Walt Disney Studios and Paramount Pictures have reached an Indiana Jones agreement, Deadline reported Friday. Disney now has marketing distribution rights to future films in the famous (and lucrative) franchise, while Paramount will retain distribution for the first four movies.
That means Disney is now clear to make a new Indiana Jones movie, although no such announcement has been made — yet. Deadline calls such a thing “likely,” and title star Harrison Ford said in October on the UK’s The Graham Norton Show that he would do another Indiana Jones “in a New York minute.” “I don’t think there’s any barrier to Indiana Jones being an old fart,” the actor said. “It’s OK. We’ve seen him in all stages of his life.”
Disney’s October 2012 $4.05 billion purchase of Lucasfilm included Indiana Jones, but the franchise’s preexisting deal with Paramount made monetizing the property — including moving forward on a new production — tricky. Friday’s deal removes those obstacles, though Paramount is set to receive financial rewards on any potential future Indy films. The Disney/Indiana Jones relationship stretches back to at least 1989, when the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! opened at Walt Disney World.