Originally Posted by Indy's brother
So, how exactly does this process work? How possible is it that Indy 5 is being diligently scribbled as we speak and we are just out of the loop? At what point do the trades pick it up?
The trades pick it up usually at the time of the official signing of the contract with the studio or corporate entity... in this case Lucasfilm Ltd.
And to answer your other question, no writing is done at all until contracts are signed
per WGA rules
. So there was never any secret writing going on unless Lucas jotted something down on his yellow note tablet. The most one can deliver is a pitch without a contract, but that would not be the case since George is the one who comes up with the story...
...however all that is in doubt since George has retired. But I don't think anyone is taking any pitches from writers any time soon. Especially since there is that Paramount element and it's been publicly declared that Indiana Jones is on the back burner.
I know it's an old thread but it was an interesting question. Hope that clears the air.