If Indiana Jones 5 starts shooting in May as planned, original star John Rhys-Davies is on board to return as Sallah is he gets the call. After years of gestating in development hell, Indiana Jones 5 finally appears to be on track with James Mangold in the director's chair. Last month, Disney confirmed that the plan was to begin filming the sequel this spring and release the movie in 2022.
In 1981, John Rhys-Davies appeared as Sallah in the original Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, where he becomes a close friend to Indy. He reprised the role in 1989 for the third installment of the series, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Though Rhys-Davies isn't as confident as Disney that production will start in May, he recently regaled to ComingSoon.net that he'd be available to return if needed.
"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?"
Rhys-Davies did not appear in 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but that's not because he wasn't asked. In a 2011 interview with HeyUGuys, the actor revealed that he was approached to do a cameo, but he felt that the idea they had in mind didn't do the character justice.
"I was going to sit down and then it would cut it into the wedding or something like Indy getting an award or something like that. I thought the character of Sallah is worth more to the audience than that," Rhys-Davies explained.
Along with his role as Sallah in the Indiana Jones franchise, Rhys-Davies is also known for his roles in the Lord of the Rings movies, The Untouchables, The Living Daylights, and shows like Sliders and The Shannara Chronicles. A prolific voice actor, he also had voice roles in Aquaman, Mosley, and Guillermo del Toro's DreamWorks series Wizards: Tales of Arcadia. If Indiana Jones 5 is really going to be Harrison Ford's last outing as the titular character, then hopefully Rhys-Davies will be able to return to give Sallah a proper send-off as well.
Indiana Jones 5 was originally intended to be directed by Steven Spielberg, who helmed all four previous installments of the series. At one point, the movie was given a release date of July 19, 2019. Multiple script rewrites wound up stalling the project and Spielberg later backed out as director, though he will remain on board as a producer. Now, the movie is on track to be released on July 29, 2022, provided there are no more significant delays. This news comes to us from ComingSoon.net.