‘Indiana Jones 5’: David Koepp On The Troubles Holding The Film Back

How long has Lucasfilm been trying to get Indiana Jones 5 off the ground? Feels like an eternity, with no end in sight. The troubles have gotten so bad in settling on a script that Steven Spielberg, who has directed every single movie in the franchise, finally washed his hands of it. While James Mangold stepped in to replace Spielberg and to work on a new draft, original writer David Koepp says the problem stems from getting everyone on the same page.

Speaking with Den of Geek, Koepp talks about the revolving door of screenwriters and the issues that prevented consensus on a script…

“I tried a couple different versions with Steven and they all had some good stuff about them and they all had some stuff that didn’t work, which happens,” Koepp explained. “But it was just very hard to have everybody come together and have all the elements — Steven, Harrison, the script, and Disney — come together at once. And it didn’t.”

“When James Mangold came in and Steven stepped out, that was a pretty logical breaking point. It’s a gracious time to step out the door because I think the last thing a new director wants is the old director’s writer. I mean, that’s a drag. The last thing you need is some guy sitting around with his arms folded saying, ‘Well, the way Steven would have done it is…’ I had one nice friendly conversation with him and then I’m sure he wanted to be able to move on anyway. Everybody was pretty polite, I thought.”

So when is Indiana Jones 5 happening? Man, who knows? Harrison Ford is still interested, and that is really the only thing that matters. If and when he gets tired of waiting, then you can call it a wrap. But with COVID-19 also delaying any productions, we have to think the film is further away than it was before.


Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.