This year marks the 40th anniversary of the movies that kicked off the Indiana Jones franchise, Raiders of the Lost Ark. While the original trilogy concluded in 1989, Harrison Ford reprised the adventuring archaeologist in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and he’s gearing up to don the fedora again for Indiana Jones 5. While it’s still unclear who else will star in this feature, John Rhys-Davies, who played Sallah in Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, is game to reunite with Ford on it.
While plugging the upcoming release of Grizzly II: Revenge, John Rhys-Davies (who’s also well known for playing Gimli and Treebeard in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) was asked by ComingSoon if he’s participating in Indiana Jones 5. He answered with the following:
I understand the film is going to be made, allegedly in May. I have the slightest skepticism that the world will be able to shoot a movie like that in May. I suppose it is possible that I will be asked to be in it. If nominated I will serve! (laughs) But I think we ought to wait a little bit longer and, you know, let our masters actually make announcements and then you can either share my joy or my disappointment. Is that suitably diplomatic?
With the pandemic still raging, it is difficult to ascertain if Indiana Jones 5 will indeed be able to start rolling cameras in May, or if it will become necessary to delay production once again. Regardless, John Rhys-Davies is aware that Indiana Jones 5 is happening, and while he didn’t confirm or deny if he’ll appear in the movie, it sounds like he’s at least entertained the possibility of showing up rather than ruled it out entirely. Considering that this will likely be the last time time Harrison Ford will play Indiana Jones, it would be nice if he could reunite with his costar for one final hurrah.
During Raiders of the Lost Ark, Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir aided Indiana Jones in tracking down the Ark of the Covenant while Indy was in Egypt. Sallah returned in The Last Crusade to prevent Marcus Brody from getting captured by the Nazis, only to get drawn into the larger adventure and eventually end up at the temple containing the Holy Grail with Marcus, Indy, Henry Jones Sr. and the movie’s antagonists. Sallah also appeared in the comic book series The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones.
John Rhys-Davies was asked to reprise Sallah in Indiana Jones in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, where he would have appeared at Indy and Marion Ravenwood’s wedding and wouldn’t have even interacted with anyone else. However, Rhys-Davies turned down the opportunity, as he felt the character deserved a more substantial role in the story. Assuming Rhys-Davies feels the same way about an Indiana Jones 5 appearance, then one can presume that he wouldn’t just briefly pop in, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Originally Steven Spielberg was set to sit in the Indiana Jones 5 director’s chair, just like he’d done with the first four movies. However, in February 2020, he relinquished that duty, though he’s still attached as producer. Instead, Logan and Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold is taking the helming reins. Back in May, producer Frank Marshall said that work on the Indiana Jones 5 script had only “just started,” and there’s been no word if work on that portion of the creative process is finished or not.