Spielberg wants new 'Indiana Jones' film before Ford 'hits 80'

Actor Harrison Ford (left) and director Steven Spielberg pose during the 38th AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Mike Nichols held at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California, on June 10, 2010 (AFP Photo/KEVIN WINTER)
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Paris (AFP) - Film director Steven Spielberg said Monday that he would love to shoot a fifth "Indiana Jones" film before the hero of the series, Harrison Ford, hits 80.

The Hollywood legend told French radio RTL that he was itching to make another episode of the adventures of the fictional archaeologist that began 34 years ago with "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

"I am hoping one day to make it to an Indiana Jones V. I would hope to make it before Harrison Ford is 80 and I get much older," said Spielberg, who is himself 68.

Ford, who is 73, survived crash-landing his vintage World War II trainer plane on a Santa Monica golf course in March.

Despite suffering serious injuries, the veteran actor -- who shot to fame playing Han Solo in the first "Star Wars" film in 1977 -- has reportedly made a full recovery.

There had been speculation that Shia LaBeouf, who played Jones' sidekick Mutt Williams in the last of the swashbucklers, the "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" in 2008, might take up the hero's bullwhip.

But Spielberg's comments -- made during an interview about his latest film, Cold War thriller "Bridge of Spies" -- seemed to indicate that Ford could yet be asked to get his old bones into the role for one last hurrah.

- 'Big Friendly Giant' -

As for himself, the legend behind such Hollywood classics as "Jaws", "ET" and "Schindler's List", said he still feels he has a lot to learn.

"After 40 years I don't feel as experienced as people might assume," he told RTL. "I still feel I am learning and I am really excited by new projects."

Spielberg said he was finishing a screen version of Roald Dahl's much-loved children's book "The Big Friendly Giant", often called "BFG" by its many fans, with British actor Mark Rylance, which is due to be released next July.

He is also working on a science fiction story called "Ready Player One", adapted from a novel by Ernest Cline, which will be another "big fat entertainment I hope".

Whether a fifth "Indiana Jones" film ever makes it to the screen, Spielberg said that it was very unlikely that he would ever direct a "Star Wars" film, the franchise created by his friend and longtine partner, George Lucas.

"I am a huge fan of 'Star Wars'.... but I think it was never in my stars for me to direct one," he said.

He claimed, however, that the latest instalment of the series, "The Force Awakens", could be the highest grossing film ever when it opens in cinemas next month.