'Indiana Jones 5' screenwriter David Koepp on why he exited long-awaited sequel

American actor Harrison Ford on the set of "Raiders of the Lost Ark". (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Harrison Ford on the set of Raiders of the Lost Ark (Credit: Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Veteran screenwriter David Koepp has revealed why he quit the upcoming movie in the Indiana Jones series.

It was announced back in February that Steven Spielberg would not make the movie, with Logan director James Mangold coming in to replace him.

Read more: James Mangold promises Indiana Jones 5 will go ‘somewhere new’

This would make it the first Indiana Jones movie without Spielberg at the helm, something that caused some disquiet among fans.

Koepp penned Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (along with movies like Jurassic Park and Mission: Impossible), but was later rumoured to have been replaced by Jonathan Kasdan, writer of Solo: A Star Wars Story, and son of Lawrence Kasdan, writer of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Now Koepp has confirmed that he won't be working on Indy 5, which was reportedly just weeks from rolling cameras prior to the coronavirus lockdown.

American director Steven Spielberg speaks with assistant director David Koepp (left) on the set of Spielberg's film, 'The Lost World: Jurassic Park,' 1997. (Photo by Universal Studios/Getty Images)
Steven Spielberg and assistant director David Koepp on the set of The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Credit: Universal Studios/Getty Images)

Asked if he was still involved in the project, Koepp told Collider: “Not anymore. When James Mangold came in… he deserves a chance to take his shot at it.

“I’d done several versions with Steven. And when Steven left, it seemed like the right time to let Jim have his own take on it and have his own person or himself write it.”

Spielberg will still be a 'hands-on' executive producer of the movie, according to reports, though there's some disparity with how far along the movie is.

Harrison Ford, now 77, said during an interview with CBS in February that shooting was set to begin 'in about two months'.

Read more: Five things you might not know about Indiana Jones’s whip

However, producer Frank Marshall told Collider last month that scripting had 'just started', so it could be that the whole project is now back to square one.

Comments from Mangold would perhaps back this up.

He told that 'you have to push something to someplace new, while also remembering the core reasons why everyone was gathered. And to use Logan as an example of that, when you're dealing in a world of a very pressured franchise'.

The movie is scheduled for release on 29 July, 2022, though if scripting has 'just started' – coupled with the studio delays caused by lockdown – that could mean it could yet be pushed back.