LOS ANGELES • American actor Harrison Ford may be pushing 80, but he is not too old to don the wide-brimmed fedora of adventurer Indiana Jones for one final film.
Disney's announcement of a fifth and last Indy flick in 2022 - which has been in development for years - sent fans into a celebratory frenzy on social media last Friday.
"We're in pre-production on the next and final instalment of Indiana Jones," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said last Thursday in Disney's mammoth investor-day presentation.
"Of course, Indy himself, Harrison Ford, will be back to conclude this iconic character's journey. Indy will begin shooting late spring of 2021 and will be released in July of 2022."
At the helm will be James Mangold, 56, director of racing flick Ford V Ferrari (2019) and Logan (2017), the final chapter in the long-running series of Wolverine flicks starring Australian actor Hugh Jackman.
Steven Spielberg, who directed the first four Indy flicks, had initially been set to direct the final chapter in the Indiana Jones saga, but has instead handed the reins to Mangold.
Spielberg, 73, will remain involved as a producer.
Ford, now 78, first created the role of Indiana Jones in Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981), four years after achieving global fame as Han Solo in the original Star Wars film (1977).
Three years later, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (1984) followed. In 1989, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade hit theatres, with late Scottish actor Sean Connery playing Indy's father.
Nearly 20 years passed before Ford starred in the fourth film, Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (2008), which had box-office success, but was critically panned.
Disney first announced plans for a fifth film in 2016, with a release date last year, but the project was delayed over creative differences between Spielberg, screenwriters and producers.
Then the coronavirus pandemic upended Hollywood's production schedule.