We've previously stated that the next best Indiana Jones movie would be no movie at all. Still, Lucasfilm continues to ignore our calls, so we're left to speculate as to how sad we're going to get watching Old-Man-Ford continuously hike up his cargo pants in Indiana Jones and the Early Bird Dinner. But perhaps the movie won't be so bad. It is slated to be directed by James Mangold, the director of Ford v Ferrari and Logan, and much like an ancient glyph scratched into the dirt or a book full of Nazi secrets, we believe those two movies could provide a clue as to where we're headed. In fact, we see this going one of two ways.
The first option is that Mangold takes the Logan approach, crafting a gritty and dark adventure as we watch an old Indiana Jones struggle with his advanced age and physical (and maybe even mental) decline. Much like how Wolverine's healing abilities were weakening in Logan, so too in this version will we see Indy struggle with trekking the jungle or using his whip.
But if Mangold wanted to be really ballsy, he'd show Indy battling Alzheimer's or Dementia. It wouldn't be pretty to watch, as Indy failed to recall key events in the story or even remember Marion's name, but the thematic impact would be powerful. This is a story about an archeologist after all. His life's passion is to preserve history, and right now, he can't even do so on a personal level. At times the movie would feel upbeat as Mangold could borrow from Don Quixote, sending Indy tilting at the proverbial windmills gleefully, as he punches his way through ancient temples in spite of himself. But ultimately, this movie, much like Logan, will end in our titular character's death. If mutant powers couldn't save the at-the-time 47-year-old Hugh Jackman, then Harrison Ford at 77 doesn't stand a chance. Here's what Mangold had to say on Logan's death:
"It seemed logical, that if it were going to be his last film, that he's either going to ride off onto the horizon or die, that you need to have some kind of curtain on his story. You either have the Shane ending where he rides off on the mountain to parts unknown, which had largely been the way his character was resolved in every preceding movie, or you'd kill him."
Of course, there still is the option of a "ride off into the sunset ending," and Mangold has shown capable of that as well with Ford v Ferrari. If he does go that route, then expect Indy v Aging to be the ultimate dad movie. In this version, we'll get some new, snot-nosed, hotshot adventuring archeologist to arrive on the scene and insult Indy's pride, much like Ferrari went at the practicality-over-style Ford Motor Company. This new guy,
Mutt Williams Iowa Johnson, we'll call him, is young, and brilliant, and cracks a whip like a high-end dominatrix. But for all his bluster, he lacks Indy's grit and old-school-values. So Indy gears up for one last adventure in a race against Iowa for the Crystal Who-Gives-A-Shit, proving once and for all that old men are every bit as capable as the young whippersnappers. Harrison Ford will drive a motorcycle. There will be a gag about "kids these days." The movie will end with Indy and Marion making out in a museum, a twinkle in his eye as he realizes the only thing you need to overcome erectile dysfunction is a little bit of adventure.
Personally, I prefer the Logan route. It feels risky, yes, but there's also the chance to end the franchise with an emotional resonance befitting the early movies. But I can understand why some people might look at our current circumstances and think, "Hey, I've had enough serious topics for one decade. Let's just do the movie where an old guy gets to drive a car real fast." Whatever the case, we can expect to see this movie come out in ... Jesus Christ, July 29th, 2022.
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Top Image: Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull/ Lucasfilm Ltd.