The Indiana Jones franchise is an American entertainment franchise, based on the adventures of Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, a fictional archaeologist. It began in 1981 with the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. A prequel, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, followed in 1984 and the sequel Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989. In 1992, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, featuring adventures the character had as a child as he traveled around the world with his father, began airing on television. A fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was released in 2008. The series was created by George Lucas; the films star Harrison Ford and were directed by Steven Spielberg. The Walt Disney Company owns the Indiana Jones franchise since its acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012.
The franchise has expanded beyond film and television. Marvel Comics began publishing The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones in 1983, and Dark Horse Comics earned the comic book rights to the character in 1991. Novelizations of the films have been published, as well as many novels with original adventures, including a series of German novels by Wolfgang Hohlbein, twelve novels set before the films published by Bantam Books, and a series set during the character's childhood inspired by the television show. Numerous Indiana Jones video games have been released since 1982.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
The first film, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) is set in 1936. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is hired by government agents to locate the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis. The Nazis have teams searching for religious artifacts, including the Ark, which is rumored to make an army that carries the Ark before it invincible. The Nazis are being helped by Indiana's nemesis René Belloq (Paul Freeman). With the help of his old flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), Indiana manages to recover the Ark in Egypt. The Nazis steal the Ark and capture Indiana and Marion. Belloq and the Nazis perform a ceremony to open the Ark, but when they do so, they are all killed gruesomely by the Ark's wrath. Indiana and Marion, who survived by closing their eyes, manage to get the Ark to the United States, where it is stored in a secret government warehouse.
Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom (1984)
The second film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) is set in 1935, a year before Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana escapes Chinese gangsters with the help of singer/actress Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) and his twelve-year-old sidekick Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan). The trio crash-land in India, where they come across a village whose children have been kidnapped. A destructive cult led by Mola Ram (Amrish Puri) has also taken the holy Sankara Stones, which they will use to take over the world. Indiana manages to overcome Mola Ram's evil power, rescues the children and returns the stones to their rightful place, overcoming his own mercenary nature.
Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade (1989)
The third film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) opens in 1912 with a thirteen-year-old Indiana (River Phoenix) attempting to recover an ornamental cross belonging to Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, a task which he finally completes in 1938. Indiana and his friend Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) are assigned by American businessman Walter Donovan (Julian Glover) to find the Holy Grail. They are teamed up with Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody), following on from where Indiana's estranged father Henry (Sean Connery) left off before he disappeared. It transpires that Donovan and Elsa are in league with the Nazis, who captured Henry Jones in order to get Indiana to help them find the Grail. However, Indiana recovers his father's diary filled with his research, and manages to rescue him before finding the location of the Grail. Both Donovan and Elsa fall to the temptation of the Grail, while Indiana and Henry realize that their relationship with each other is more important than finding the relic.
Indiana Jones &
The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
The fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) is set in 1957: nineteen years after The Last Crusade, thus acknowledging the real-life passing of years between films. Indiana is having a quiet life teaching before being thrust into a new adventure. He races against agents of the Soviet Union, led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) for a crystal skull. His journey takes him across Nevada, Connecticut, Peru, and the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Indiana is faced with betrayal by one of his best friends, Mac (Ray Winstone), is introduced to a greaser named Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), who turns out to be his son (his real name revealed to be Henry Jones III), and is reunited with Marion Ravenwood, an old flame introduced in the first movie.
Indiana Jones 5 (????)
The possibility of Indiana Jones 5 continued to be discussed through 2009 and 2010. Reports speculated in June 2009 that the next installment would start filming in 2011 with a plot involving the Bermuda Triangle, although these rumors were later described as "completely false" by Frank Marshall on his Twitter page. Speaking to BBC journalist Lizo Mzimba in June 2009, LaBeouf confirmed that "Steven [Spielberg] just said that he cracked the story on it [the fifth film], I think they're gearing that up." Lucas stated he was working on the film as of December 2009. Most recently, in November 2010, Ford said that he and Spielberg were waiting for Lucas to present an idea to them. In March 2011, the Deadbolt website interviewed Karen Allen and asked her about the fifth film's status. "What I know is that there’s a story that they like," said Allen, "which is a huge step forward. I heard this about six months ago, that they have a story that they like and they’re working on it." In July 2012, Frank Marshall indicated that the film was unlikely to be announced in the near future, saying: "I don't know if it's definitely not happening, but it's not up and running... It's not on until there is a writer on the project. There is no writer on Indy."
In October 2012, The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm, thereby granting Disney ownership rights to the Indiana Jones intellectual property. However, Paramount Pictures continued to own distribution rights for the film series. On December 6, 2013, Disney purchased the remaining distribution and marketing rights to future Indiana Jones films, while Paramount will continue to distribute the first four films for Disney, and will receive "financial participation" from any additional films. Although a new film installment was not announced with the deal, Disney CEO Bob Iger has expressed an interest in monetizing the franchise across Disney's various company divisions. Studio chairman Alan Horn has said that a fifth Indiana Jones film would not be ready for at least two to three years.
On March 25, 2014, Latino Review reported that Disney is looking to reboot the franchise and are looking at replacing Ford with a new actor as Indiana Jones with a couple of actors including Bradley Cooper topping their wish list. That same day, /Film posted an update claiming that their sources have informed them that the reboot rumors started by Latino Review were false and a reboot was not being planned and the stories of Cooper or any other actor replacing Ford were also untrue. /Film reported that despite the reboot rumors currently being untrue, it does not mean that the franchise will not someday get rebooted with a younger actor but right now nothing is being discussed or planned.
On May 7, 2014, it was reported that a fifth Indiana Jones film might not be happening anytime soon due to Ford's commitments towards Star Wars: The Force Awakens and other Star Wars-related projects. With Disney acquiring the rights to both the Indiana Jones and Star Wars franchises, their main focus appears to be on Star Wars, with a total of six films expected within the next ten years, which likely pushes any potential Indiana Jones film back to at least 2020 or 2021.
On October 1, 2014, cinematographer Janusz Kaminski let slip that his next project is the upcoming Indiana Jones movie. This conflicts with Steven Spielberg's schedule though, as he is working on projects for the next few years, therefore pushing the earliest start on a fifth Indiana Jones movie into 2017.
On December 12, 2014, Disney CEO Robert Iger told Variety reporter Marc Graser that “We’d love to make another ‘Indiana Jones’ movie but we’re pacing ourselves right now,” referring to the latest Star Wars installments Disney is working on.