When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, many perhaps were focused only on one franchise brought to life by that production company, “Star Wars.” It is easy to forget that Lucasfilm has another classic action-adventure film series from the 1980s under its belt, namely “Indiana Jones” starring Harrison Ford. A sequel gap between third and fourth films (1989-2008) enabled Ford to play an aged version of his adventurer archaeologist character Dr. “Indiana” Jones, also shifting time periods from pre-WWII to the Cold War. A fifth “Indiana Jones” has been slated for release in 2022, and while no details on its plot are available, some heavy-hitting cast members were announced, including “Zorro.”
By that we mean actor Antonio Banderas is the latest Hollywood star to be announced as joining the cast for the yet un-subtitled “Indiana Jones 5.” As Variety tells us, he joins Madds Mikkelsen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Boyd Holbrook and more as Harrison Ford reprises Doc Indy one more time. It will not be much of a new experience for him, seeing as he had already reprised Han Solo for the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy of Episodes VII-IX. “Indy 5” will now also be the first film in this franchise to be released by Disney (the other four were from Paramount).
Banderas is a prime choice to cast for an action-adventure epic like what Indy is sure to encounter. His filmography has plenty of action films including the iconic El Mariachi of Robert Rodriguez’s “Desperado” (1995) and as the legacy inheritor of Don Diego de la Vega in “The Mask of Zorro” (1998). Given the time-shifting of Ford as Dr. Jones, the setting of the film could potentially be in the mid-late 20th Century, which would make for interesting discussion. Banderas was in “Dolittle” (2020) with Robert Downey Jr. and in “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” (2021). He has also been cast for the cinematic adaption of the “Uncharted” PlayStation videogame series from Sony Pictures, releasing in 2022 along with “Indiana Jones 5.”
While franchise co-creator Steven Spielberg is still around as producer with Kathleen Kennedy and others from Lucasfilm, he is relinquishing directing duties to James Mangold, who co-writes the script with Jez and John-Henry Butterworth. One cannot look for a formidable filmmaker with high potential like Mangold, who has two films nominated at the Academy Award already. One of them is even a Marvel superhero film (of pre-acquisition 20th Century Fox), “Logan.” Just as amazing is that original “Indiana Jones” theme composer John Williams is returning to score the production, given he is now aged 89.
Image courtesy of JoBlo.com