Unsolicited Pitch for Indiana Jones 5

We open in the jungles of Vietnam with a title card proclaiming the date as the late 1970s or early 1980s, both creating a Spielberg causal loop and setting the film firmly amidst the “In Search Of…” era of interest in mysterious phenomena.

Two beefy heroic-looking guys are led by a small, unassuming Asian woman through various pit traps, unexploded landmines, and other dangers in a sequence reminiscent of the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. One of the beefy guys is Harrison Ford look-alike Anthony Ingruber, the guy a lot of people wanted to play young Han Solo; at one point he reacts in fear to a snake and mercilessly kills it. The two guys speak to the woman solely in Vietnamese this whole time.

Finally, they arrive at their quest’s end deep in a lost temple. Instead of a grand treasure, however, there’s only the body of an Army photographer, crumpled in a corner. The two dudes begin complaining at the woman about the lack of treasure while she bends reverently over the body. She examines the dog tags and they reveal this to be the corpse of Henry Walton Jones III (AKA “Mutt” from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). The woman—suddenly revealed to be KELLY MARIE TRAN—says “Hi, Dad” and pulls the Indiana Jones fedora out of his rucksack.

“Oh, you speak English now?” says Anthony Ingruber. “Where’s this treasure, huh? How are we getting paid?”

The woman played by Kelly Marie Tran stands up, straightening her shoulders, shedding the meek persona she’s worn. We see the famous Indiana Jones whip hanging at her belt (where it’s been this whole time, of course; our attention was just drawn elsewhere). She turns to the mercenaries.“Sorry,” she apologizes charmingly. “I just needed somebody to carry the body. You’ll still get paid. I’ve got cash?”

“Not good enough,” he responds, going for his gun—but not as fast as she goes for the whip.

An echoing whip-snap sends birds fleeing from their nests. The “Indiana Jones March” starts, beginning a montage that sees our heroine escorting the laden mercenaries at gunpoint out of the jungle and ultimately to Marshall College, Connecticut.

Cut to a college amphitheater, where Indiana Phượng Hoàng Jones (yes, her given first name is “Indiana”) is accepting her doctorate. Harrison Ford and Karen Allen are there as Indy’s grandparents, with Futurama’s Lauren Tom as Indy’s mom. There’s a gag about Indy’s mom being happy that Mutt could be there to see it, revealing a bone-white rounded object we first take to be his skull but is actually just a jar containing his ashes. The original Indiana Jones tells Indy how proud of her he is and thanks her (with much subtext) for bringing home his hat.

In ways I’m not getting paid to figure out, the adventure that follows springs out of something Mutt photographed during his last mission in Vietnam. Indy inherits the hat and Henry Jones Jr. loses an eye. Much action, much adventure, etc.

Spielberg has said he's thinking about a woman to replace Ford, after all.


  1. Very positive photos. Thank you for the article. You will always be helped by a reflective paper outline.

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