Indy IV arrives in May 2008

It’s been in development longer than some of us have been alive, but Indiana Jones IV is apparently now ready to start shooting with Steven Spielberg at the helm. Or at least, it will be this June.

George Lucas mentioned at the US Rose Bowl parade that the script - which regular Spielberg collaborator David Koepp has now been able to crack - has now been given the stamp of approval by all concerned (himself, Spielberg and Harrison Ford’s care nurse) and that it was full speed ahead on pre-production, with a May 2008 release date now firmly pencilled in.

"George, Harrison and I are all very excited," Spielberg told The Hollywood Reporter. "We feel that the script was well worth the wait. We hope it delivers everything you'd expect from our history with Indiana Jones."

Spielberg will apparently shove all 59 other films he was developing to one side so that the mountains of e-mail questions he gets asking when the new Indy movie will arrive can finally stop. That of course means Liam Neeson will have more time to grow a suitably bushy beard to play Abraham Lincoln in the biopic that remains a firm front-runner in Spielberg’s development race.

And, somewhat naturally, neither of the top beards or their chosen script puppy will reveal anything about the title or story. But effects experts are even now labouring on a way to make Sean Connery look older than Harrison Ford…