5 Reasons to Hope for Indiana Jones V and 5 Reasons to Hope It Never Happens

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the fourth film of the series. It debuted 19 years after the third movie, with Harrison Ford once again starring as Indiana Jones. This time around, the story is set in 1957, with the archeologist traveling to South America to find an ancient skull that may have ties to extraterrestrial aliens. Cate Blanchett and Shia LaBeouf also star.
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
April 8th, 2014

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With a deal struck between Paramount Pictures, which produced the first four Indiana Jones movies, and Walt Disney Pictures, which owns Lucasfilm and accordingly owns part of the Indiana Jones franchise, to produce a new Indiana Jones movie, hopes are running high for a great movie. At the same time, dread is filling the hearts of many Indy fans who love the world of Indiana Jones too much to see it compromised. There are many reasons to hope for the best, but there are also reasons to fear.

Five Reasons Why Indy Fans Should Look Forward to Indy V:

The Indy Franchise as Owned by Disney

This is actually a good thing, and it is possibly a very good thing. Look at how well Disney has done with the Marvel universe. Disney has hired writers and directors who have kept the interconnecting storylines of the Marvel characters faithful and clear with an appeal to old-school Marvel fans and newbies alike. If Disney handles Indy the same way, the results could be terrific.

New Writers for a New Movie

While many of the individual writers involved with "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" have done great work elsewhere, it is pretty clear that the alien skulls story was a non-starter. Rumors that George Lucas passed on a stellar script by Frank Darabont, who wrote "The Shawshank Redemption," to accept instead the confusing story that became Indy IV only affirm that the concept of putting the franchise in new hands is for the best.

The Franchise Deserves to End on a Good Note

If "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" had been the final Indy movie, fans could have rewatched it over and over with complete satisfaction. To end such a beloved series on the sour note of "Crystal Skull," however, is degrading to the fans and to Indy himself. He deserves better, the fans deserve better, and director Steven Spielberg and producer George Lucas, who brought the first three wonderful Indy films to the big screen, deserve better.

Another Chance to Hear the Iconic Theme Music in the Theater

The Indiana Jones theme music written by John Williams is one of the best and most instantly recognizable movie themes of all time. Williams was nominated for Academy Awards for his scores for the first three Indy movies for good reasons. The stirring theme is so thrilling that it is worth it for Disney to spend the money on Indy V just to give fans the chance to hear that wonderful music blast them into another adventure again.

Another Indy Movie Means Another Harrison Ford Movie

Few movie stars hold a place in fans' hearts the way Harrison Ford does. Not only is he Indiana Jones, he is also Han Solo in the "Star Wars" movies and Jack Ryan in the early Jack Ryan movies. A beloved icon, he too deserves a chance to make up for the misfire that was "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," and his fans deserve a chance to see him get it right.

Five Reasons to Fear Indy V:

Harrison Ford's Age

Harrison Ford is a great actor who has portrayed living legends onscreen, but he is also 71 years old with a bad back. He cannot do any of Indy's stunts any longer, and it might just be painful to watch him try.

Uncertain Villains

Classic Indy gave us the best villains in history: the Nazis. When Indy IV replaced power-hungry, goose-stepping Nazis with ambiguous Russians, the whole franchise sagged. The Indiana Jones franchise is steeped in its love of mythology and ancient artifacts, and so were the Nazis. However, the Russians did not care about them at all. So who can take the place of the Nazis in Indy V? There are no clear candidates nearly as exciting as the villains the franchise has already left behind.

Nuked Refrigerators and Digital Monkeys

Indy IV jumped the shark the moment Harrison Ford climbed into a refrigerator to survive a close-range atomic blast. In fact, in many circles, the phrase "nuked the fridge" replaced the older phrase "jumped the shark." Another eye-rolling moment from Indy IV involves Shia LeBeouf swinging through the trees with a tribe of digital monkeys. Two painfully ridiculous scenes in a movie is too many, especially for an Indiana Jones film, and the prospect of more ridiculous scenes in a subsequent movie is too much for many fans to bear.

Shia LeBeouf

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" ended with a clear indication that Indy was passing the hat and the whip on to his son, played by Shia LeBeouf. However, audiences have since made it clear that they have little to no interest in seeing more of LeBeouf, especially after his recent history of arrests, altercations and plagiarism accusations. It seems unlikely that any Indy fans would cheer an Indiana Jones V movie that starred LeBeouf.

Validation of Indy IV

So many fans saw "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" as a betrayal of their deep love of the Indiana Jones character and franchise. Just as many "Star Wars" fans were disappointed by the three prequel movies, it is possible that another Indiana Jones movie could follow the same path to dismay and regret. Possibly, it would be better to just ignore Indy IV and accept that the first three Indiana Jones movies are as good as it gets.

Should there be another Indiana Jones movie? It would seem it all depends on the decisions the filmmakers have to make. If they choose wisely regarding writing and casting, then the next Indy movie could be the best yet, or it could confirm that everything fans fear in the wake of Indy IV is true.