After years of speculation, in 2016 Disney announced that it would be making a fifth installment of the popular Indiana Jones franchise, with star Harrison Ford reprising his role as the titular famed archaeologist. Since its announcement, the film seems to have dealt with nothing but setbacks — from having to find a new director, to being delayed due to the pandemic, and Ford suffering from an arm injury while practicing a stunt for the film.
Unfortunately, tragedy has come to the production of Indiana Jones 5 once again and Disney has confirmed that a crew member has passed away while on location in Morocco. Disney released a statement to multiple media outlets, including The New York Post:
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Nic Cupac, an incredibly talented colleague and member of the film community who will be greatly missed,” a rep for the production told The Post. “His sudden passing was not production related. Nic was a grip on 2nd unit.”
Mr. Cupac was found in his hotel room and, while no cause of death has been confirmed at this time, it is believed that he passed away from natural causes.
Indiana Jones 5 is not the first time that Mr. Cupac has worked with Walt Disney Studios. Mr. Cupac has worked on a number of Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel films, including Cruella, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Cupac had also worked on a number of other Hollywood hits like Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
While Cupac was in Morocco preparing for filming, not all cast and crew were able to make it to the county. Morocco recently banned all flights from the UK — where cast and crew had been filming prior — so a number of cast and crew, including Ford, were not in the country when his death occurred.
Disney recently pushed the film’s release back from 2022 until 2023, but it is possible that the sad passing of the crew member — or Morocco being closed to UK travelers — will further delay the film’s release date.
Please join us in sending our deepest sympathies to the family of Mr. Cupac.