As Lucasfilm recalibrates the future of its Star Wars franchise, the company is pressing forward with its other marquee property, as Jonathan Kasdan (Solo: A Star Wars Story) has signed on to replace David Koepp as the writer of Indiana Jones 5, multiple sources tell Collider.
Representatives for Kasdan and Disney/Lucasfilm had no comment. Producer Frank Marshall did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Koepp or his representatives.
Steven Spielberg is directing the sequel, which will star Harrison Ford in what will likely be his final turn as the daring archaeologist according to media reports that point to Indy’s whip being passed down to a young actor — or perhaps, actress. Koepp was hired to write the Indy 5 script in 2016, having written the previous installment in the series, 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He has been one of Spielberg’s go-to scribes for years, writing such films as Jurassic Park, The Lost World and War of the Worlds, not to mention non-Spielberg blockbusters like Spider-Man and Mission: Impossible.
This past March, Spielberg announced plans to start production on Indy 5 in the U.K. in April 2019, as the tentpole is slated to hit theaters on July 10, 2020. The previous four films in the Indiana Jones series have collectively grossed nearly $2 billion worldwide, and after the mixed response to Crystal Skull, Spielberg is pulling out all the stops to send Ford’s Indy off on a high note — should Kasdan inherit the previously reported plan to pass the franchise torch to a younger actor in this film.
And that’s the thing. We don’t know the nature of Kasdan’s gig, so there are a few things we want to get straight. We aren’t sure if he’s rewriting Koepp’s existing script, or merely doing a two-week polish, or if he’s starting completely from scratch. We also don’t know if Kasdan is writing the script with a partner — perhaps his father, Lawrence Kasdan, with whom he wrote Solo, and who counts Raiders of the Lost Ark among his many credits. We also don’t know when Koepp left the project or when Kasdan was hired, be it before or after Solo opened below expectations, so it’s possible that he has been working on Indy 5 for some time now. As for who will ultimately get credit, we’ll leave that up to the WGA to decide.
Prior to co-writing and co-producing Solo, Kasdan wrote and directed The First Time starring Britt Robertson and Dylan O’Brien, and In the Land of Women starring Meg Ryan, Adam Brody and Kristen Stewart. He also wrote for two of my favorite childhood shows — Dawson’s Creek and Freaks and Geeks. Kasdan is represented by WME.
However, Indiana Jones 5 has now been delayed. For more on that story, click here.
Additional reporting on this story by Steve Weintraub.