The 19-year gap between the third and fourth Indiana Jones films should be no cause for concern according to Empire journalist Ian Nathan.

Harrison Ford has not played the adventurous archaeologist since 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and fans were apprehensive that his return to the role aged 65 could be a mistake.

But after the fourth film in the franchise, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, made a triumphant bow at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday night, former Empire editor Nathan claimed cinemagoers need not be worried that the action-packed soul of the first three films has been lost.

"Of course, he's old compared to the first three films," he told "But from what I understand, that is part of the fabric of the film, it's about Indiana Jones being old.

"You could say 'does that still make an interesting film if it's less along the lines of the first three?' I don't know.

"But it certainly provides an opportunity for a lot more humour and maybe a bit more of a human touch," he added.

Nathan, speaking direct from the esteemed cinematic event in the south of France, said he expected fatherhood to be a theme of the new film, with many fans speculating that Shia LaBeouf's character in the movie is Jones' estranged son.

"Indiana Jones was always a grown-up kid," he continued. "And now you have the sense of 'should he have grown up by now and put away childish things?'

"What it will lack in terms of youthful vigour, it will probably gain in terms of humour and wisdom and a conclusion to it all."

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opens in the UK on Thursday May 22nd.

19/05/2008 12:04:52