Historical storylines 'Indiana Jones 5' could tackle

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Raiders of the Lost Ark, directed by Steven Spielberg. Seen here, Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Harrison Ford will be in his late 70s if and when Indiana Jones 5 finally arrives in cinemas, so the plot should revolve around Indy enjoying a nice cup of tea in a retirement home, his feet up on the Ark of the Covenant.

All joking aside though, the time period the new film is likely to be set is a goldmine, plot-wise.

Each Indiana Jones film has stuck to the fictional chronology of his life, so 1983’s Raiders of the Lost Ark featured a 39-year-old Indy battling Nazis in 1936, while 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was set in 1957 featuring a 66-year-old Indy.

This suggests that the as-yet-untitled fifth Indiana Jones movie will be set amid the historical milieu of the late 1960s, early 1970s.

Read more: Spielberg drops out of Indiana Jones 5

So what could this mean for the potential plot of the film? We’ve got a few ideas for stories of that era that rumoured new director James Mangold could explore.

Indiana Jones and... the moon landings

Indiana Jones and the Race for the Moon?

The space race was nearing its ultimate destination in the late 60s with the Apollo 11 moon landing taking place in July 1969, so it wouldn’t take a giant leap of imagination to see Indy getting embroiled in a lunar mystery involving the dark side of the moon. Many people still believe Stanley Kubrick conspired with NASA to fake the moon landings, maybe this was a cover story for something even stranger that Indy could investigate?

Indiana Jones and... the Vietnam war

5 possible storylines Indiana Jones 5 could explore

Indy’s no stranger to getting involved in real life conflicts: He battled the Nazis as a civilian and as an OSS agent during WWII, and he tussled with the Ruskies in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull but would Spielberg be brave enough to pit him against the Viet Cong? It’s a potential minefield for a family film, but Southeast Asia is fertile ground for the ancient civilisations Indy likes to investigate.

Indiana Jones and... Nazis on the run

5 possible storylines Indiana Jones 5 could explore

At the end of World War II many high-ranking Nazis fled Europe and found refuge in South America. We’d love to see Dr. Jones chasing down his old adversaries in the Amazon as they both race to discover El Dorado, and the lost cities of gold.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Indy’s whip

Raiders of the Lost Ark opened in the jungles of South America so this would bring neat some symmetry to the (probably) final chapter in the franchise. This is definitely our favourite idea.

Indiana Jones and... the satanists

5 possible storylines Indiana Jones 5 could explore

A darker side to the 1960s cultural rebellion was the rise of the occult. Counter culture belief systems were springing up all across America and 1969 saw The Manson Family committing a series of horrific murders in a bid to trigger “Helter Skelter”, an apocalyptic race war. Again, this is dodgy ground for a family film but it didn’t stop them Temple of Doom with its graphic ritual sacrifices. Indy battling Satanists and witchcraft is something we’d love to see on screen.

Indiana Jones and... the assassinations

5 possible storylines Indiana Jones 5 could explore

Even now, some 50 years later, we’re still obsessed with the high profile assassinations of the 1960s. Despite countless investigations and committee hearings, there’s still a lot of ambiguity surrounding the murders of the Kennedy brothers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. which has led to the proliferation of countless conspiracy theories. Perhaps Indy investigates what happened on the grassy knoll that day in Dallas?