Disney now owns the rights to INDIANA JONES – what does this mean for future films?

Disney now owns the rights to INDIANA JONES – what does this mean for future films?


It’s already been a year since Disney bought Lucasfilm (for $4 billion), effectively taking over the STAR WARS franchise and quickly announcing new films to take place in a galaxy far, far away. But one thing that remained in question was the fate of the INDIANA JONES franchise, which was tied up primarily due to the previous involvement of Paramount Pictures. Now it appears that Disney and Paramount have reached an agreement, and moving forward Disney will have all rights to future Indiana Jones movies. Variety broke the story, which states Disney now has all distributing and marketing rights to upcoming Indy projects, while the Mouse House maintains all of their current Lucasfilm rights. One thing that hasn’t changed is Paramount keeping distribution rights for the first four Indy movies, and it’s also stated that Paramount will receive “financial participation on any future films that are produced and released.” – translation for those who might be confused, Paramount lets Disney release the Indy movies, and Paramount gets a nice kick back on them.

This sort of arrangement isn’t exactly a new thing for Disney, as they previously worked out a rights arrangement with Paramount so they could market and release both THE AVENGERS and IRON MAN 3, and Paramount received a sizeable return on both of those deals. Chances are the new arrangement will still be fairly beneficial for Paramount.

George Lucas is apparently still interested in making a fourth Indiana Jones movie, even Steven Spielberg has said as much, and more importantly the franchise star Harrison Ford has also made it known he wants to do another one. There’s even been rumors that a fifth Indy movie was a deciding factor for Ford as to whether or not he’d reprise his role of Han Solo in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII in 2015. So far no official announcements for a fifth Indy film have been made, but with this deal being finalized it’s safe to say that’s soon to come. The biggest remaining hurdle is a script, which currently doesn’t exist, though Spielberg is supposedly interested in directing despite having a lot of projects currently on his plate. It also stands to reason that Lucas would still have involvement in the story, collaborating with Spielberg.

Then there’s the question of whether or not Shia LaBeouf will still be involved. The actor, who played Indy’s son in the fourth film, has since spoken out against the movie and even apologized for being involved – something that likely didn’t sit well with either Ford or the filmmakers. Could they make a fifth film without Shia? Sure, as the character is so worldly and adventurous, you could start and end the film far away from home and have it be perfectly acceptable. But since that story element has been established, should it therefore be continued? Tell us your thoughts on that in the comments below. INDIANA JONES AND KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (2008) had a worldwide gross of $783 million, and the Indiana Jones franchise has earned $1.9 billion… so yeah, safe to say there’s more Indy on the way.

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About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started Bigfanboy.com, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and Bigfanboy.com regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. From 2002 until 2015 he managed the Dallas Comic Con, Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days events in the DFW area. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Show conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.