For those hoping Steven Spielberg would get to make up for the disappointing “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” with a proper send off for Harrison Ford’s beloved archeologist, we have some bad news.
According to Variety, Steven Spielberg is stepping down from directing duties on “Indiana Jones 5,” but will still remain as a “hands on” producer. A source close to Spielberg claimed that, “the decision to leave the director’s chair was entirely Spielberg’s, in a desire to pass along Indy’s whip to a new generation to bring their perspective to the story.” Enter James Mangold.
The report indicates that while a deal isn’t finalized, “Logan” and “Ford v. Ferrari” director Mangold is in talks to replace Spielberg. Should the deal happen, it will mark the first time in the franchise’s almost 40-year history that someone other than Spielberg and Lucas will helm the project. Thankfully, Harrison Ford will stay on to crack the iconic whip for one final adventure.
The illusive “Indy 5” has been talked about since Disney’s initial announcement in 2016. Spielberg and Ford both confirmed they would return for a final chapter with a release date in 2019. Since then the project has been continuously pushed back with no real insight into what was happening with it. Recently, Ford made comments to CBS Sunday Morning that production was set to begin in a matter of months. He shortly followed that up in an interview with HeyUGuys stating that filming was being pushed back due to scripting issues. Whether or not either of those claims are actually true doesn’t seem to matter anymore as a change in director is sure to push the project back even more. However, as of this posting, the July 2021 release date remains unchanged.
While many are sure to see Mangold as an inspired choice, one can’t help but feel this decision reeks of a studio trying to give Dr. Jones a self serious “Logan”-esque send off which sounds dreadful. It should also be noted that Mangold has never tackled anything remotely similar to “Indiana Jones.” His sensibilities are much more in line with westerns (even “Ford v. Ferrari” has signature western traits) for which “Indy” is certainly not. Still, Mangold is undeniably a proven talent and perhaps will fit the adventure serial mold better than initially thought.