Indiana Jones 5 now has a writer — but what’s the story?

Indiana Jones 5 now has a writer — but what’s the story? March 19, 2016

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Looks like David Koepp might become the first person — other than George Lucas — to get a screenwriting credit on multiple Indiana Jones movies.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news yesterday, noting that Koepp has worked on a number of Steven Spielberg films including the first two Jurassic Parks, War of the Worlds and, yes, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

In addition to writing The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Koepp had a cameo as one of the T-rex’s victims, as per the photo above and the video below:

Koepp’s other writing credits include Carlito’s Way, Mission: Impossible, Snake Eyes, Panic Room, Spider-Man, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and the two Da Vinci Code sequels (though not the original Da Vinci Code itself). He also directed The Trigger Effect, Stir of Echoes, Secret Window, Premium Rush and, um, Mortdecai.

Koepp wouldn’t be the first writer to work on multiple Indiana Jones films.

If Wikipedia is to be believed, Jeffrey Boam, who wrote Last Crusade, also worked on some drafts for a fourth film in the 1990s that never materialized; and Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the original Raiders of the Lost Ark, had some input into the “love dialogue” in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But all that work went uncredited.

So it remains to be seen whether Koepp will actually get a credit for the new Indiana Jones film. It will depend on whether other writers are brought in down the road, and on how the writers’ guild parcels out the credits, etc. As ever, we shall see.

In the meantime, here’s a quick rundown of who has had a story or screenplay credit on an Indiana Jones film. In addition to Lucas, who created the franchise…

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark was credited to Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Henry & June, Rising Sun) and Lawrence Kasdan (the Star Wars sequels, Body Heat, The Big Chill, Silverado, The Accidental Tourist, Grand Canyon, The Bodyguard, Wyatt Earp, Mumford, Dreamcatcher, Darling Companion — all but a few of which he also directed);
  • Temple of Doom was credited to Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz (American Graffiti, Best Defense, Howard the Duck, Radioland Murders);
  • Last Crusade was credited to Menno Meyjes (The Color Purple, Lionheart, Empire of the Sun, Ricochet, The Siege, Max, A Matador’s Mistress and Day of the Falcon) and Jeffrey Boam (The Dead Zone, Innerspace, The Lost Boys, Funny Farm, Lethal Weapon 2 and 3, The Phantom); and
  • Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was credited to Koepp and to Jeff Nathanson (Speed 2: Cruise Control, Rush Hour 2 and 3, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, The Last Shot, Tower Heist, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales).

As for what the new Indiana Jones film will be about, no one’s saying.

Back in 2011, Spielberg told Entertainment Weekly that he was “very obedient” to Lucas’s ideas, and he said that he and Lucas “have already agreed on the genre of the fifth movie, we already have a concept in mind.” But Lucas himself told Vulture, “I really haven’t found the MacGuffin yet. I mean, I know what it’s about, but I just have to find a MacGuffin that fits into the arena we’re working in.”

But of course, George Lucas sold his company to Disney a few years ago, so whatever he and Spielberg agreed to back then might not be in play any more.

We’ll just have to wait and see if Lucas pipes up and voices any discontent the way he did when Disney rejected his Star Wars ideas, but since Lucas and Spielberg are very close friends, I suspect Lucas will keep his thoughts to himself — unless Spielberg actually holds on to his ideas, in which case Lucas might even praise the film.

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