Disney+ is now home to all nine episodes of the Star Wars Skywalker Saga and is also the home for other Lucasfilm properties such as Star Wars: Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
But there is one Lucasfilm franchise still left out. One just as iconic and beloved by Disney fans: Indiana Jones.
As of June 1, 2020, the Indiana Jones saga is still on Disney’s chief streaming rival: Netflix. A franchise so closely knit to the Disney name belongs on Disney+. But when will that happen?
Right now, the answer is quite possibly never.
According to Screenrant, the disappointing news was brought to light when Disney+ was first launched. While Indiana Jones is a Lucasfilm franchise, the rights to all four movies are retained by Paramount Pictures. That relationship appears to still be in good standing as Paramount decided to forgo theatrical releases this spring for a release on Netflix.
The situation is much like the one Disney and Marvel have over Spider-Man with Sony Pictures. Disney and Paramount did reach a deal where Disney would get the distribution rights for all future Indy films, but Paramount still retained control of the first four made between 1981 and 2008: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It is unknown if a deal can be made to coerce Paramount to bring the adventure series over to Disney+ (or, at least, the first three films).
Disney would then have to wait for the contract Paramount has with Netflix to expire before having a chance to acquire the franchise. However, it is unknown how long that will last. At the very least, the new deal gives Disney+ first dibs at the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones film after its theatrical run.
Indiana Jones is the iconic adventure story, and George Lucas’s swashbuckling archaeologist has been integrated into the Disney Parks for decades. We can see the iconic character in the Indiana Jones™ Adventure at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and the Indiana Jones™ Epic Stunt Spectacular! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. There are also Indiana Jones-themed attractions at Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disney Resort. The Indiana Jones character was also prominently featured in the fan-favorite Great Movie Ride.
Indiana Jones is a part of many a guest’s Disney Parks experience, and it was a George Lucas creation. Many believe it belongs on Disney+ with Lucasfilm’s Star Wars franchise. But to make that happen, it looks like Disney’s going to have to go back to the negotiating table and play nice with another studio for the sake of their fans.
Do you think the Indiana Jones films will ever make it to Disney+? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!