Disney and Paramount Pictures have announced they have reached a marketing and distribution agreement for the Indiana Jones franchise.
Under the arrangement, Disney gains marketing and distribution rights to future films, in addition to retaining its current ownership rights which it secured when it acquired Lucasfilm. Paramount will continue to be responsible for distribution of the first four films in the franchise and will receive a financial participation on any future films that are produced and released.
George Lucas had last discussed a potential fifth big screen outing for Henry Jones, Jr. back in 2011, suggesting that a story was already in place, but that the film was still in need of a MacGuffin. A term popularized by Alfred Hitchcock, a MacGuffin refers to a narrative element that drives the story forward.
The Indiana Jones series is famous for making the MacGuffin the object of Jones’ search. In Raiders of the Lost Ark it’s the Ark of the Convenant, in Temple of Doom it’s the Sankara Stones, in The Last Crusade it’s the Holy Grail and, most recently, in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it’s the skull itself.
Although Disney will distribute any new entries in the franchise, Paramount retains the distribution rights to the first four films.