Could Indiana Jones be ready to crack the whip again? Any hurtles have reportedly been cleared as Disney acquired the rights to market and distribute the future of the franchise, while Indy’s original studio Paramount will continue to distribute and control the first four Indiana Jones movies in perpetuity.
When Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, they purchased the company with existing contracts in place. In the case of Star Wars there was no continued distribution deal with 20th Century Fox, and no need for any details to be ironed out. In the case of Indiana Jones, however, while Disney now owned the brand, they couldn't actually do anything with it in film, as Paramount held those rights.
It's an interesting move for Disney, who did not play aggressively with some of the Marvel Comics properties that belong to Fox and Sony for live action adaptation when they acquired that company (those are a slightly different case, however, as they are development rights, as well as distribution). They did however strike a similar deal when they bought out the Marvel Studios distribution rights from - you guessed it - Paramount, in October 2010, allowing Disney to market and distribute the then in-development Avengers and Iron Man 3, which had previously been under Paramount's distribution deal with Marvel Studios.
Does this mean Disney has plans for Indiana Jones on the big screen? There's nothing concrete, though there have been rumors circulating since October of this year that Lucasfilm (and now Disney) may green light a fifth Indy movie as part of a deal for Harrison Ford to come back for Star Wars: Episode VII. Friday’s news certainly seems like a precursor for some sort of future revival.
Can anyone say eventual reboot?