Okay, look. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" wasn't great. It's been out for more than a year, so let's be honest here. It had some good moments, but the shift from supernatural curios and relics to sci-fi alien overlords was not the right move. Star Harrison Ford clearly has some more Indy in him and Shia LaBeouf did a decent job of not fumbling the torch that Ford supposedly passed his way.
All that said, "Crystal Skull" fell short for a variety of reasons. Some might even argue that it's time to put Steven Spielberg's classic series to bed. Not me though. Indy is a great character, Ford is still an immensely likable actor and there are plenty of archeological ghost stories for him to pursue that have nothing to do with aliens. I'm not the only one who thinks so either.
Speaking to French newspaper Le Figaro (via People), Ford said "the story for the new 'Indiana Jones' is in the process of taking form." While there's nothing set in stone, it sounds like he's more than open to picking up the trademark bullwhip and fedora once more. "Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and myself are agreed on what the fifth adventure will concern, and George is actively at work. If the script is good, I'll be very happy to put the costume on again."
I wonder what that fifth adventure will focus on. Back before "Crystal Skull" came out in 2008, Lucas said in an interview with Fox News that he had "an idea to make Shia [LeBeouf] the lead character next time and have Harrison [Ford] come back like Sean Connery did [in 'The Last Crusade']."
He also said in the same interview that the door is left open for a "Crystal Skull" sequel. I'm not sure I see how that could be anything more than a disaster, but the Connery/Ford dynamic in "Last Crusade" worked well. I could definitely see the same working with Ford/LaBeouf.
Really though, my only hope is that we get back to intrigue surrounding religious artifacts. "National Treasure" and "Da Vinci Code" don't quite cut it. I also want more Ford and more Nazis ("I hate these guys"). It doesn't matter that the series has grown into the Cold War era-- bring on the neo-Nazis in that case.
The biggest mistake made in "Crystal Skull" was how it tried to appeal to a more modern set of tastes. What works about "Indiana Jones," what's always worked, is its adherence to a certain formula for its characters and situations. Here's hoping we see more of that when the series' fifth installment surfaces sometime in the coming years.
What are your hopes, dreams and wishes for another "Indiana Jones" movie? Are you excited that Ford is willing to return to his classic character?