It's been 12 years since the last Indiana Jones movie, which itself came almost 20 years after the third entry in the series. While a fifth film was announced years ago, numerous delays pushed the project back to the point that we still haven't seen it yet. Harrison Ford was already in his 70s when this project was first being discussed, but now he's closer to 80. There were already a lot of people who weren't sure that a fifth Indiana Jones really needed to happen, and now, with word that Steven Spielberg has reportedly stepped down from directing, a lot more people are wondering out loud if maybe we shouldn't just drop the whole thing.
Throughout the four films of the franchise, there have been a remarkable number of constants. Harrison Ford wore the fedora. Steven Spielberg was behind the camera. George Lucas helped create the story and acted as producer. John Williams wrote the music. To many, these are all quite necessary pieces in the Indiana Jones puzzle, and if they're not all going to be present, maybe the idea should be scrapped.
A lot of people clearly don't want to see a repeat of the poorly received Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but hoped Indiana Jones V would help wash that taste out of our collective mouths. Without Spielberg, maybe the whole thing is just a bad idea now.
Steven Spielberg has had one of the great careers as a director in movie history. He's created crown pleasing adventure stories and serious award-worthy drama. In recent years Spielberg has been known more for the latter category, and so one of the reasons that people were excited by the idea of a new Indiana Jones was to see Spielberg return to the genre that so many grew up with. Considering that, at 73 himself, he only has so many projects left, there wasn't going to be that many more chances, fans were hoping this would be Spielberg's action-opus.
As mentioned, many saw the new Indiana Jones as a movie that could redeem the franchise following the poorly received Crystal Skull, but it seems that, even those that appreciated that film aren't convinced the franchise should move forward without Steven Spielberg.
While it seems more than likely that, one way or another, the Indiana Jones franchise will continue forward even after the principal players have left, nobody has any real idea what that could look like. It seems quite clear that when the day comes that the series does something entirely new, fans won't be entirely on board, and maybe this is all the sign that it's time for it all to stop now.
And it's still possible that could happen. While it's being reported that James Mangold is in talks to take over directorial duties on Indy V, there's no guarantee that deal will be struck, and if a director can't be found, maybe the decision will be made to simply say goodbye to Indiana Jones.
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