Just when we thought that everyone's favorite cinematic archaeologist belonged in a museum, he dusted himself off and got back into the fight. Just in case you didn't know, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford will soon revive Indiana Jones for a fifth film in 2019. Nearly four decades after the iconic hero debuted in cinemas, the series is going to bring back a number of vital elements to the fray -- with one major exception. It turns out that George Lucas is reportedly not involved with the development of Indiana Jones 5 in anyway, which is a major shift for the series. Screenwriter David Koepp explained:
He's not [involved in the story], to my knowledge. I've had no contact with him.
During a recent interview with Collider, Indiana Jones 5 screenwriter, David Koepp, revealed that George Lucas is not involved in the development of the upcoming Indy sequel. If that's truly the case, then it marks the first time that the man behind the Star Wars saga has not contributed to the development of an Indiana Jones movie. Prior to Indiana Jones 5, the partnership between Lucas and Steven Spielberg operated with Lucas developing the basic idea for Indy's latest adventure, and Spielberg taking the reigns on actual production. It had previously been announced that Lucas would once again serve as an Executive Producer on Indiana Jones 5, but Koepp's statement bring's Lucas' overall involvement into some form of question.
It's fairly safe to assume that not everyone will react to this news the same way. For some, George Lucas' apparent lack of involvement in the project may be somewhat disheartening. However, there's likely to be an equal portion of the population who feels somewhat relieved by this. For all of his prowess and wizardry on the technical side of filmmaking (something we really cannot ignore), George Lucas has not exactly proven himself as the most competent storyteller in recent years. With that in mind, David Koepp and Steven Spielberg have done stellar work together on films like Jurassic Park and War of the Worlds, so Lucas' absence could allow the next Indy movie to flourish in unforeseen ways.
No matter what, it's already clear that Indiana Jones 5 will look and feel considerably different compared to the hero archaeologist's last adventure. In addition to staying away from ridiculous elements like lead-lined fridges, Koepp has been quite vocal in his desire to rejigger the franchise to focus on a vastly different type of MacGuffin compared to what audiences saw in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. As long as no aliens show up, we will be happy.
At this point it remains unclear how Indiana Jones 5 will pan out without George Lucas' involvement. The film is currently slated to hit theaters on July 19, 2019, so we still have a few years left until we know for sure.