David Koepp, who has written everything from Spider-Man to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, has reportedly departed Indiana Jones 5. The screenwriting duties have been taken over by Jonathan Kasdan, who recently co-write Solo: A Star Wars Story with his father Lawrence Kasdan.
It’s a big change considering Koepp has frequently collaborated with director Steven Spielberg, the latter of whom was confirmed to direct the project when it was announced. As Collider notes, Koepp and Spielberg joined forces on the most recent Indiana Jones movie, as well as War of the Worlds and The Lost World.
With production expected to start next April, it’s unclear how extensive Kasdan’s job will be. Collider isn’t clear on whether Kasdan will completely re-write Koepp’s script or if he’s simply onboard to perform a few tweaks. At this point, you’d expect the latter, especially with time being of the essence. But with so much riding on this project, the fact that Koepp is being replaced might suggest Kasdan will start from scratch.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull wasn’t warmly received by critics or fans, so the pressure is on for this next entry to do well. Add in the fact that this will likely be Harrison Ford’s last turn as Indy, and you’re really fighting an uphill battle.
If Kasdan does feel crunched for time, he could always enlist the help of his father, whose many credits include The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Force Awakens.
Indiana Jones 5 is currently scheduled for a release on July 10, 2020.