, which ultimately led to Jeb Stuart scribing Indiana Jones And The Saucer Men From Mars.
David Koepp then came in to re-work this first draft at Indy 4, admitting during the same interview that Stuart's script "dictated a lot about what the story would be and what the movie would be like." David Koepp only had kind words to say about Stuart's original screenplay, but did add, "I don't know that the idea was most suited to an Indiana Jones movie, but that was what we did."
The lukewarm reaction to Indiana Jones And The Crystal Skull suggests most fans felt the same way as David Koepp, which is why he's now spending so much time trying to get his head around Indy 5's MacGuffin. We'll get to see what he comes up with when Indiana Jones 5 is released on July 19, 2019.