Despite the rumblings of the politically correct morons, it is holiday time and all he major motion pictures for 2013 have been shipped to theaters or are in a cargo area waiting to be shipped. The behind-the-scenes work still goes on and one such venture just went down at Disney Studios. They just signed all the necessary papers to acquire the rights to the Indiana Jones franchise. As of now, they have the ability to continue the series--discontinue it--or reboot it and start over.
It's been a boffo year at the House of the Mouse. They bought the Star Wars franchise from creator/director/writer George Lucas, hired him as a consultant, set Star Wars VII in motion, hired J.J. Abrams to direct it and signed Kathleen Kennedy to produce it and cast the core trio of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher to co-star in it. The Star Wars franchise has already been a major money-maker and will continue to be far into the future.
There's no guarantee that all of those things will happen with Indiana Jones. A reality check would indicate that Harrison Ford is questionable for the strain on his body another Indy film would require. He still looks good and is likely in good shape but he's already injured his back while filming Temple of Doom back in the 1980s and stunt work is still no picnic, not even backed by CGA. The Crystal Skull was undeservedly panned by many critics and only hardcore fans enjoyed it for what it was. What it was, to be blunt, was far more entertaining than much of the crud we've endured this past year.
Paramount financed Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, securing a five-picture deal. That doesn't mean that Disney has to make a fifth film but facing facts, no one in Hollywood turns down a solid script if they think they can make money on it. That includes Disney and, having released a couple financial duds (John Carter for one), they could find two or three writers to either end the series or leave it open for a younger Indy to reboot the series. Either way, it belongs to them and Disney hasn't remained in business all these years by accident.
Speaking of Paramount, as of April 2014 action film producer Jerry Bruckheimer will return to their ranks having signed a deal with them to develop several projects. Two of them are a new Beverly Hills Cop and Top Gun 2, both featuring their original stars. Bruckheimer had been working at Disney but that's over and he's moving on.
Beverly Hills Cop brings Eddie Murphy back to his most successful films as the affable, wise-cracking Axel Foley. Murphy needs a major hit to reverse his downward spiral. Most of his most recent films have been box office duds. Bruckheimer produced the original trilogy of films and director Brett Ratner might be returning to direct the new one which is being called a reboot.
Top Gun 2 will return Tom Cruise but, like Beverly Hills Cop, little is written in ink as yet. Cruise's career has gone much better than Murphy's and this will be a return to the film that really gave his career its biggest boost. Sadly, director Tony Scott cannot return for this one, having died last year. There are several excellent directors who can easily handle the flying sequences along with the human drama.