Famed Archaeologist freed from unknown red tape...
Been keeping an eye on things even though I haven't posted lately. I said I'd try to do a few posts before Blue Sky goes quite for a while. This story is enough to make my fingers reach for the keyboard. I'm sure you've heard the news, and if you haven't why are you reading this?
When The Walt Disney Company bought Lucasfilm last year, it was primarily for the Star Wars franchise. But George Lucas' company has many other valuable properties, but none more valuable besides Luke Skywalker than the Man in the Hat. Many people thought that the Mouse would not do anything with the iconic character because of entanglement of distribution rights that belong, not to it but to Paramount Pictures.
Sure, Disney owned the character, but to distribute it they had to go through the original studio that Lucas and Spielberg partnered with back in 1979. This all comes from a deal that then Paramount executive Michael Eisner made with the two wunderkind storytellers. Many people thought that Iger and the Mouse Suits around him wouldn't want to deal with the hassle of the previous contracts and hoops the studio would have to jump through.
It appears now that they/we were wrong.
According to Variety today, the Walt Disney Studios has negotiated an agreement with Paramount Pictures where the new owner has distribution rights to all new films related to the classic adventure. Paramount does retain distribution rights to the original four films, and will receive a percentage of the profits from any new films of this valuable franchise.
Although this doesn't mean that Walt Disney Pictures has a Indiana Jones film in the pipeline, it does clear the way for one. And with Harrison Ford's interest in playing the character again it looks like the green light could soon be given, if it hasn't already been. Hopefully they will play this smart and hire the right people for it. No more space aliens even if it fits the 1950s Red Scare time period. I would immediately get Lawrence Kasdan to brainstorm ideas with Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas over the coming months.
Once a great idea is approved, hire someone who is capable of creating great screenplays like Mark Protosevich or the hot flavor-of-the-month Simon Kinberg. Any film that they make would likely be Ford's last adventure as the character since he is 72 years old and I can't imagine him in a sixth film because it would probably involve a wheelchair. Let's face it, if there's an Indy VI then the MacGuffin will have to search for him instead of the other way around.
I'm sure after that Disney will want to continue such a valuable creation, but it leaves me fearful of the character's future. Sure, I would love to see an Indiana Jones Animated Series, or maybe an Indiana Jones animated film. But Harrison Ford IS Indiana Jones. Just like he IS Han Solo. It's hard to imagine anyone with his form of masculinity playing those characters. Then again, I guess it would be hard for some to have pictured anyone taking over James Bond from Sean Connery, but someone did. Many, many times.
It might just be my soft spot for the portrayal he created in the character that sprang forth from his performance, but I have trouble imagining a future reboot/reinterpretation of the whip carrying, pistol packing, hat wearing archaeologist from America. It could happen, and it likely will. But it won't be the hero from the past, his, yours or mine. Sometimes it's hard to let go of things, even when you know it's right. People, characters, and events seem to attach themselves to your heart and create a bond that is hard to separate.
Like the red tape Doctor Jones just was set free from...