Disney officially owns Indy now. Start your speculation.
In a week filled with huge announcements and surprises, we're closing out the week on one of the biggest: Disney, which had previously bought Lucasfilm and the rights to "Star Wars," now also owns "Indiana Jones."
Before you cry out that he belongs in a museum, please note that under the terms of the deal Paramount Pictures will retain distribution rights to the first four films, as well as an active participation in any future installments. However, any possible "Indiana Jones 5: The Return Of LaBeouf" would be distributed and marketed solely by Disney.
This closely parallels the deal Disney set up after purchasing Marvel Studios, with Paramount slowly moving rights, distribution and marketing over to the Mouse. In fact, "Thor: The Dark World" was the first feature solely produced by Marvel Studios under the Disney banner after several joint features.
Currently there are no active plans for a fifth "Indiana Jones" movie, though the title has been rumored for a while. Back around the release of "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," the fourth "Indiana Jones" movie, George Lucas stated he had an idea for a fifth movie he had sold Director Steven Spielberg on. Mixed reaction may have played a part in the film never coming to fruition, though the worldwide box office ($783 million) certainly tells another story.
"Indiana Jones," like "Star Wars" before it, has featured heavily at Disney theme parks, so it was a natural fit for the property to move to Disney. And though there was no official announcement with the purchase, chances are Disney wouldn't have purchased "Indiana Jones" without some sort of plans for the movie series.
Now I'm trying to picture the banquet and dungeon-crawl scenes from Temple of Doom as done by Dizney. And what type of obnoxious animal companion he would have in the animated series.
But could they do a worse job of "sanitizing" than Lucas and Spielberg have done themselves?
Having just finished re-watching "Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" (home sick + Netflix = marathon viewing) I realized I have nothing to fear. If my childhood love of the franchise can survive Chrystal Skull and Sean Patrick Flannery it can survive anything the Maus throws at us, even "Return of the Le Bouf".
Russel & Cap'n Tony: what you said is true. The Indiana Jones in our heads is not the same as produced on screen ;) where the latter is since his inception commercialized like any other movie feature. But the one in our own imagination will survive even Big Brother Disney taking over control.
LeBouf has sworn off blockbuster movies, so even if they wanted him back, it would probably take a lot to get him to show up.
As others have said, I don't think Disney can do any more harm than has already been done. The first three movies are still brilliant fun, and I might even be open to the idea of another actor taking over the role of continued adventures in the 30s/40s. Getting back the the formula that worked might be the way to go.
Paul Rudd as Indiana Jones in, "Indiana Jones and the Lost City of El Dorado," directed by Joe Johnston.