Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Harrison Ford Returned To Indiana Jones After Two Decades

The last time audiences saw Harrison Ford step into the iconic role of Indiana Jones was in the summer of 2008. Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" was topping the charts, alongside songs from artists like "American Idol" alum Jordin Sparks; Hilary Clinton's first presidential bid was becoming inescapably overpowered by a newly minted senator from Illinois; Beijing was getting ready to host the Summer Olympics. Also, Emeril Lagasse hosted a mac and cheese competition, which inexplicably ended up being one of ABC News' top stories of 2008.

In other words, since "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," the world feels all at once entirely different and exactly the same — though we can agree that the "No Air" vinyl belongs in a museum. The same is strangely true for Ford, who — in both 2008 and 2022 — found himself starring down the barrel of a fifth "Indiana Jones" adventure. The difference this time, however, is that the film will finally be completed.

Perhaps as a consequence of his blunt attitude toward his work in "Star Wars" and the lukewarm-at-best reception of "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," casual fans may have had the impression that Ford was hesitant to return to another one of his most beloved characters. On the contrary, Ford has been ready to pick up the whip since 2009.

One last adventure for Indy

Plans for a 5th film began taking shape very shortly after the release of the 4th installment, in spite of its poor reputation with fans. As People reported in 2009, franchise fathers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas had met with Harrison Ford to decide what story the next entry in the franchise would tell. At the time, Ford relayed that the three men "are agreed on what the fifth adventure will concern, and George is actively at work." He continued, "If the script is good, I'll be very happy to put the costume on again."

In 2012, the Walt Disney Company would acquire Lucasfilm and its creative properties, including the "Indiana Jones" franchise. Four years later in 2016, the company announced officially that a fifth "Indiana Jones" would be made, with Ford confirmed to star. The actor told "Jimmy Kimmel Live" that he was excited to return to the role, and expressed how much fun he had playing the character and working with Spielberg, who, at the time, was set to direct. The film was to be released on July 19, 2019, but because of delays, we ultimately got "The Lion King" remake (yay?).

Now, nearly 15 years since it was first discussed, not only is there a concrete roadmap to the release of "Indy 5" — Empire has exclusively shared the first image of Ford back in costume (spoiler alert: he still looks damn incredible). While current events may feel weirdly similar, there is one notable change — Ford now sees this film as his final adventure. He told Empire, "I just thought it would be nice to see [a film] where Indiana Jones was at the end of his journey..."

"Indiana Jones 5" is set for a June 2023 release date.