You can’t kill Indiana Jones. But that is the word from test screenings or previews that are coming out of rough cuts of the movie. And it wouldn’t surprise me that they would try. In this new ESG world for which Disney is offering itself as a leader, killing off an 80s representative of toxic masculinity with a time travel story that ends with Indiana Jones sacrificing himself to the next generation female woke hero is consistent with everything that Kathleen Kennedy has done since she became president of Lucasfilm in 2013. I’m sure George Lucas had good intentions, but he never expected this from his former company and the brands he worked hard to build over many years. For all the reasons he hated corporate filmmaking while trying to finish his famous film, THX-1138, now he is seeing that, left in the hands of corporate control, they could screw up anything. Filmmaking is not a collaborative enterprise, even though that’s what they tell everyone in film school. It is a top-down driver of unique minds who tell other people what to do to obtain a strong vision that audiences can then enjoy. The previous Indiana Jones movies were all from the mind of George Lucas, and that’s what people wanted to see. And what will be interesting about Indiana Jones 5, which is getting some press with about six months until the release in June of 2023, is how different it will be without George Lucas or Steven Spielberg. You can put the same actors, music, and color pallets into a movie, but it won’t be Indiana Jones without George Lucas. And clearly, Kathy Kennedy didn’t understand anything; she thought these popular movies would be vehicles for woke politics and would hold up. But ultimately, audiences will reject them.
I thought the trailer preview looked pretty good, but the problem was it confirmed all the rumors that also indicate that Indiana Jones dies at the end. So like the ESG values of BlackRock have indicated, the way to give audiences a last look at an 80s icon of heroics and toxic masculinity is to erase him from history and to replace him with a woman. Without question, Kathy Kennedy would sign up for that. Whether they stick with that ending after the terrible online reaction is left to be determined. Are they that radical at Disney these days? Well, of course, they are! They are crazy, so I don’t have much hope for the new movie, just as I don’t for the new Avatar film coming up. People don’t want to go to the movies to see woke propaganda and gay rights messages. They want to be free of that, which is one of Indiana Jones’s appeals throughout movie history. But the ESG values of stakeholder capitalism are all about social governance, and Disney has dedicated itself to that leadership, and it is showing in their stock. They have brought back Bob Iger as the CEO to help them make the transition from value-driven content to the traditional way to make good movies; they earn a lot of money at the box office, and Disney is rewarded with a lot of cash. But over the last few years, those values have changed, at least on the corporate side. Driven by Larry Fink and the Klaus Schwab types at the World Economic Forum, stakeholder capitalism is the new value system and a global currency. And Disney expects Bob Iger to navigate that new world in a beneficial way to show other corporations how the stakeholder model will work. So there is much more going on here than Disney killing off one of the most beloved screen heroes of all time. It’s about replacing the value system that western civilization has for this new global view of the world.
But people are people, and what they value won’t change. As Disney has learned with its release of Strange World, which feature a gay plotline for the primary characters, and the weak showing for Black Panther II Wakanda Forever, wokness doesn’t excite people. There was a lot made of Bob Iger’s statements about taking politics out of Disney to repair the brand a bit, but what didn’t get talked about much was that he went on to say that he didn’t believe that Disney was very political. Rather, he saw much of what they were doing as the responsibilities of a “global citizen.” He said that Disney has been telling stories for over 100 years and takes its responsibility to be good global citizens very seriously. And to the ESG values of the World Economic Forum, gender-bending is much more important than box office votes. So Disney is deep into it now. They are off on their projections, and stockholders still measure value in dollars, not ESG scores. And that will continue as we move into 2023, and they find out Avatar won’t make the kind of money they are hoping because nobody wants to waste more than 2 hours on a climate change lecture about nature being more powerful than imagination and productivity. And if Disney sticks with the previews of Indiana Jones that have him being killed, that will kill Disney in ways they can’t even imagine right now. They thought Crystal Skull damaged the Indiana Jones brand. Killing Harrison Ford and replacing him with a woman just isn’t going to work.
Oh, I wouldn’t mind a female type of Indiana Jones story. I loved Lara Croft until they gave her a stupid bow and arrow instead of the double guns she used to shoot. There is nothing wrong with strong female characters but much wrong with wokeness. And Lara Croft went woke years ago. And yes, the people who want to bring down western civilization and big media companies who have told lots of great stories selling western civilization to the world want to see it all come to an end. Disney these days is a woke company that has permanently damaged its brand. Of course, China and its partners at the World Economic Forum are happy to have that competition removed. But the world is truly at a loss. Yet, people will get over it and move on. They won’t care if there is never a Star Wars movie again. They can live without Indiana Jones. If this movie Indy 5 goes woke the way reports say it is, it will fail, and Disney will further slide down the ESG pit of doom. And Bob Iger won’t be able to save it. Disney was already slipping when he left as CEO just a few weeks before the Covid lockdowns hit in 2020. He knew all about it from the role-playing that went on at Event 201 at the end of 2019. Disney was always built on a house of cards of value that depended entirely on the public sentiment to enjoy the movies. And if Disney isn’t making movies people want to see and instead is committed to woke politics that nobody wants to see, then everything will dry up for them, and their stock will tank. And ESG isn’t going to catch, leaving Bob Iger and the gang holding all the losses for history to remember. People will paint this Indy 5 from their minds, just as many have Crystal Skull. And they’ll live their lives. But Disney will not survive, and Bob Iger looks like he’s going to dig in, much to his own demise. The preview confirmed the rumors, and that has already damaged the brand.