Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has arrived in theaters with the famed archaeologist setting off on yet another globe-trotting adventure. Only this time it's different.
Arriving 15 years after Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a now 80-year-old Harrison Ford brings a more humanizing approach to the character. While he can still throw a punch and outrun even the most impossible of things (like a train), it feels like Indy is ready to hang up the fedora once and for all.
I mean, Harrison Ford pretty much said as much in an interview with Total Film magazine prior to the film's release.
"This is the final film in the series, and this is the last time I’ll play the character. I anticipate that it will be the last time that he appears in a film."- Harrison Ford, via Total Film Magazine
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny did indeed feel like a final send-off for Indy and a proper closing for the character that Ford has played magnificently for five decades. But what's next for the franchise as a whole? Will there be an Indiana Jones 6, even if Harrison Ford isn't involved?
Will there be an Indiana Jones 6 following Dial of Destiny?
While the franchise might continue in some form down the line, it will not feature the character of Indiana Jones. Speaking to Vanity Fair, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy cited the failure of Solo, the Star Wars prequel spin-off about a young Han Solo, played by Alden Ehrenreich. While Ehrenreich wasn't bad in the role, it wasn't Harrison Ford and, as a result, the film performed poorly at the box office. Kennedy recognizes that characters like Han Solo and Indiana Jones can only be played by Harrison Ford.
"Some people have talked about how, well, maybe Solo should have been a TV show. But even doing Solo as a TV show without Harrison Ford as Han Solo…it’s the same thinking. Maybe I should have recognized this before. We would never make Indiana Jones without Harrison Ford. Having just finished the fifth movie, I can tell you, there wasn’t a day I wasn’t on set where I wasn’t like, Yes—this is Indiana Jones."- Kathleen Kennedy, via Vanity Fair
However, shortly after her interview with Vanity Fair, Kennedy suggested on the Dagobah Dispatch podcast that the franchise could continue. Kennedy acknowledged that Dial of Destiny is Ford's last entry in the franchise and that if the studio were to do something in the future, it would likely be a television series. But even with a television series, they wouldn't attempt to recast the role of Indiana Jones.
"...we're not doing anything to replace Indiana Jones. This is it. There are five movies that Harrison Ford did. And Harrison is so specific and so unique to creating this role. We just, Steven [Spielberg] agrees, we just wouldn't do that."- Kathleen Kennedy, via Entertainment Week
As of right now, it seems there are no plans for Indiana Jones, whether it be a full-fledged movie or a television series. Of course, that could change 10-15 years from now. Perhaps the spirit of Indy could live on through a totally different character. But would that be enough for a spin-off to succeed? Would you want to see an Indiana Jones movie without Harrison Ford starring as titular character?
For now, you can enjoy Harrison Ford's last adventure as the professor of archaeology in Indiana Jones and the Dial of the Destiny. Check out our review here and see how you can celebrate Indy at Disney's theme parks around the world.