When Lucasfilm was bought out by Disney, we all focused on Star Wars, because the other beloved nerd franchise, Indiana Jones, was in something of a legal limbo. Indy was distributed by Paramount, and thus, legally speaking, Disney and Paramount had to hash out who owned what and who could do what. Turns out, they have. But what’s Disney’s next step?
First of all, Disney doesn’t own the rights to the Indy movies. Under the deal they worked out, those aren’t going anywhere:
The new deal gives Disney marketing and distribution rights to future films as well as retaining Lucasfilm’s ownership rights — which basically means they’ve got the whole shebang now. Paramount, on the other hand, isn’t left in the cold: The studio will continue to have distribution rights to the first four films. While details of the deal are unknown, Paramount also will receive financial rewards on any future Indiana Jones films that are produced and released by Disney.
In other words, if Disney wants to put Mickey Mouse in a fedora, they can legally do that now. So what should Disney actually do with Indy?
Honestly, Indiana Jones And The Fifth Movie That Will Be OK We Guess But Have Way Too Long A Title is probably not happening. Harrison Ford doesn’t want to do it, Steven Spielberg probably doesn’t want to do it, and George Lucas probably doesn’t want to do it either. It’s either replace everything that defined the franchise, or… stick to other media. Our guess is that Disney will give the franchise a little time before telling a “new story in the Indiana Jones mythos.”
First of all, Disney, you own Marvel. Marvel has a long, rich, and happy creative relationship with a man named Matt Fraction. Pay Mr. Fraction what he wants, and hire an artist suited to the material, such as Stuart Jennett or Stephen Mooney, to draw the Indiana Jones comic. Trust us, it’ll pay for itself.
Secondly, Disney will probably want to do a cartoon. That’s got promise, certainly, but one hopes that Disney will have the smarts to skew it older. It feels like whenever Disney has a solid or even great cartoon, such as Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes or Tron: Uprising, they inevitably decide to smother it in its sleep instead of let it spread its wings. One hopes Indy, at least, would be immune from that fate.
Finally, we know this is a pipe dream, but if you want to keep a franchise alive, Disney, you might consider, oh, we don’t know, a video game. Come on, Indy deserves more than one game worth playing. It’s the least you can do.