Producer Frank Marshall Offers Update on INDIANA JONES 5; Says There’s Still No MacGuffin

by     Posted 1 year, 266 days ago

Frank Marshall is a hell of a producer.  His resume reads like a best-of list: The Goonies, Back to the Future, The Sixth Sense, the Bourne series, etc.  One of the most beloved franchises that he’s been a part of, however, is Indiana Jones.  Though the long-awaited fourth entry, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was greeted with a rather lackluster response, fans remain curious about the prospect of Indiana Jones 5.

Steve recently got to speak with Marshall in anticipation of the release of The Bourne Legacy, and Marshall gave a somewhat pessimistic (depending on how you look at it) update on the status of a fifth Indiana Jones film.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

frank-marshall-indiana-jones-5Though talk of Indiana Jones 5 has continued in the years since Crystal Skull, there’s really been no actual forward movement on the pic.  Steve asked Marshall if he thought that it was realistic to expect a fifth film or if Crystal Skull was the “last hurrah,” to which Marshall replied:

“I say, for me, [Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is] the last hurrah.  I know that yes, we talk about it, but there’s no idea, there’s no MacGuffin.”

The last real update on Indy 5 came last December from George Lucas, who revealed that he had “told Steven Spielberg about the story” but he hadn’t found a MacGuffin yet.  We previously heard that Lucas and Spielberg had come up with a “germ of an idea” for the film, but nothing further than that.

indiana-jones-5-harrison-ford-steven-spielberg-george-lucasLucas took his time in developing the story for Crystal Skull, but Indiana Jones 5 may be a different situation.  This past May Lucas announced that he was leaving his studio, Lucasfilm, in order to make “experimental movies” in his garage.  Steve brought up Lucas’ comments to Marshall, adding that it doesn’t appear that Lucas is that hungry to do another Indiana Jones film:

“Yeah, no he isn’t [hungry to do another Indiana Jones].  And he’s obviously passing the baton to my wife, so.”

Marshall’s wife is, of course, producer Kathleen Kennedy, who was recently named co-chair and successor to Lucas at Lucasfilm.  So Marshall’s comments seem to imply that Indy 5 is quite unlikely to happen.  If none of the creatives involved are really passionate about returning, I think it’s fine for Spielberg, Lucas, and Harrison Ford to hang up the hat after three great films and one not-terrible one.  That said, I expect we’ll still be hearing rumors and “possible developments” on the possibility of Indiana Jones 5 for years to come.


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  • Northern Star

    Give it a rest, ‘Raiders…’ was the only real truly great Indy film, and the only real truly great idea, I would let it be as it is…

    • spidey2099

      Exactly, “give it a rest” as you say. We all know that even if it happened, this Indy would, in all likelihood, be on par with the last if not worse, and the last was not that good at all. Sad, but true. Goodbye and goodnight Indy.

    • Matty

      Very true. I was laughing at everyone who was so upset with the 4th one (the other sequels are equally ridiculous!) But even though they aren’t great movies, I still really enjoy watching them. I would happily pay money for a 5th movie.

    • NYJ

      Raiders is tops but Last Crusade IS a GREAT Indy film, and ToD is a very good one.

  • Short round.

    Personally I want another, partly because I love Indy, partly because the last one coulda been so much better to end it on. So i wanna see a film that redeems the character. Raiders IS the best one, and I think something with that tone and style could be great. If Rambo can end with a film as good or better than First Blood, then I’m sure Indy can too.

    As for macguffin, not sure neither, but I would love to see a trip to China.
    And a return of an adult short-round. Maybe bring something full circle with the Temple of Doom and the chinese triads after something. A jade dragon? A sword of some sort? I had an idea for Indy getting stuck in a stone room full of Ming vases, the room walls close in (like the trash compacter in Star Wars, as an homage.) And the ming vases exploding as they crush.

    Heres a list of things I’d hate to see…

    cgi action.
    gophers and monkeys.
    ridiculous shots.
    That horrible weird camera filter effect used in KOTCS, the film itself looked cgi and washed out/fake.

    No gore/horror scenes. Skull was very tame compared to all the others. Bring back melting faces.
    Fake bugs.critters.

    To me, making an Indiana Jones movie should be simple! Not sure why they screwe the pooch last time round. (I actually liked it up untill the last act) aside from the bouncing fridge.

    • Uncle Monty

      THIS ^^^

      Whats with all the haters on here? Its like an invasion of Trolls from AICN or RT. Indy 4 was not as great as it coulda been, but, its still a decent movie. Just a few flaws. To everyone else, I suggest you all go back to your twilight films.

      People talking about rebooting Indy, recasting Indy…. F**K yourselves in the face!

      • Matt

        KINGDOM OF MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT was NOT a decent movie with just a few flaws. It was a storytelling nightmare with inconsistent acting and bad writing.

        No, they shouldn’t reboot or recast Indy, it should just be a four (three) movie collection and the end.

        We all love Indy movies for Harrison, yes, but more for the character of the worn adventurer running around the world looking for old supernatural artifacts. Turn the video game UNCHARTED into a decent film and you get more of what we’re looking for in a movie.

        The last great “Indiana Jones” movie was called THE RUNDOWN and it starred the Rock.

  • tarek

    Once Luca$ will retire and remove his hands from the Indiana Jones franchise, then, we will discuss this matter. Otherwise, he will certainly use a “Mc Goofy” of his own, and make an Indiana Jones and the revenge of the sith.

    Just move along. What we need instead is an Uncharted movie. Better than this cash grab sequel.

  • Dave

    I dunno. I think a final Indiana Jones film with Lucas gone and Spielberg as the creative driver of the film? I’d line up for that. He knows how to tell a story. And from the comments he made (other than admitting that the gopher and the monkeys were stupid) it seems like he brought all of our objections up to George, but Mister ‘I made good movies once, before 1978′ shot them all down.

    So I’d be up for part V.

  • Mr_Skyfish

    Indiana Jones: The Lost City of Atlantis

    • Jordan N.

      They already did that in a video game. It was actually pretty good.

  • Marlboroliteman

    Harry Ford is just too old to make a nonstop action Indiana Jones picture. Even if they did come up with a good/great screenplay by the time they get around to actually making it, well hell Harry would be in his late 70′s.
    I T ‘ S O V E R ! ! ! ! !

    Unless….motion capture Indiana Jones…anyone? Harry Ford would probably be up for that.

    • Mr. Miller

      well just when you thought it was over look at imdb. com and whalaaa indy 5 just announced lmao deal with it :D

  • Marlboroliteman

    Indianna Jones: The Journey to the Sunset Nursing Home

  • Marlboroliteman

    Indiana Jones and the Magical Treasures of Depends

  • John “Ratty” Arbuckle

    I’m not sure why, but George Lucas was able to smack down Spielberg every time he had an objection to something stupid in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. If Lucas is really gone, let Spielberg try his hand at Indy 5, but not the two of them together. Lucas is definiately the “Top” in that relationship (not sure why).

    • Geroge


  • Tim

    Star Wars and Indy are prized possessions. It is only a matter of time until they reboot the franchises with up and coming directors and actors.

    • Northern Star

      As long as it’s only the prequel back-story they remake, whilst leaving the original Trilogy alone, that’ll do me just fine… Joss Whedon for the prequels reboot!

      • Beast

        Josh Whedon? The biggest hack in the Entertainment Industry?

        Outside of Avengers, the man hasn’t done anything worth writing home about.

        Hell, the original Buffy movie was eons better than the awful TV show.

      • Nag

        @ Beast : Whedon wrote the first Buffy movie too. He invented that character.

  • Marlboroliteman

    Indiana Jones and the McDonalds MacGuffin Senior Citizen Discount

  • Marlboroliteman

    “Indiana Jones and the Oppps I Farted Cause I’m Old and Can’t Control My Sphincter Muscle But Im Just Gonna Keep Talking Like Nothing Happened and The Fountain of Youth”

  • BionicBookWorm

    The better movies seemed to use biblical themes (the Arc, the Cup), so what about something like the Staff of Moses or the Spear of Longines. I like the spear, as you can work in the immortal Roman legend and possibly even throw in shadow organizations, the vatican, and maybe even some darker foes (people possessed by the fallen). I know it will likely never happen, but it’s still fun to think about where it might go.


    Who cares. I try to pretend there are still only 3 Indiana Jones films anyway.

  • will

    Indiana Jones and the Arduous Walk to the Bathroom.

  • calvincrack

    i kinda thought everyone knew deep down that Last Crusade is the funniest, best paced and most well rounded Indiana Jones film.

  • Anthony Weddle

    I think they should make just one more mainly just to end Indy on the right note…..much like Stallone did for Rocky 6 & Rambo 4. Both those movies turned out much better than most fans were expecting & ended up redeeming both franchises & ending them properly……not that Rambo 3 was all that bad, but rocky 5? lol yeah….BAD! Crystal Skull wasnt horribly bad like Rocky 5 but it just wasnt to the same level “screenplay wise” as the original trilogy. However I still liked the film very much…..I just didnt LOVE it like I did the first 3. INDY deserves a proper swan song…..& yes I agree with Daves’ comments up above as far as Spielberg taking the reigns….I have alot more faith in Mr. spielberg than George! lol Love Mr. Lucas too, but let’s face it, Steven has a much better track record!!!

  • Dr Beckett

    How about recasting Indy? There are 18 years worth of story between Last Crusade and Crystal Skull, so it does not necessarily have to be a reboot but rather a continuation of the series. Prequels have already been done, remember Young Indiana Jones? I am probably in the minority here but I still love that show and would hate to see it wiped away from canon by doing a reboot prequel.

    • ccraw13

      Agreed. Jon Hamm as Indy. Dude is perfect.

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  • Singularity

    I applaud George Lucas for identifying the “MacGuffin” as a cinematic mechanic, but honestly, every time I hear them talking about the impetus for the film being a story mechanic, it sounds like there is no good story to tell – just an excuse to have Indiana Jones back on screen.

    That is absolutely the wrong reason to make a sequel. It just degrades the character.

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  • Dannyboy3030

    When Shia Lebeouf is swinging with the monkeys in Crystal Skull I almost walked out’ve the theater. So many things wrong with that flick.

    • The Dude

      Almost started crying while laughing at this. Did you actually walk out when the Crystal Skulls were aliens? That was the deal breaker for me.

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  • Sallah

    I think where Skull really went bad was that Lucas abandoned the religious subtext of the first three films in favor of 50\’s sci-fi. Raiders dealt with Jewish themes, Temple with Indian, Crusade with Christian. Its what elevated the series beyond just adventure. This is what was so tragically missing from Skull. I think if Spielberg were to take the reins, then that aspect of the stories would return and perhaps they could have a proper send off. They could be very bold and daring and write a story around something from Islam and the Koran. It would make it topical, and would touch upon the major world religion that they haven\’t yet in earlier stories. I would also love to see a return of a grown up Short Round, as well as the return of Sallah in a significant role. The thing I hated most of all about Skulls besides the sci-fi story was the character of Ray Bledstone.

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  • Ryan

    I’ve always thought they could keep Indy going as sort of an “American James Bond” and just have another actor in the title role. Not a reboot per se, just another series of stories. After 3-4 films, you can get a new Indy and that way the character can still live on and Harrison Ford won’t have to embarass himself trying to swing from a whip at 70+. I even think Spielberg could even stand to be replaced in the director’s chair (as much as I love him); give it to an up-and-comer like Duncan Jones or Rian Johnson and see what they can do with the source material. A smaller-scale film might be what the series needs.

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  • Stephen Graff

    I’m a big fan of Spielberg as director, but haven’t liked any of the sequels he’s made to any of his movies, though he has a great volume of great, original films dating back to SUGARLAND EXPRESS and DUEL. I loved the first INDIANA JONES, but haven’t liked any of those that followed and I’ve always felt that he was wasting time on a lesser film when he could be delving into his next great one.

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  • Elitist Prick

    The MacGuffin doesn’t concern me as much as whether or not there is 100% less aliens. There are so many reasons why the first three Indy films work better than Crystal Skull that it would take more time than even the Internet has to innumerate them. As pointed out, I think, one of the biggest is the dropping of the spiritual aspect of the stories/MacGuffins for the eponymous skulls. It’s not that I think religious plots are so great, but because those stories emphasize, strengthen, or create human interaction and relationships, precisely because they are silly and superstitious. Whether it be between Indy and Marion, Indy and the Indian village, or Indy and his father, everyone is a better PERSON at the end of the first three films. For example, the Father-Son bonding at the end of Last Crusade. Not so for the fourth film.

  • Rev. Slappy

    Why not recast the role? We\’re on our 6th James Bond…

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  • Chris

    Two words: Laser Cats.

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