Indiana Jones and the raiders of the narrative arc

The president of Lucasfilm has discussed the possibility of the whip-cracking archeologist returning in another sequel

A fifth Indiana Jones film is rumbling down the pipeline at Disney, according to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.

“When it will happen, I’m not quite sure. We haven’t started working on a script yet, but we are talking about it,” said Kennedy in an interview with Vanity Fair.

Lucasfilm was bought by Disney in October 2012. Kennedy, who takes an executive producer credit on the studio’s titles, is currently shepherding JJ Abrams’ reboot of the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which will land in cinemas on 16 December.

There were three blockbuster Indiana Jones hits between 1981 and 1989, each directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford as the roguish archeologist searching for lost treasures. The most recent film in the series was 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which again starred Ford, this time as an ageing Indy. That film was derided by fans, and “to nuke the fridge” – in reference to a key scene in which Indy climbs into a refrigerator to survive a nuclear blast – became shorthand for a moment that indicates that a film franchise has faltered.

Should Indy return, it’s unclear whether Ford will play him. The 72-year-old, who is reprising his role as intergalatic mercenary Han Solo in the new Star Wars film, has said it would be “perfectly appropriate” for him to play Indiana Jones again, but Disney is likely to want a younger actor for the role. The list of actors who might get a crack at the whip is rumoured to include Bradley Cooper and the Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt.

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