ban on writing Indiana Jones IV-related pieces didn’t last long, huh? I have to admit – I never thought I would see this picture actually getting off the ground, but on the first day of this glorious New Year, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford backed up what George Lucas said at the Rose Parade practice last week (read Nick’s coverage of that announcement).

Some new details have surfaced: David Koepp has written the script. The movie starts shooting in June, with locations all over the world, including plenty of time in Los Angeles. And the as-yet-untitled (at least officially) film will be released in May 2008. That puts Indy IV in competition with the Narnia sequel, Prince Caspian, as well as Speed Racer. Iron Man hits at the beginning of May, probably a couple of weeks before Indy IV unloads – and since both films are from Paramount, I would say you can bet they wouldn’t torpedo the new franchise like that.

"We feel that the script was well worth the wait. We hope it delivers everything you’d expect from our history with Indiana Jones," Spielberg said. "George, Harrison and I are all very excited."  Is that a hint? Is this a Beatles-themed Indiana Jones film?

Meanwhile, Harrison Ford put down his booze long enough to say he can still play the role. "I’m delighted to be back in business with my old friends. I don’t know if the pants still fit, but I know the hat will," said Ford, who is 64. Maybe this really is a Beatles-themed film after all.

I have given this some thought, and I’m not against a new Indiana Jones film. I am against a new Indiana Jones film with Harrison Ford in the lead. Not only is he too old, he’s far too shitty. The man has not even attempted to make a decent film in the better part of a decade, and I don’t see any reason why he would stop his current career coasting to collect this particular paycheck.

Indiana Jones was envisioned as Lucas and Spielberg’s take on James Bond – they should go with that lead and cast a new person as Indiana Jones, and leave the series set around WWII. Nathan Fillion would make a fantastic Indy (Jesus, look at me fantasy casting here), and the franchise would have a new lease on life. Instead we’re going to get a farewell to the whole series (which I thought we got in Last Crusade, but whatever) that, even if it’s good, won’t hold a candle to the first two pictures. At this point the best everyone can hope for is “not embarrassing.”