Disney Buys Indiana Jones Brand, Franchise

Disney now officially owns our collective childhood.

Not only has the studio behind so many animated classics gobbled up the Star Wars franchise, with the promise of new sequels and stand-alone features set "in a galaxy far, far away," it just bought the rights to Indiana Jones.

The cinematic adventurer, played by Harrison Ford in four feature films, is now Disney's property meaning more sequels are likely in order. Fans appear more than eager to revisit the Star Wars universe, a trip sweetened by the promised return of franchise stars Ford (as Han Solo), Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. Can a new Indy film exist with Ford reclaiming his signature role, or will we see a reboot with a fresh face cracking the character's whip?

Ford and franchise co-creator George Lucas have publicly discussed a fifth Indy film, but the actor may be in his mid-70s by the time such a project hits theaters. Ford is currently 71 and Lucas tends to work slowly on projects. Such a film may require the participation of franchise director Steven Spielberg, one of Hollywood's busiest talents.

The fourth Indiana Jones film (The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) introduced Shia LaBeouf as the character's son, but fans weren't enamored with the film or LaBeouf's character. Television's take on the famed character, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, earned modest ratings during the 1990s but couldn't duplicate the passions people felt for Ford's version.

Disney's move represents Hollywood's hunger for brands that can cut through the pop culture clutter, another sign mainstream movies are less dedicated to original content than trusted properties.


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