Looks like Harrison Ford can finally take the fedora out of mothballs.
The Hollywood megastar told a German magazine on Wednesday that after rewrites too numerous to count, he and director Steven Spielberg are finally satisfied with the script for the forever-in-the-works fourth installment of the whip-wielding, tomb-raiding adventurer.
"Steven Spielberg and I now have a script in hand that we both like. I believe that we can start with the filming soon," Ford was quoted as saying in an interview with Fit for Fun, a German lifestyle and entertainment magazine.
The 63-year-old actor, who's been making the publicity rounds this month for Firewall--his first certifiable action thriller since 1997's Air Force One--demurred, however, on a start date.
That depends on the busy schedules of the Indiana Jones triumvirate of Ford, Spielberg and producer George Lucas. But Ford indicated he was ready to get back into the swing of things, adding that he needed "to do a little practicing with the whip" to avoid injuries.
Ford's reps did not comment further, and a Lucasfilm spokesperson said Wednesday that Lucas was not available to comment on the status of Indy 4. But appearing at last week's Empire Awards in London, his producing partner, Rick McCallum, said Lucas had made his final tweaks to the script by Jeff Nathanson (Rush Hour and Catch Me If You Can) and handed it off to his two pals for final tweaking.
"[George has] just finished the Indiana Jones script, and Steven's having that rewritten and a few things done," McCallum said, according to published reports.
Spielberg's publicist, Marvin Levy, confirmed as much to E! Online.
"[The script] certainly seems to be [in the can], but I don't think we're at that point where we have a firm start date," Levy said. "But this is certainly the closest where we've been in this whole development process."
Levy also denied an earlier report that Spielberg was considering taking a year off after doing War of the Worlds and Munich back to back. He said the two-time Oscar winner is working not only on getting Indy 4 off the ground, but also Lincoln, his upcoming biopic on Abraham Lincoln that will reunite him with his Schindler's List star, Liam Neeson.
"I think it's much more likely that he will do an Indy movie before he does Lincoln. The Lincoln script is not as far in the development stage and...frankly, Steven may not want to do another serious movie after doing a Munich," Levy said.
He noted it's possible Spielberg "would be starting something before 2007."
It's been a slow, tortuous march to production since the project was officially announced in January 2002. The trio brought in Oscar-nominated writer-director Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) to take a crack at writing a story about the aging archaeologist, but Lucas vetoed the draft, putting Indy 4 on hold indefinitely until Nathanson found an angle that pleased the principals.
By the time Indy 4 does get rolling--this year or next--Ford will have turned 64 and will probably be 65 by the time Paramount releases the movie in theaters. The actor is next set to play Colonel Everton Conger, the man who tracked down Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, in Manhunt, which starts filming next month.