For the first time since Harrison Ford first stepped onto the screen to crack his whip while wearing that iconic fedora in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Indiana Jones franchise will have a director other than Steven Spielberg. That’s according to Variety who broke the news last night that the legendary filmmaker has decided to step down as director for the long-in-development upcoming Indiana Jones 5. While all the i’s and t’s have not yet been dotted and crossed respectively, it’s being reported that James Mangold is the man that will be taking over for Spielberg behind the camera.
While a solid mainstay in Hollywood since he properly broke onto the scene with 1997’s criminally overlooked Copland, Mangold is currently on the hottest streak of his career. The filmmaker is coming off the brilliant two-time Oscar-winning Ford v Ferrari which followed up his Oscar-nominated Logan, considered by some to be the best comic book movie ever made, and its predecessor, The Wolverine. He was also the writer/producer behind the fantastic 2005 Oscar-winning Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line. With those types of credentials, it’s hard for anybody to argue against Mangold being tapped to bring Indy’s next adventure to life in Spielberg’s absence.
But why is Spielberg stepping aside? According to Variety, the veteran 73-year old filmmaker came to the decision himself, “in a desire to pass along Indy’s whip to a new generation to bring their perspective to the story.” Well, I guess that technically the 56-year old Mangold is another generation, but not exactly the image of a youthful filmmaker that description conjures up. Spielberg isn’t totally gone though and will be staying on board as a “hands-on producer” but still no official word yet on the involvement of Indiana Jones co-creator George Lucas. With Lucas having sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, technically the filmmaker wasn’t expected to be around, but Spielberg had previously stated that it would be “insane” to do an Indy movie without him.
As for Indy himself, Ford is still attached to reprise his beloved role. Recently, the 77-year old stated that he would start working on Indiana Jones 5 in “about two months” time. However, he seemingly backtracked on that suspiciously optimistic prognostication just a few days later when speaking to HeyUGuys.
Commenting on Marvel’s success and how they’re “killing it” in the market, Ford revealed that “we’re not going to make another Indiana Jones unless we’re in a position to kill it. We want it to be the best.” Continuing, he explained the delays, saying that they’ve “got some scheduling issues and a few script things still to do” but that they’re “determined to get it right”. And now they have to do all of that with a brand new director. Call me crazy, but I don’t see Indiana Jones 5 hitting its currently scheduled release date of July 09 in 2021.
Last Updated: February 27, 2020