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John Connor [Celluloid 04.08.21] action adventure

Film fans have been left stranded by the recent pandemic, with a host of big releases continually put back in anticipation of theaters reopening this year.

Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond has been pushed back, as has the highly anticipated remake of classic nineties horror movie Candyman. Another big movie fans will have to wait anxiously for is Harrison Ford’s final outing as the professor of archaeology, Indiana Jones.

Initially, the fifth and potentially final Indy outing was scheduled for 2020, but Disney set a new date of July 2021 for the release. However, that date has also now changed, with the as-yet-untitled Indiana Jones 5 dropping in July 2022. That means a long wait for fans of the franchise, which will have spanned five decades with the same actor when it is released.

What do we know about the new film? James Mangold is on board to direct the movie, he is a five-time Golden Globe winner, also picking up two BAFTAs and an Oscar for his work on the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line. More recently, he’s worked on Ford v Ferrari and The Wolverine. Harrison Ford is also set to reprise his role as Indiana Jones, a character he first portrayed in 1981. His last outings as the adventurer came in 2008 when he had a starring role alongside Cate Blanchett in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Interestingly, both screenwriters for the upcoming flick also have links to Ford in one way or another. Philip Kaufman wrote the story for Raiders of the Lost Ark back in 1981, and will once again link up with 78-year-old Ford. The other screenwriter involved in Indy 5, Jonathan Kasdan, was only two when the first film released, but he did write and co-produce Solo: A Star Wars Story, based on the character which gave Ford his big break in Hollywood.

Whilst Han Solo helped launch Ford to stardom, it is Dr. Henry Walton Jones Jr. who has helped keep him there. Indiana Jones has become something of a phenomenon in pop culture, due to the longevity of the character and the continuation of the actor playing him. Few films can boast the same actor across 40 years, but in retaining Ford for the project the producers ensure a degree of familiarity around the imagery they use.

That imagery has been further strengthened by decades of games and spin-offs which reinforced the popular character and themes around his exploits. There has been a TV series, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, which also spawned a video game spin-off in the early nineties. Indiana Jones acted as a premise for two of the Lego video games too, whilst other online providers have also leaned heavily on the intrepid treasure hunter. Foxy Games has titles dedicated to the imagery and themes of Indiana Jones, including John Hunter and the Mayan Gods and Tomb of the Dead Power 4 Slots, which do not directly reference the character but do bear a remarkable resemblance. There is even a suggestion that without Indiana Jones, there would be no Tomb Raider, given the similar ideas behind the game and movies.

With so much lore and canon to tie up, as well as the burgeoning expectation of a huge send-off for one of culture’s most beloved and recognizable characters, the pressure is on Mangold and his team to deliver the ending that Indy fans believe their hero deserves.

Recommended Release: Indiana Jones 4K Boxset

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