NICASIO, Calif. — George Lucas says he's already identified the one person who can keep the "Indiana Jones" franchise going: Harrison Ford.
The filmmaker scoffed at the possibility of passing the famed fedora from Ford to Shia LaBeouf, the 22-year-old actor who played Indy's son Mutt Williams in this summer's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."
"He is Indiana Jones," Lucas said of Ford. "If Indiana Jones wasn't in it, you'd have to call it 'Mutt Williams and the search for Elvis.' ... "Yeah, it's 'Mutt Williams and the Search for Elvis.'"
Lucas sat down with AP Television at his Big Rock Ranch outside San Francisco, where he said he didn't pay much attention to the reception from critics and fans to "Crystal Skull," a sci-fi adventure set in the 1950s. But he definitely sees a future for Dr. Jones. A fifth movie is certainly a possibility.
"The franchise really depends on me coming up with a good idea," Lucas said. "And that series is very research-intensive. So we're doing research now to see if we can't come up with another object for him to chase ... hopefully we'll come up with something."
Meanwhile, the 64-year-old has another popular franchise to nurture: "Star Wars."
Lucas produced the animated "Star Wars: Clone Wars," hitting theaters Aug. 15. It will be followed in the fall with the launch of an animated TV series by the same name, airing on the Cartoon Network and TNT. Lucas plans a live-action "Star Wars" TV series as well, and he's also looking into re-releasing the six "Star Wars" films using new 3-D technology.
"We're trying to do that," Lucas said. "We worked on some, with a company that was developing the technology a few years ago to convert films into 3-D, we worked with them. But the system works great. It's just not very practical. So what we've been working on since then is to develop a sort of practical way to do it. And we will get there. It's just a technological challenge."
The producer-director waxed nostalgic for the days when talking to the press wasn't necessary to promote a film.
"I like when you focus on making movies, you make movies and people go to see them," he said. "But there's this whole other industry that's been created which the world hasn't quite adjusted to or caught up to or figured out. It's the same thing with copyright and all kinds of other things where things are going around that I'm sure at some point will become more civilized. I'm just waiting. Like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, I'll go out and adopt twins if they'll pay me $14 million to do it."