Indiana Jones news is so scanty that rumor is often all we have to go on. Well, today’s rumor, courtesy of the rumor-mongers at We Got This Covered, is that Disney is developing a television series starring the daughter of one Professor Henry Jones, Jr. The idea is that the character would be introduced in Indiana Jones 5, because back-channeling a reboot via Harrison Ford’s final film isn’t cynical at all.
Still, giving Indiana Jones a daughter (which the Young Indiana Jones wraparounds in fact do) has always been an idea with potential. Apparently it was considered for the fourth film, but Spielberg rejected it. (Not sure why Indy needed offspring at all, but whatever.) The idea of Indy passing the baton to a successor character in the fifth film has been speculated on quite a bit, and a daughter role would be as good as any for such a transition. I don’t know how old a daughter of Indy could be if she’s meant to be the legitimate child of the newly married Jones’s, but it’s hardly implausible that Indy would have fathered a few other bastards besides Mutt over the years.
What leaves me scratching my head, however, is why you’d want Indy’s successor trapped in the 1960s-70s. Unlike, say, Bond, which is flexible enough a sandbox to update with the times, Indiana Jones has always been tied to a particular era – the golden age of pulp – and it seems to me that departing from it was really only to accommodate Harrison Ford’s age. If there had been some way to freeze the actor at his Raiders age, we’d still be getting adventures set in the 30s and 40s. So, it’s hard for me to imagine what the future this rumor suggests would even look like. Once you’ve retired Ford and have some other adventurer running around during the Nixon presidency, are we really even resembling the original IP enough to bother connecting to it?
The main reason this rumor excites me is that it means by implication that there’s life left in Indiana Jones 5. Things have remained alarmingly silent on a project that pretty much has to be in front of the cameras in a matter of months if it is to make its release date. Either I’m unequal to the challenge of second grade arithmetic, or an announcement has to be arriving imminently. Rest assured that when the news breaks, Mojo will be the sixth to let you know.