Last October, Disney announced its acquisition of Lucasfilm, with the Star Wars franchise being the focus of the deal.  What about Indiana Jones?  Lucasfilm owns Indy as well, but because Paramount owned the film rights to the four existing and any future Indy films, Disney faced some challenges, or “some encumbrances” as described by Disney CEO Bob Iger, to bring Indy into the Disney fold.

Today, Walt Disney Studios and Paramount Pictures announced that they finally reached a deal for the marketing and distribution of the Indiana Jones franchise.  With this deal, Disney now owns the marketing and distribution rights to future Indy films as well as retaining the full ownership rights via Lucasfilm.  What about the original four Indy films?  As part of the deal, Paramount will retain distribution rights to the original four films as well as some unspecified financial arrangement regarding future Indy films.

Indiana-Jones

This now opens the door to a fifth adventure around the world for Indy, but Disney has yet to make any announcements.  With the new Star Wars movie scheduled for 2015, not to mention all of the Marvel films in the pipeline (including Avengers 2 the same year), Disney already has plenty on its plate for the near future.  Harrison Ford has previously expressed interest in returning to the role, but at 71, Ford may not be able to meet the physical demands of the role by the time it reaches the Disney Studios radar.  Perhaps a ‘Star Trek’-like reboot with a younger, fresh faced Indy may be in order?  Either way, there will definitely not be a lack of Indy in the Disney universe, as we will likely see Indy follow the Star Wars trend of animated adventures and expanded presence in the Disney Parks.  It’s hard to imagine how Disney can top the current Disneyland attraction, but isn’t that what Imagineers are here for?