Disney Takes Over Rights to ‘Indiana Jones’ Franchise

This is not entirely surprising news, given that Disney acquired LucasFilm for $4 billion and the rights to Star Wars in October 2012.

indianajonesraidersofthelostarkUnder the arrangement, Disney gains distribution and marketing rights to future films, in addition to retaining its current ownership rights which it secured when it acquired Lucasfilm.

Paramount will continue to be responsible for distribution of the first four films in the franchise and will receive a financial participation on any future films that are produced and released.

Though Disney now owns the rights they have not officially announced that a fifth films is in the works.

It’s not really a challenge to re-launch ‘Star Wars’ because the universe is so large and you can tell great stories within that universe. With ‘Indiana Jones’, however, the franchise seems so anchored to both director and star.

The challenge before Disney is not getting another movie made with Spielberg as the director and Harrison Ford under the fedora. It’s how do they re-launch the franchise to be a viable one going forward for the next 50 years?  At best, Spielberg and Harrison, as a duo, have one more Indiana Jones flick in them.

Ideally, ‘Indiana Jones’ could become a James Bond-style franchise. Make it a marquee film for auteurs to put their unique spin on and a 3-5 picture franchise that a youngish actor (late 30s/early 40s) can use to take their career to the next level.

Then, start all over again with a new actor. Rinse, repeat, profit every 10 years. Some have suggested Bradley Cooper or Sam Rockwell would be perfect for the role. I agree, but I also think someone like Emile Hirsch would be great — not necessarily right now — but in 10 years. He also doesn’t have to be played by a white guy either, fwiw.

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