James Mangold is officially confirmed to be directing Indiana Jones 5. Announced in 2016, the fifth Indiana Jones movie has gone through a tumultuous journey on its way to starting production. After getting multiple script rewrites and being delayed twice from its original release date in July 2019, the sequel was gearing up to finally begin shooting this spring, with Steven Spielberg once again directing Harrison Ford in the lead role. Then, back in February, Spielberg surprised the world by stepping down as director, with James Mangold (Logan, Ford v Ferrari) entering talks to replace him.
Shortly after that, the coronavirus pandemic forced Hollywood to close down and led to Disney overhauling their release slate, with Indiana Jones 5 moving back twelve months to July 2022. Even if the health crisis hadn't happened, the new Indiana Jones film would've almost certainly been delayed anyway, if only to give Spielberg's replacement enough time to get settled in. It's no small thing to take over one of the filmmaker's most iconic properties, but it sounds like Mangold has accepted the challenge.
During an interview with Collider, producer Frank Marshall confirmed Mangold is set to direct Indiana Jones 5, saying "His love of the franchise" makes him the perfect choice to replace Spielberg (who's still staying on as a producer). He also praised Mangold as a director and offered a little insight on how his involvement came to pass:
He’s a wonderful filmmaker. I think he also has a relationship with Harrison. It was all of the right pieces coming together, at the right time.
Marshall went on to say the writing on Indiana Jones 5 has "just started." This suggests Mangold is planning to draw from his own script draft on the movie, as opposed to working from or revising an earlier screenplay. That's encouraging to hear, given how many times the previous scripts had already been reworked. It also indicates Mangold very much intends to make his version of Indiana Jones 5 and not whatever story Spielberg was leaning towards, which sounds equally promising. Mangold has long thrived at making old-school Hollywood genre movies (westerns, racing films, crime dramas), but subverting their tropes enough to keep them feeling fresh and forward-thinking. He might be just what the franchise needs after 2008's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull left many people feeling Indy would've been better off staying in retirement.
Building on that, it might be for the best Spielberg is vacating the director's chair on Indiana Jones 5, but while remaining onboard as a producer. Fans may recall he had to be convinced to return for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, so even the legendary filmmaker seems to feel he's run his course with the franchise and it's time for another storyteller to take the helm. The way things stand, Spielberg's in a good position to offer Mangold whatever advice he wants on bringing the Indiana Jones universe to life, yet remain hands-off and give him the freedom to re-imagine the property as he deems fit. Hopefully, their combined efforts will be enough to make Indiana Jones 5 worth all the trouble it took to get made.
Key Release Dates
- Indiana Jones 5 (2022)Release Date: Jul 29, 2022