Walt Disney Studios has announced that it has reached a marketing and distribution agreement with Paramount Pictures for future Indiana Jones films. Which means that both of George Lucas’ iconic franchises are now in Disney’s hands.
Of course, Disney has owned Indiana Jones production rights since 2012, when the studio acquired LucasFilm. But until now Paramount possessed marketing and distribution rights. Those now belong to Disney, making the process of making and releasing future Indiana Jones films much easier and possibly more likely.
George Lucas had last mentioned a potential fifth Indiana Jones film back in 2011, suggesting that a story was already in place, but that the film was still in need of a MacGuffin or plot device. Harrison Ford has mentioned interest in reprising his role as Indy on numerous occasions going so far as saying he’d do it ” in a New York minute.”
The Indiana Jones series is famous for making the MacGuffin the object of Jones’ search. In Raiders of the Lost Ark it’s the Ark of the Convenant, in Temple of Doom it’s the Sankara Stones, in The Last Crusade it’s the Holy Grail and, most recently, in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it’s the skull itself.
Although Disney will distribute any new entries in the franchise, Paramount retains the distribution rights to the first four films and will receive a financial participation on any future films that are produced and released.