10 things I want in a new (Disney-distributed) Indiana Jones film

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Disney has purchased the distribution rights from Paramount for future installments in the Indiana Jones series. There’s also been some rumors circulating that have Harrison Ford negotiating his participation in the upcoming Star Wars films for assurances that Indiana Jones 5 will happen. So it looks like we haven’t seen the last of Dr. Jones and his special brand of archaeology.

However, fans like myself are cautiously optimistic about future installments. While it’s impossible to turn back the clock and gain the same magic we experienced in the first three films, I believe it is possible to tell new and exciting stories using this iconic character as he is now, older and wiser. As a fan of the series, I’ve compiled a list of ten things I want to see (or not see) in upcoming Indiana Jones films.

Indy Beach1) A quieter Indy

Say what you want about Crystal Skull, one of the things I felt the film got right was the fact that it looked at Indy as an older man. As Dean Stanforth says, “We seemed to have reached an age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away.” Indy is no spring chicken, nor should we treat the character that way. He’s also a married man. It might be nice to see Indy deal with the real possibility of mortality and loss as pertains to someone of his years and situation. Now he has more to lose than ever before.


short-round-hat2) Bring back old friends

I would love to see what Sallah is up to or Short Round, for that matter. You have these beloved supporting characters and it would be great to see them again, but don’t shoe-horn them in. Fans demand organic character integration. The 50s and 60 were a tumultuous time in China it might be an exciting way to integrate Short Round.


Indy teach3) Indy the teacher

This was something I really loved about Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, we got to see more of Indiana Jones the teacher. we see that he’s refined his beliefs in archaeology (as has begun to dress a little like his father). This adds depth to a character that is known for being a man of action, fans also love knowing that he’s a man of letters.


Face Melt4) Practical Effects

I realize that it’s become more cost effective to use CGI graphics than puppets and sets these days, but there are filmmakers who have found a happy marriage of the two. Peter Jackson knows how to blend live action model shots with computer generated augmentation, giving us effects with weight. I’m fine with this film looking different than the first three (we went from the 1930s to the 1950s for Pete’s sake), but there were a few shots in Crystal Skull that were inexcusable (monkeys anyone?)


Mutt5) No Mutt

While the blame for Indy 4 can’t be laid squarely at the feet of Shia LeBeouf, the character of Mutt stuck out like a sore thumb. We don’t want Indiana Jones to pass the torch, we want him to carry on. The filmmakers for Crystal Skull clearly couldn’t figure out what they wanted from the character, he wasn’t a supporting player like Sallah and he wasn’t a contemporary like Indy’s father, so we were left with a weird relationship that didn’t quite fit.


Nazi6) Real Villains

In the historical Indy timeline, the new film would probably take place in the 1950s or 60s. The previous films had Indy fight Soviets, which for some reason didn’t seem to work quite as well as Nazis, or Thuggee Cultists or…well, Nazis. There’s something about watching Indy flagrantly destroy goose stepping goons that makes the first and third film so satisfying. Even though WWII is over, it might still be possible for Dr. Jones to run afoul of Nazis hiding in South America.


Temple of Doom7) Pulp

While I didn’t mind the 50s sci-fi elements of Crystal Skull, I did miss the pulp adventure of the previous films. Though we’re no longer in the 1930s, I’m sure fans still want the old fashioned adventure of that era. You can still incorporate the changing times, but looking for an artifact that has roots in the supernatural instead of science fiction might be a big step forward. Which brings me to my next suggestion…


CrusadeJonesCup8) A proper MacGuffin

The artifact that Indy searches for is never about the artifact. The MacGuffin is a metaphor for something inside Indiana Jones. These items also should lead Indy to a difficult but selfless decision. The search for the ark leads Indy to a reconciliation with Marion; the search for the grail leads Indy to a reconciliation with his father; the search for the Sankara stones leads Indy to reconcile his cynical view of myth and the world around him. Does Indy get his hands on these items, yes, but it’s never about the things, it’s about the internal journey.


marion9) Give Marion something to do

It was a delight seeing Indy finally marry Marion Ravenwood (after all she was the only one that could match Dr. Jones) But if you’re going to include her in the story, give her something important to do. Why is she there, other than to have Indy look for her? She’s the strongest female in the Indiana Jones films, fans love her, but we don’t want to see her sitting on the sidelines offering nothing to the story. Use her well, or don’t use her at all.


04110) Whatever happened to that damned Hovitos idol?!

Listen, fans have been waiting for Indy to recover that idol since the opening of Raiders. That bastard Belloq let Dr. Jones do all of the horrible leg work in Peru, only to snatch it from him before having him chased by Hovitos natives to a sea plane filled with a boa constrictor. I think Indy deserves to get his hands on the idol once and for all, and we deserve to see it. There’s your opening teaser for Indy 5, Disney. And you’re welcome.

So these are the things I want to see, what do you guys want out of Indy 5?

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