Indiana Jones (franchise)

Indiana Jones franchise
Creator George Lucas
Original work Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Owner Lucasfilm
Print publications
Books See the Literature section
Novels See the Adult novels section
Comics Indiana Jones comic books
Films and television
Television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992–93)
Traditional See the Merchandise section
Role-playing See the Role-playing games section
Video games See the Video games section
Toys See the Toy lines section, Lego Indiana Jones
Theme park attractions

The Indiana Jones franchise is an American media franchise based on the adventures of Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, a fictional archaeologist. It began in 1981 with the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. A prequel, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, followed in 1984, and a sequel, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, was released in 1989. A fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was released in 2008, and was the last in the series to be distributed by Paramount Pictures. The series was created by George Lucas; the films star Harrison Ford and are directed by Steven Spielberg. The Walt Disney Company has owned the Indiana Jones intellectual property since its acquisition of Lucasfilm, the series' production company, in 2012.[1] A fifth film is planned for release on July 19, 2019, with both Spielberg and Ford returning.[2]

The franchise expanded to television in 1992 with the release of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, a series featuring adventures the character had as a child as he traveled around the world with his father. Marvel Comics began publishing The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones in 1983, and Dark Horse Comics earned the comic book rights to the character in 1991. Novelizations of the films have been published, as well as many novels with original adventures, including a series of German novels by Wolfgang Hohlbein, twelve novels set before the films published by Bantam Books, and a series set during the character's childhood inspired by the television show. Numerous Indiana Jones video games have been released since 1982.



Indiana Jones
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Raiders of the Lost Ark
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:
Frank Marshall
Temple of Doom
Last Crusade:
Robert Watts
Screenplay by Raiders of the Lost Ark:
Lawrence Kasdan
Temple of Doom:
Willard Huyck
Gloria Katz
Last Crusade:
Jeffrey Boam
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:
David Koepp
Story by Raiders of the Lost Ark:
George Lucas
Philip Kaufman
Temple of Doom:
George Lucas
Last Crusade:
George Lucas
Menno Meyjes
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:
George Lucas
Jeff Nathanson
Starring Harrison Ford
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Raiders of the Lost Ark
Temple of Doom
Last Crusade:
Douglas Slocombe
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:
Janusz Kamiński
Edited by Michael Kahn
Distributed by Paramount Pictures1
Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures

Country United States
Language English
Budget $279 million
Box office $1.978 billion

The first film, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) is set in 1936. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is hired by government agents to locate the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis. The Nazis have teams searching for religious artifacts, including the Ark, which is rumored to make an army that carries the Ark before it invincible.[3] The Nazis are being helped by Indiana's nemesis René Belloq (Paul Freeman). With the help of his old flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), Indiana manages to recover the Ark in Egypt. The Nazis steal the Ark and capture Indiana and Marion. Belloq and the Nazis perform a ceremony to open the Ark, but when they do so, they are all killed gruesomely by the Ark's wrath. Indiana and Marion, who survived by closing their eyes, manage to get the Ark to the United States, where it is stored in a secret government warehouse.

The second film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) is set in 1935, a year before Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana escapes Chinese gangsters with the help of singer/actress Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) and his twelve-year-old sidekick Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan). The trio crash-land in India, where they come across a village whose children have been kidnapped. A destructive cult led by Mola Ram (Amrish Puri) has also taken the holy Sankara Stones, which they will use to take over the world. Indiana manages to overcome Mola Ram's evil power, rescues the children and returns the stones to their rightful place, overcoming his own mercenary nature.

The third film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) opens in 1912 with a thirteen-year-old Indiana (River Phoenix) attempting to recover an ornamental cross belonging to Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, a task which he finally completes in 1938. Indiana and his friend Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) are assigned by American businessman Walter Donovan (Julian Glover) to find the Holy Grail. They are teamed up with Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody), following on from where Indiana's estranged father Henry (Sean Connery) left off before he disappeared. It transpires that Donovan and Elsa are in league with the Nazis, who captured Henry Jones in order to get Indiana to help them find the Grail. However, Indiana recovers his father's diary filled with his research, and manages to rescue him before finding the location of the Grail. Both Donovan and Elsa fall to the temptation of the Grail, while Indiana and Henry realize that their relationship with each other is more important than finding the relic.

The countries visited in the four Indiana Jones films.
Red = Countries visited in Raiders
Green = Countries visited in Temple of Doom
Brown = Visited in Raiders, Last Crusade, and Crystal Skull
Blue = Countries visited in Last Crusade
Yellow = Countries visited in Raiders and Crystal Skull
Orange = Countries visited in Crystal Skull

The fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) is set in 1957: nineteen years after The Last Crusade, thus acknowledging the real-life passing of years between films. Indiana is having a quiet life teaching before being thrust into a new adventure. He races against agents of the Soviet Union, led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) for a crystal skull. His journey takes him across Nevada, Connecticut, Peru, and the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Indiana is faced with betrayal by one of his best friends, Mac (Ray Winstone), is introduced to a greaser named Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), who turns out to be his son (his real name revealed to be Henry Jones III), and is reunited with Marion Ravenwood, an old flame introduced in the first movie.


In 1973, George Lucas wrote The Adventures of Indiana Smith.[4] Like Star Wars, it was an opportunity to create a modern version of the movie serials of the 1930s and 1940s.[5] Lucas discussed the concept with Philip Kaufman, who worked with him for several weeks and decided upon the Ark of the Covenant as the MacGuffin. The project was stalled when Clint Eastwood hired Kaufman to write The Outlaw Josey Wales.[6] In May 1977, Lucas was in Maui, trying to escape the enormous success of Star Wars. His friend and colleague Steven Spielberg was also there, on vacation from work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Spielberg told Lucas he was interested in making a James Bond film, but Lucas told him of an idea "better than James Bond", outlining the plot of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Spielberg loved it, calling it "a James Bond film without the hardware",[7] though he had the character's surname changed to Jones.[5] Spielberg and Lucas made a deal with Paramount Pictures for five Indiana Jones films.[7]

Spielberg and Lucas aimed to make Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom much darker, because of their personal moods following their respective break-ups and divorces. Lucas made the film a prequel as he did not want the Nazis to be the villains again. He had ideas regarding the Monkey King and a haunted castle, but eventually created the Sankara Stones.[8] He hired Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz to write the script as he knew of their interest in Indian culture.[9] The major scenes that were dropped from Raiders of the Lost Ark were included in this film: an escape using a giant rolling gong as a shield, a fall out of a plane in a raft, and a mine cart chase.[5] For the third film, Spielberg revisited the Monkey King and haunted castle concepts, before Lucas suggested the Holy Grail. Spielberg had previously rejected this as too ethereal, but then devised a father-son story and decided that "The Grail that everybody seeks could be a metaphor for a son seeking reconciliation with a father and a father seeking reconciliation with a son."[10]

Following the 1989 release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lucas let the series end as he felt he could not think of a good plot device to drive the next installment, and chose instead to produce The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, which explored the character in his early years. Ford played Indiana in one episode, narrating his adventures in 1920 Chicago. When Lucas shot Ford's role in December 1992, he realized that the scene opened up the possibility of a film with an older Indiana set in the 1950s. The film could reflect a science fiction 1950s B-movie, with aliens as the plot device.[11] Ford disliked the new angle, telling Lucas: "No way am I being in a Steve Spielberg movie like that."[12] Spielberg himself, who depicted aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, resisted it. Lucas devised a story, which Jeb Stuart turned into a script from October 1993 to May 1994.[11] Lucas wanted Indiana to get married, which would allow Henry Jones Sr. to return, expressing concern over whether his son is happy with what he has accomplished. After learning that Joseph Stalin was interested in psychic warfare, Lucas decided to have Russians as the villains and the aliens to have psychic powers.[13] Following Stuart's next draft, Lucas hired Last Crusade writer Jeffrey Boam to write the next three versions, the last of which was completed in March 1996. Three months later, Independence Day was released, and Spielberg told Lucas he would not make another alien invasion film (or at least not until War of the Worlds in 2005). Lucas decided to focus on the Star Wars prequels instead.[11]

In 2000, Spielberg's son asked when the next Indiana Jones film would be released, which made him interested in reviving the project.[14] The same year, Ford, Lucas, Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Kathleen Kennedy met during the American Film Institute's tribute to Ford, and decided they wanted to enjoy the experience of making an Indiana Jones film again. Spielberg also found returning to the series a respite from his many dark films during this period.[15] Spielberg and Lucas discussed the central idea of a B-movie involving aliens, and Lucas suggested using crystal skulls to ground the idea. Lucas found these artifacts as fascinating as the Ark,[16] and had intended to feature them for a Young Indiana Jones episode before the show's cancellation.[11] M. Night Shyamalan was hired to write for an intended 2002 shoot,[14] but he was overwhelmed by the task, and claimed it was difficult to get Ford, Spielberg, and Lucas to focus.[17] Stephen Gaghan and Tom Stoppard were also approached.[14]

Frank Darabont, who wrote various Young Indiana Jones episodes, was hired to write in May 2002.[18] His script, entitled Indiana Jones and the City of Gods,[11] was set in the 1950s, with ex-Nazis pursuing Jones.[19] Spielberg conceived the idea because of real-life figures such as Juan Perón in Argentina, who allegedly protected Nazi war criminals.[11] Darabont claimed Spielberg loved the script, but Lucas had issues with it, and decided to take over writing himself.[11] Lucas and Spielberg acknowledged that the 1950s setting could not ignore the Cold War, and the Russians were more plausible villains. Spielberg decided he could not satirize the Nazis after directing Schindler's List,[20] while Ford felt "We plum[b] wore the Nazis out."[12] Darabont's main contribution was reintroducing Marion Ravenwood as Indiana's love interest, but he gave them a 13-year-old daughter, which Spielberg decided was too similar to The Lost World: Jurassic Park.[11]

Jeff Nathanson met with Spielberg and Lucas in August 2004, and turned in the next drafts in October and November 2005, titled The Atomic Ants. David Koepp continued on from there, giving his script the subtitle Destroyer of Worlds,[11] based on the Robert Oppenheimer quote. It was changed to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, as Spielberg found this a more inviting title which actually named the plot device.[21] Koepp wanted to depict the character of Mutt as a nerd, but Lucas refused, explaining he had to resemble Marlon Brando in The Wild One; "he needs to be what Indiana Jones' father thought of [him] – the curse returns in the form of his own son – he's everything a father can't stand".[11] Koepp collaborated with Lawrence Kasdan on the film's "love dialogue".[22]


The introduction of Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull led to speculation that LaBeouf will take over the franchise from Ford.[23] In an interview with IGN, "Spielberg indicated that LaBeouf has to make multiple Transformers movies before he can move over and take on the fedora and bullwhip of Indiana Jones."[24] The actor himself said, "Am I into it? Who wouldn't be? I don't think that's reality. It's a fun rumor."[25] Ford said he would return for a fifth film if it does not take another twenty years to develop,[26] while Spielberg responded it would happen "only if you [the audience] want more".[27] In an interview with Time, when asked about passing the fedora to LaBeouf in the next film, Ford said, "What are you talking about? It's mine. I would love to do another Indiana Jones movie. George Lucas is working on an idea now. Shia can get his own hat. I earned that hat."[28]

At the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, Lucas made a further suggestion that there would be a fifth film, revealing an idea "to make Shia LaBeouf the lead character next time and have Harrison Ford come back like Sean Connery did in the last movie." At the time Last Crusade was filmed, Connery was still only 58. Lucas also said that age need not be a factor, as Ford was "65 and did everything in this movie. The old chemistry is there, and it's not like he's an old man. He's incredibly agile; he looks even better than he did 20 years ago, if you ask me."[29] In August 2008, Lucas was researching potential plot devices, and stated Spielberg was open to the idea of the fifth film.[30] He also changed his mind about continuing the series with a spin-off, joking "Indiana Jones is Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones. If it was Mutt Williams it would be Mutt Williams and the Search for Elvis or something."[31] Two months later, Ford stated that he would not return if the fifth film was an animated film like The Clone Wars, because "I'd hate to see it reduced in any way from the movies that we have done and the way we have done them." He also called Lucas' concept for the fifth film "crazy but great".[32]

When asked how being married to Marion Ravenwood and having a son would affect the character in a fifth film, Ford only replied: "He's seen something. Remember those are the only witnesses to what he's seen. That's kind of interesting."[33] In January 2010, Ford said, "I think it would be interesting to advance the understanding of the character, as we always have had that ambition throughout the series. I think it would be interesting to deepen the relationship between he and his son and play on that relationship... It's full of opportunity. The series is full of opportunity."[34]

The possibility of Indiana Jones 5 continued to be discussed through 2009 and 2010. Reports speculated in June 2009 that the next installment would start filming in 2011 with a plot involving the Bermuda Triangle,[35] although these rumors were later described as "completely false" by Frank Marshall on his Twitter page.[36] Speaking to BBC journalist Lizo Mzimba in June 2009, LaBeouf confirmed that "Steven [Spielberg] just said that he cracked the story on it [the fifth film], I think they're gearing that up."[37] Lucas stated he was working on the film as of December 2009.[38] In November 2010, Ford said that he and Spielberg were waiting for Lucas to present an idea to them.[39] In March 2011, the Deadbolt website interviewed Karen Allen and asked her about the fifth film's status. "What I know is that there's a story that they like", said Allen, "which is a huge step forward. I heard this about six months ago, that they have a story that they like and they're working on it."[40] In July 2012, Frank Marshall indicated that the film was unlikely to be announced in the near future, saying: "I don't know if it's definitely not happening, but it's not up and running... It's not on until there is a writer on the project. There is no writer on Indy."[41]

In October 2012, The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm, thereby granting Disney ownership rights to the Indiana Jones intellectual property.[42][43] However, Paramount Pictures continued to own distribution rights for the film series.[44][45] On December 6, 2013, Walt Disney Studios purchased the remaining distribution and marketing rights to future Indiana Jones films, while Paramount will continue to distribute the first four films for Disney, and will receive "financial participation" from any additional films.[46][47][48] Although a new film installment was not announced with the deal, Disney CEO Bob Iger has expressed an interest in monetizing the franchise across Disney's various company divisions.[49] Studio chairman Alan Horn has said that a fifth Indiana Jones film would not be ready for at least two to three years.[50]

In a May 2015 interview with Vanity Fair, Kathleen Kennedy confirmed plans for a fifth film, stating another film "will one day be made inside this company. When it will happen, I'm not quite sure. We haven't started working on a script yet, but we are talking about it."[51] In October 2015, Spielberg told Yahoo! Movies Ford will likely reprise his role in the fifth Indiana Jones film.[52]

On March 15, 2016, Walt Disney Studios announced that the fifth film will be released on July 19, 2019, with Ford reprising his role, Spielberg directing, Koepp writing and Kennedy and Marshall acting as producers. George Lucas was initially not going to be involved with the film.[2][53] However, during a press event for Disney's The BFG, Spielberg confirmed that Lucas will be returning as executive producer, stating "I would never make an Indiana Jones film without George Lucas. That'd be insane."[54] Marshall has stated that the film would be a continuation of the events following Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.[55] On June 9, 2016, Spielberg confirmed that John Williams will be returning to compose the score.[56]


Box office performance

Film Release date Box office gross Box office ranking Budget Ref(s)
North America Other
Worldwide All time
North America
All time
Raiders of the Lost Ark June 12, 1981
(July 16, 1982)(R)
(March 25, 1983)(R)

(September 7, 2012 IMAX)(R)

$248,159,971 (R) $141,766,000 $389,925,971 #85
#20 (A)
#237 $18 million [57]
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom May 23, 1984 $179,870,271 $153,237,000 $333,107,271 #187
#86 (A)
#321 $28 million [58]
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade May 24, 1989 $197,171,806 $277,000,000 $474,171,806 #153
#99 (A)
#174 $48 million [59]
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull May 22, 2008 $317,101,119 $469,534,914 $786,636,033 #36
#131 (A)
#61 $185 million [60]
Total $942,303,167 $1,041,537,914 $1,983,841,081 $279 million [61]
List indicator(s)
  • (A) indicates the adjusted totals based on current ticket prices (calculated by Box Office Mojo).
  • (R) totals for the domestic release and the following 3 re-releases of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Critical and public response

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Raiders of the Lost Ark 96% (67 reviews)[62] 90 (11 reviews)[63]
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 85% (65 reviews)[64] 57 (12 reviews)[65]
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 88% (68 reviews)[66] 65 (14 reviews)[67] A[68]
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 78% (257 reviews)[69] 65 (40 reviews)[70] B[68]
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.

Academy Awards

Award category
Raiders of the Lost Ark Temple of Doom Last Crusade Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Best Art Direction Won
Best Sound Won Nominated
Best Cinematography Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Best Film Editing Won
Best Original Score Nominated
Best Picture Nominated
Best Sound Effects Editing Won
Best Visual Effects Won
Special Achievement Award for Sound Effects Editing Won
(Ben Burtt and
Richard L. Anderson)


A TV series entitled The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992–1996) featured three incarnations of the character: Sean Patrick Flanery played Indiana aged 16–20; Corey Carrier played an 8- to 10-year-old version in several episodes; and George Hall narrated the show as the 93-year-old Jones, who bookended each episode. Lucas began developing the series in 1990 as "edutainment" that would be more cerebral than the films. The show was his first collaboration with producer Rick McCallum, and he wrote the stories for each episode. Writers and directors on the show included Carrie Fisher, Frank Darabont, Vic Armstrong, Ben Burtt, Terry Jones, Nicolas Roeg, Mike Newell and Joe Johnston. In the Chronicles, Jones crosses paths with many historical figures, played by stars such as Daniel Craig, Christopher Lee, Bob Peck, Jeffrey Wright, Marc Warren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Elizabeth Hurley, Anne Heche, Vanessa Redgrave, Julian Fellowes, Timothy Spall and even Harrison Ford as a 50-year-old Indiana in one episode (taking the usual place of Hall).[71][72][73]

The show was filmed in over 25 countries for over 150 weeks. Season one was shot from March 1991 to March 1992; the second season began two months later and wrapped in April 1993.[74] The ABC network was unsure of Lucas's cerebral approach, and attempted to advertise the series as an action-adventure like the films. Ratings were good if unspectacular, and ABC was nervous enough to put the show on hiatus after six episodes until September 1992.[71] With only four episodes left of the second season to air, ABC eventually sold the show to the Family Channel, who changed the format from 50-minute episodes to 90-minute TV movies. Filming for the final four episodes took place from January 1994 to May 1996.[74] The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles received a mixed reception from fans, although it won 10 Emmy Awards out of 23 nominations, as well as a 1994 Golden Globe nomination for Best Drama series. It was also an experimentation ground in digital effects for Lucasfilm.[71]

The series was released on home video in VHS and DVD formats. Lucas had been working for some time on drastically reediting and restructuring the show for a home video release; major structural changes were made, including the complete removal of the 93-year-old Jones 'bookend' sections. The DVD boxset was released to tie in with the theatrical debut of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Among other extras, the discs include approximately 100 new historical featurettes.

Main characters

This is a list of characters who have appeared in the Indiana Jones film franchise.

Character Films TV series
Raiders of the Lost Ark Indiana Jones and the
Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and the
Last Crusade
Indiana Jones and the
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Untitled fifth
Indiana Jones film
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. Harrison Ford Harrison Ford,
River Phoenix (young)
Harrison Ford Harrison Ford
Corey Carrier (young)
Sean Patrick Flanery (teenager)
George Hall (elder)
Marcus Brody Denholm Elliott Denholm Elliott Photograph
Sallah John Rhys-Davies John Rhys-Davies Photograph
Marion Ravenwood Karen Allen Karen Allen
Toht Ronald Lacey
René Belloq Paul Freeman
Colonel Dietrich Wolf Kahler
Willie Scott Kate Capshaw Photograph
Short Round Jonathan Ke Quan
Mola Ram Amrish Puri
Henry Jones, Sr. Sean Connery
Alex Hyde-White (young)
Photograph Lloyd Owen
Walter Donovan Julian Glover
Elsa Schneider Alison Doody
Colonel Vogel Michael Byrne
George "Mac" MacHale Ray Winstone
Irina Spalko Cate Blanchett
Henry "Mutt" Jones III Shia LaBeouf
Harold Oxley John Hurt
Colonel Dovchenko Igor Jijikine
Anna Jones Ruth De Sosa
Helen Seymour Margaret Tyzack
Remy Baudouin Ronny Coutteure


Film Director Producer Writers Composer Editor Cinematographer
Raiders of the Lost Ark Steven Spielberg Frank Marshall screenplay:
Lawrence Kasdan
George Lucas and Philip Kaufman
John Williams Michael Kahn Douglas Slocombe
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Robert Watts screenplay:
Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz
George Lucas
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade screenplay:
Jeffrey Boam
George Lucas and Menno Meyjes
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Frank Marshall screenplay:
David Koepp
George Lucas
Jeff Nathanson
Janusz Kaminski
Untitled fifth film Frank Marshall & Kathleen Kennedy screenplay:
David Koepp


Adult novels

A novelization of Raiders of the Lost Ark was written by Campbell Black and published by Ballantine Books in April 1981.[75] It was followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, written by James Kahn and published by Ballantine in May 1984.[76] Finally, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was published in May 1989, and was the first Indiana Jones book by Rob MacGregor.[77] A fan of the first two films, MacGregor admitted that writing the novelization made him "somewhat disappointed" with the third film, as he had expanded the script whereas Steven Spielberg had cut scenes to tighten the story.[78]

George Lucas asked MacGregor to continue writing original novels for Bantam Books. These were geared toward an adult or young adult audience, and were prequels set in the 1920s or early 1930s after Jones graduates from college. Of the film characters, Lucas only permitted Marcus Brody to appear.[78] He asked MacGregor to base the books on real myths, but except for the deletion of a sex scene, writer was given total creative freedom. Barring Stonehenge, MacGregor chose locations he had visited in the past.[79] His six books – Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi, Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants, Indiana Jones and the Seven Veils, Indiana Jones and the Genesis Deluge, Indiana Jones and the Unicorn's Legacy, and Indiana Jones and the Interior World – were published from February 1991 to November 1992. The Genesis Deluge, published in February 1992 and featuring Noah's Ark, was the best-selling novel; MacGregor felt this was because it "had a strong following among religious-oriented people [...] because they tend to take the Noah's Ark story to heart and think of it as history and archaeological fact, rather than myth." MacGregor's favorite book was The Seven Veils,[78] which featured real-life explorer Percy Fawcett and the death of Indiana's wife, Deirdre Campbell.[80][81][82][83][84][85]

Martin Caidin wrote the next two novels in Bantam's series, Indiana Jones and the Sky Pirates and Indiana Jones and the White Witch. These feature Gale Parker as Indiana's sidekick; they introduced afterwords to the series, regarding each novel's historical context.[86][87]

Caidin became ill,[88] so Max McCoy took over in 1995 and wrote the final four novels: Indiana Jones and the Philosopher's Stone, Indiana Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs, Indiana Jones and the Hollow Earth, and Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx. McCoy set his books closer in time to the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark, which led to his characterising Indiana as "a bit darker". The prologue of his first book featured a crystal skull,[89] and this became a recurring story, concluding when Jones gives it up in the final novel. Lucas's involvement with McCoy's novels was limited, although LucasFilm censored sexual or outlandish elements in order to make the books appeal to younger readers;[88] they also rejected the theme of time travel in the final book.[89] Sallah, Lao Che, Rene Belloq and the Nazis made appearances, and McCoy also pitted Jones against Benito Mussolini's fascists and the Japanese. Jones also has a doomed romance with Alecia Dunstin, a librarian at the British Museum.[90][91][92][93] A novel involving the Spear of Destiny was dropped because Dark Horse Comics was developing the idea.[89]

The books were only published in paperback, as the series editor felt readers would not be prepared to pay the hardback price for an adventure novel.[94] In February 2008, the novelizations of the first three films were published in one edition;[95] James Rollins' Kingdom of the Crystal Skull novelization arrived the following May.[96] Children's novelizations of all four films were published by Scholastic in 2008.[97]

MacGregor was said to be writing new books for Ballantine for early 2009, but none have been published.[98] In May 2009, a new "middle grade" series entitled Untold Adventures began with books titled Pyramid of the Sorcerer and Mystery of Mount Sinai.[99] A new adult adventure, Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead by Steve Perry, was released in September 2009.[100] A novel based on the video game Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings, written by MacGregor to coincide with the release of the game, was canceled due to problems around the game's production.[101]

Additionally, German author Wolfgang Hohlbein wrote eight Indiana Jones novels in the early 1990s, which were never translated to English.

List of novels

All of the following were published by Bantam Books, with the exception of Army of the Dead, which was published by Del Rey.

Indiana Jones novels by Wolfgang Hohlbein:

The novelizations and children's novelizations of the four films were published in 2008.

Find Your Fate

Ballantine Books published a number of Indiana Jones books in the Find Your Fate line, written by various authors. These books were similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure series, allowing the reader to select from options that change the outcome of the story. Indiana Jones books comprised 11 of the 17 releases in the line, which was initially titled Find Your Fate Adventure.[102]

Young Indiana Jones

Random House
Bantam Books

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles:

Ballantine Books

Young Indiana Jones:

Graphic novels
Non-fiction books

Comic books

Video games

Since the release of the original film, there have been a number of video games based on the Indiana Jones series. These include both games based on (or derived from) the films, as well as those featuring the characters in new storylines.

Games adapted or derived from the films

Original games

Theme park attractions

Action on the set of the "Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!"

Prior to Disney's acquisition, George Lucas collaborated with Walt Disney Imagineering on several occasions to create Indiana Jones attractions for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide. Indiana Jones-themed attractions at Disney theme parks include:


Toy lines

Further information: LEGO Indiana Jones

For the holiday season following the June 1981 debut of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Kenner produced a 12-inch-tall "Authentically styled Action Figure" of Indiana Jones. The next spring they delivered nine smaller-scale (334") action figures, three playsets, replicas of the German desert convoy truck and Jones' horse, all derived from the Raiders movie.[107] They also offered a Raiders board game.[108]

In conjunction with the theatrical release of Temple of Doom in 1984, TSR, Inc. released miniature metal versions of twelve characters from both films for a role playing game. LJN Toys Ltd. also released action figures of Jones, Mola Ram, and the Giant Thugee; there were plans for the addition of Willie Scott and Short Round, and also a mine car racing set, but these were never made available.[109]

No toys were produced to tie in with The Last Crusade in 1989, but in 1993 Horizon released highly detailed vinyl model kits of Indiana and Henry Jones,[110] while in 1995 Micro Machines produced a set of ten die-cast toy vehicles from all three films.[108] Micro Machines also considered a mini. playset, but this was never made available.[111] In 1999, Toys McCoy released a Japanese-market-only limited edition 12-inch figure of Indiana and his horse from Raiders.[112] In 2001, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts sold new, exclusive action figures and model vehicles,[113] and a second wave followed in August 2003. This included G.I. Joe versions of Jones, including an African-American styled toy, to honor the black performers at their stunt shows.[114]

Hasbro released toys based on Raiders of the Lost Ark and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008. Further figures, including characters from The Last Crusade and Temple of Doom, followed later in the year,[115] but were distributed on a very limited basis. This line of toys included 334-inch and 12-inch figures, vehicles, a playset, and a series of "Adventure Heroes" aimed at young children.[116] Hasbro announced the cancellation of the line in the fall of 2008, due to decreasing sales, although some figures continued to be released up until the 2011 San Diego Comic Convention.

Sideshow Collectibles, Gentle Giant, Diamond Select Toys and Kotobukiya[117] also earned Indiana Jones licensing rights in 2008.[118][119][120][121] Lego released eight play sets to coincide with the fourth film, based on Raiders and The Last Crusade as well as on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull[122][123]

Merchandise featuring franchise cross-overs include a Mr. Potato Head "Taters Of The Lost Ark" set by Hasbro,[124] Mickey Mouse as Indiana Jones,[125] and a Muppets-branded Adventure Kermit action figure, produced by Palisades Toys and based on the frog's appearance in the Disney World stunt show as seen in The Muppets at Walt Disney World.[126]

Disney Vinylmation introduced a series based on Indiana Jones characters in 2014.[127]

Role-playing games

There have been two publications of role-playing games based on the Indiana Jones franchise. The Adventures of Indiana Jones Role-Playing Game was designed and published by TSR, Inc. under license in 1984.[128] Ten years later, West End Games acquired the rights to publish their own version, The World of Indiana Jones.


A pinball machine based on the first three films was released in 1993. Stern Pinball released a new edition in 2008, which featured all four movies.[129]


  1. ^ In December 2013, the distribution rights for future films were transferred from Paramount Pictures to Walt Disney Studios, however, Paramount continues to retain the distribution rights to 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.[46][47][48]


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Further reading

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