Harrison Ford returned for one last worldwide adventure in Indy 5, this time joined by Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Helena Shaw (Indiana's goddaughter) and the villainous Jürgen Voller played by Mads Mikkelsen.
Despite the triumphant return to theaters 15 years after the fourth Indiana Jones installment, Indy 5 was a box office flop and lost the studio money, putting into question any future installments.
The Indiana Jones Franchise Is Done
According to Disney’s press release for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’s Disney+ streaming premiere, Indy 5 was the "final installment in the epic, iconic franchise:"
"Lucasfilm’s 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,' the final installment in the epic, iconic franchise..."
This is similar to the wording in a Disney press release leading up to Indy 5's theatrical release, calling it "the highly anticipated final installment of the beloved franchise."
Between both of the statements by Disney, it's clear that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has been planned as the final chapter of the franchise.
The high production and promotion costs of Indiana Jones 5 resulted in a nearly $100 million loss for Disney, as the film's worldwide box office earnings of $381.6 million fell short of expectations and made it a 2023 summer flop.
Even beyond the lack of theatrical interest, Indy 5 was a critic flop, receiving mixed reviews with an initial Rotten Tomatoes score of 52% and eventually landing at 69%, which doesn't meet the "Certified Fresh" criteria.
However, while Indiana Jones with Harrison Ford in theaters is done, there is a possibility that stories will live on within the same universe.
How Indiana Jones Could Return (Theory)
"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 also reiterated in an interview that Indiana Jones 5 marks his final portrayal of the iconic character.
He then expressed disinterest in being involved in a potential Indiana Jones series, which was initially rumored to focus on a young Abner Ravenwood, Marion's father, who was referenced in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
In addition, there is a possibility of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Helena returning in some capacity, whether it be on the big screen or Disney+. Her character was set up in Dial of Destiny as an impressive archeologist and explorer.
Considering the fifth Indiana Jones turned out the be an unsuccessful investment, it could be a long time until Lucasfilm decides to further use the IP without Ford.
The Indiana Jones 5 streaming release is swiftly approaching, with Disney+ set to premiere the summer film on Friday, December 1.