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More ‘Indiana Jones’ is on the way, but where will it go?

Harrison Ford, left, and Shia LaBeouf in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."
(Lucasfilm)

Pundits and fans thought “Indiana Jones” was over and done with after the release of the fourth installment, 2008’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

But where wobbly movies once went to the bargain bin, they now go to the development pile. A fifth film has been dated for 2019, reuniting Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford and the producers and writer of the previous pic.

And there could be more on the way.

In a new interview, Disney CEO Robert Iger said that additional films may follow as the studio reboots the franchise.

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“I see making more. It won’t be just a one-off,” Iger, whose company owns Indiana Jones originator Lucasfilm, told the Hollywood Reporter.

“We’re focused on a reboot,” he said, “or a continuum and then a reboot of some sort.”

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Whether the fifth movie will set up a younger actor to take over a key part the way “Star Wars” did with Ford and his costars, Iger wouldn’t say. “[W]e’ll bring him back, then we have to figure out what comes next,” he noted.

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Such handoffs aren’t easy — the Shia LaBeouf transition didn’t quite unfold as expected. But studios these days are thinking long-term and universe-y, which means don’t be surprised if another young actor is there ready to take the reins.

Iger did caution that there were limits to how big the “Indiana Jones” world could grow. It would, he said, “not [be] like Star Wars” (that franchise has as many as five movies upcoming).

The idea of a follow-up to “Crystal Skull” is notable. That film was tepidly received by fans and critics, thanks to its earnest tone and at times muddled plotting. Though the film grossed $786 million globally, its domestic total when adjusting for inflation was the lowest of the four films.

But by filling in a key part of Indy’s backstory, the sequel also allowed for some new directions, which producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy and writer David Koepp will no doubt plumb, and which will also enable the possibility of the additional movies Iger referenced.

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Given how far away those movies would be, it’s tough to take any pledges to the bank; such statements are made as much for Wall Street as anything else, and plans for long-term sequels are just as likely not to materialize. Still, the idea of “Indiana Jones” attracting even anything close to its Lucasfilm stablemate is striking.

And while skeptics may say that there’s not much fan interest in more “Indiana Jones” after a shaky sequel, it’s worth remembering: They said that about “Star Wars” too.

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