Lucasfilm Hints at Potential INDIANA JONES Cinematic Universe

Amid all of the Star Wars fun at this past weekend's Celebration, there was also a small tease that hinted at the future of the Indiana Jones franchise. At a panel called "The Art of Storytelling," ILM's Lynwen Brennan had an interesting little tidbit that fans will likely find worthy of parsing:

Kiri [Hart] and her group have mapped out a story and timeline across multiple platforms many years in advance, many exhausting years in advance...We have a great honor to have responsibility for, so we want to be really careful with that. Not only for Star Wars but with Indiana Jones, which we’re all really excited about as well.”

Hart, of course, is the head of Lucasfilm's story group, the team that's in charge of not only making sure everything in the Star Wars canon fits and makes sense, but in developing the broader outlines of pretty much every Star Wars story going forward. I believe this is the first time we've heard it mentioned that the same team will be responsible for the future of the Indiana Jones saga as well, and considering how well they've done with Star Wars so far, that's an exciting prospect.

(It also will hopefully curb the amount of influence George Lucas has on future Indy movies, since Steven Spielberg himself has essentially blamed Lucas for the worst aspects of The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and might have the same effect on writer David Koepp, who isn't my favorite contributor to the Indy franchise.)

The story group's leadership means that there's a lot more involved here than just one movie, which is something anyone with half a brain realized the moment Disney bought Lucasfilm (the studio was never going to just make one more movie and retire the character). But since we don't have any more details to go on, we're still left with the same speculation we've had for months about what the future of this franchise actually looks like. Spielberg has said he won't recast Harrison Ford in the role, but how long can that realistically remain the case before the studio steps in and supersedes his decision? Hopefully we'll get some real answers soon, but with the story group involved, we could be on the verge of a full-on Indiana Jones cinematic universe with multiple movies, VR experiences, comics, books, TV shows...the works. What do you think?

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