Why make another Indiana Jones movie? Because Steven Spielberg loves adventure. Because movie fans can forgive and forget 2008's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull if it means another adventure resembling Raiders of the Lost Ark, the best damn action movie of all time. And because 73-year-old Harrison Ford had the charisma and nostalgia power to carry Star Wars: The Force Awakens to $2 billion worldwide, which makes sense to investors. That's just smart show business.
Which is why they're making another Indiana Jones movie. According to a Walt Disney Pictures press release, Ford's renegade archaeologist will swing back into theaters on July 19, 2019. Spielberg will return to the director's chair, with his original producers, Kathleen Kennedy (The Force Awakens) and Frank Marshall (Jurassic World), back by his side. George Lucas, another of the series producers, was not listed among those involved, likely passing the torch in similar fashion to Star Wars.
“It’s rare to have such a perfect combination of director, producers, actor and role," said Walt Disney Studios' Alan Horn, who must have yanked a human heart out of an intern sacrifice in order to make this deal go through.
As far as details go, we have the equivalent of a golden-idol-sized sandbag. At the time of the announcement, there is no plot, no additional cast (Karen Allen and Shia LaBeouf appeared in Crystal Skull as Marion Ravenwood and Mutt Williams -- a.k.a. Son of Jones -- respectively), and no title. The secrets will remain in Area 51 until Earthlings can handle them.
So what might happen in Indiana Jones and the Undetermined MacGuffin? Well, Raiders took place in 1936. Temple of Doom jumped backwards to 1935. Last Crusade ended the Nazi run in 1938. And to accommodate Ford's age, Crystal Skull moved forward to 1957. Maybe the fifth installment lands in the 1960s? Anything good to look up in Vietnam? We'll know in three years.
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Matt Patches is Thrillist’s Entertainment Editor. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, Vulture, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Guardian. His favorite movie of all time is Groundhog Day. Find him on Twitter @misterpatches.