To date, the final stretch of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny's marketing has been marked with a feeling of finality, suggesting that James Mangold's first crack at the 40-year-old franchise would also be the last.
While that may still be true, recent comments from Kennedy echoed a 2022 report on how Lucasfilm could continue the iconic IP, even after Indiana Jones 5.
Kathleen Kennedy Talks Indiana Jones Future
In talking with Entertainment Weekly, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy confirmed Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is Harrison Ford's "last entry," but if Lucasfilm were to continue the franchise, "it might be in series television:"
“It’s Harrison’s last entry. That’s how we look at the Indy franchise. I mean, truthfully, right now, if we were to do anything, it might be in series television down the road, but we’re not doing anything to replace Indiana Jones. This is it. There are five movies that Harrison Ford did. And Harrison is so specific and so unique to creating this role. We just, Steven [Spielberg] agrees, we just wouldn’t do that.”
Ford made similar comments about him hanging up the Indy fedora for good in past interviews.
For instance, in April, he confirmed to Total Film magazine that Dial of Destiny "is the last time I'll play the character," all while predicting that he wouldn't be replaced:
“This is the final film in the series, and this is the last time I’ll play the character. I anticipate that it will be the last time that he appears in a film.”
Ford then commented on the buzz concerning an Indiana Jones series and its uncertainty, saying that he “not be involved in that, if it does come to fruition.”
This supports an early report about an Indiana Jones series that wouldn't involve the snake-fearing adventurer but rather a young Abner Ravenwood, Marion Ravenwood's father and Jones' mentor who was referenced in 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Fans began to question the likelihood of the series after unverified rumors claimed Lucasfilm would only focus on Star Wars alone moving forward.
Despite the mention of a TV future for the Indiana Jones franchise, new comments from Kathleen Kennedy could signal that there is a path for the series to continue on the big screen.
The Lucasfilm President told Variety that it's "entirely possible" that a movie based on Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Helena Shaw could happen in the future, though the studio is "not having any of those conversations right now." Instead, Kennedy and co. are "just focused on finishing this with Harrison.”
When director James Mangold was asked by the outlet whether he had discussed the possibility of Waller-Bridge carrying the baton with Lucasfilm, he stated that he's "not interested:"
“I'm not interested... I refuse. I just can’t do it...The amount of lore and Easter eggs and fan service starts to become antithetical to any of this stuff at a certain point. It isn’t storytelling anymore. It’s large-scale advertising.”
How Should Lucasfilm Potentially Continue Indiana Jones’ Story?
While Kathleen Kennedy's comments suggest an Indy spin-off series and a Helena Shaw solo outing are still a possibility, the odds of it actually happening likely depend on Dial of Destiny's box office performance and fan interest.
In terms of the latter, Lucasfilm should choose wisely, especially since that interest would need to exist apart from Harrison Ford's titular hero.
But even if Lucasfilm greenlights an Indiana Jones spin-off, it's likely years away. In addition to the ongoing WGA strike, Kennedy referred to the show as being a project for "down the road."
Still, the studio president even mentioning the potential for more means that Lucasfilm is open to continuing the IP, despite Indiana Jones 5 being Indy's final farewell.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny arrives in theaters on June 30.