An entirely warranted spectre of concern descended upon the masses when it was first announced that Steven Spielberg would not be directing Indiana Jones & The Dial of Destiny (then simply referred to as Indiana Jones 5). Much of the franchise’s magic had been attributed to his signature direction, and as demonstrated by Kingdom of the Crystal Skull featuring Shia LaBeouf, not even that was enough to recapture lightning in a bottle.
But once James Mangold of Walk The Line, Logan, and Ford v Ferrari fame was tapped for the gig, audiences collectively breathed a sigh of relief. And based on early reactions from key figures – including Spielberg himself – it sounds as though Mangold has knocked it out of the park with Indy’s final chapter.
“Bob Iger had a screening for a lot of the Disney executives and I came to the screening along with James Mangold, the director,” Steven Spielberg revealed at the recent TIME100 Summit.
“Everybody loved the movie. It’s really, really a good Indiana Jones film. I’m really proud of what Jim has done with it. When the lights came up, I just stood up and turned to the group and said: ‘Damn! I thought I was the only one who knew how to make one of these.’”
According to the plot synopsis, here’s what we’re in for:
In 1969, American archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) lives against the backdrop of the Space Race. Jones has started to feel doubts when the U.S. Government recruited former World War II enemies in their desperation to beat the Soviet Union out in the competition to make it to space. His goddaughter, Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), accompanies him on his journey. Meanwhile, Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) – a NASA member and ex-Nazi involved with the moon-landing program – wishes to make the world into a better place as he sees fit.
Ford, Waller-Bridge, and Mikkelsen are joined onscreen by the likes of Boyd Holbrook as the obligatory crazed henchman Klaber, Toby Jones as Basil, Shaunette Renee Wilson as a government agent named Mason, along with appearances from franchise veteran John Rhys-Davies – who reprises his role as excavator and Indie’s dear friend Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir – Thomas Kretschmann, Olivier Richters, and Antonio Banderas; the latter of whom has noted his role is “very small… almost a cameo.”
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny directed by James Mangold (not Steven Spielberg) has a scheduled release date of June 29th, 2023 – check out the trailer below.