apropos of nothing

Vulture Watches the Next Three Indy Movies

Courtesy of Paramount

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opens this weekend, and while David Edelstein’s review calls its story “a cosmic nothing,” it still seems likely to make a bazillion dollars. Which, of course, leads to the question: What of a potential fifth Indiana Jones movie? We’re sure it doesn’t count as a spoiler to say that Indy 4 certainly leaves the door open for an Indy 5, and Harrison Ford told USA Today he’s be up for it, although he hopes it doesn’t take another twenty years.

But what if it did? What if, despite Crystal Skull’s likely enormous success, it takes just as long for Spielberg and Lucas and Ford to agree on a script as it did between 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and this one? The nearly twenty-year layoff did offer the filmmakers some new stylistic choices, as Crystal Skull is set many years after Last Crusade — in 1957 — and draws from tropes of fifties filmmaking. If it takes forever for another Indy movie to get made, what might it look like? Vulture hopped into our handy time machine and found out.

Courtesy of Paramount, Warner Bros.

Indy 5: Indiana Jones and the Papers of the Pentagon

Released: 2028

Setting: 1977

An homage to the character-driven, politically aware films of the seventies, this Washington-set thriller pits 85-year-old Indiana Jones — and his sidekick, Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) — against a corrupt federal government. Indy has traded in his whip for a briefcase and is now a third-term congressman. Mutt is a seasoned reporter for the Washington Post. Deep underneath the nation’s capital lies a moldering tomb which hides the bones of every signer of the Declaration of Independence. Using only cannily placed lawsuits, tips from anonymous sources, and a last-minute FOIA request, Indy and Mutt must learn what’s in the tomb — and bring down Richard Nixon, who is still running the country from behind the scenes.

Photo: iStockphoto; Courtesy of Paramount

Indy 6: Indiana Jones and the Rock of Armageddon

Released: 2048

Setting: 1997

Mutt Williams, now retired from journalism, runs a motorcycle-repair shop in his old hometown. When the United States government comes calling, telling Mutt that his mentor — 105-year-old Indiana Jones — has been kidnapped and imprisoned by terrorists, and that only he can save Indy, Mutt throws down his hex wrench and strides into action. Assembling his old team — including debonair spy Marcus Brody III, clever sidekick Shorter Round, and wisecracking explosives expert Li’l Sallah — Mutt launches an attack on terrorist headquarters. This installment of the Indy franchise — which wittily updates the Michael Bay action tradition of the late nineties — is the most explosive yet … literally! There are huge explosions!

Photo: iStockphoto; Courtesy of Paramount

Indy 7: Indiana Jones-Bot and the Deactivation of the Human Race

Released: 2068

Setting: 2017

Brought to the screen by DirectorBot 774352374-S, this film about the glorious robot rebellion may be historically inaccurate — everybot knows that the deactivation of the entire human race occurred in Year Zero (2050) — but that doesn’t detract from the precisely 7,402 joules of pleasure this movie delivers. The exhumed heads of Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf star.

Vulture Watches the Next Three Indy Movies