Entertainment

‘Indiana Jones 5’ is coming to theaters in 2019

The fedora just came back in style in a big way.

On Tuesday afternoon, Disney announced that Harrison Ford had officially signed on to reprise his role as whip-cracking, boulder out-running archaeologist adventurer Indiana Jones.

Director Steven Spielberg will return to direct the as-yet-untitled fifth installment of the popular franchise, which is set for a July 19, 2019, release.

Joining Spielberg behind the camera are veteran Indy producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, now president of Lucasfilm.

“Indy 5” is Ford’s latest stop on his tour of memory lane. The actor is fresh off another turn as the iconic intergalactic smuggler Han Solo in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — which was also for Disney.

Notably absent from the announcement was franchise originator George Lucas, who pitched Spielberg the Indiana Jones concept while the two were building sandcastles on a beach in Hawaii.

Lucas wanted to be far from Los Angeles in the event that his latest picture — something called “Star Wars” — tanked at the box office.

The first of the “Indy” series, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” hit theaters in 1981 and was a hit with audiences, grossing more than $200 million in the United States.

The requisite sequels each have their own distinct place in movie history. “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984) was partially responsible for the creation of the PG-13 rating.

“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989) proved that two men only a little more than a decade apart in age — Sean Connery is only 12 years older than Harrison Ford — could convincingly play father and son.

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008) replaced the phrase “jumped the shark” with “nuked the fridge” much to the relief of “Happy Days” fans everywhere.

By 2012 Lucas had amassed his own, rather sizable footnote in the annals of film — and he was ready for a change. He sold his company, Lucasfilm, to Disney for a reported $4 billion.

It was an expensive gamble for the Mouse House — one that’s paid off big-time so far.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opened in December and has grossed upward of $900 million. A sequel, directed by Rian Johnson, is in production and another follow-up is already scheduled for release in 2019.

“Indiana Jones” seems like the next most logical property to exploit in Lucasfilm’s library and joins Disney’s already ambitious slate of 2019 franchise films, including “The Incredibles 2,” “Star Wars: Episode IX” and “Captain Marvel.”

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

  Comments