Star Wars The Force Awakens  European film premiere

Harrison Ford Returning as Indiana Jones

16 Mar 2016

The actor will be reprising his role for an upcoming installment of the franchise

Harrison Ford is trading in his lightsaber for a whip, as he plans a return to the Indiana Jones franchise.

The 73-year-old movie veteran will reunite with filmmaker Steven Spielberg for the fifth instalment of the action series, the follow-up to 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which co-starred Shia LaBeouf.

Steven has directed all four previous films, with Harrison as the titular character.

"Indiana Jones is one of the greatest heroes in cinematic history, and we can't wait to bring him back to the screen in 2019," Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, announced.

"It's rare to have such a perfect combination of director, producers, actor and role, and we couldn't be more excited to embark on this adventure with Harrison and Steven."

Indiana Jones 5 is scheduled for release in July 2019. The news emerges four months after Harrison expressed his interest in reprising his role as whip-cracking fictional archaeologist Dr. Henry 'Indiana' Jones, despite his advancing age.

"I'd love to do another Indiana Jones," he told Entertainment Weekly magazine. "A character that has a history and a potential, kind of a rollicking good movie ride for the audience, Steven Spielberg as a director - what's not to like?"

Harrison first portrayed the beloved character in 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark.

It's the second big George Lucas franchise Harrison has long been associated with after playing Han Solo in the Star Wars films. The character was killed off in the most recent Star Wars film, The Force Awakens.

He returned to outer space for the latest instalment of the sci-fi film series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which hit movie theatres in December. It currently stands as the third highest-grossing film ever at the global box office with $2.05 billion to date, behind James Cameron's Avatar at one and Titanic at two.