The long-gestating fifth Indiana Jones film has finally found its leading lady in the form of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who has been making her name well-known around Hollywood recently.
The 35-year-old actress, writer, and producer was chosen by new Indiana Jones director James Mangold to star opposite screen legend and Indiana Jones himself Harrison Ford in the soon-to-go-in-front-of-the-cameras fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise that has brought in nearly $2 billion at the box office.
It is unknown what role Phoebe Waller-Bridge will take on opposite the 78-year-old legend, but given their age difference, we are all hoping it is not as his paramour. It was Steven Spielberg, director of the first four Indiana Jones movies and who also remains on as a producer for the fifth, who said that it may be time for the world to see a female version of Indiana Jones, so perhaps this could be the role that Waller-Bridge takes on. It has long been speculated that the fifth entry into the franchise would be Ford’s last go as the fedora-wearing, whip-snapping, trouble-finding archaeologist prompting Spielberg to claim via The Verge, “This will be Harrison Ford’s last Indiana Jones movie, I am pretty sure, but it will certainly continue after that.” Many had speculated perhaps that Chris Pratt would be taking over as Indiana Jones at some point in the future but that has not materialized, with Ford coming out saying no one else will be wearing his fedora. But during an interview with The Sun, Spielberg first said that it may be time for Indiana Jones to take on “a different form.” He then nodded when asked if this different form would be female, adding, “We’d have to change the name from Jones to Joan. And there would be nothing wrong with that.” So, maybe that is the plan for the fifth movie. A passing of the torch, so to speak, from Ford to Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
A move like this for Phoebe Waller-Bridge would not be unexpected. Since breaking onto the Hollywood scene, she has been in much demand. The prolific writer/actress jumped to the front of the line when she swept the 2019 Emmy Awards where she took home Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Comedy Series for Fleabag, a TV series based on her own play of the same name that also brought her numerous other awards. Her writing style is so highly thought of that she was brought on as a writer for the 25th James Bond movie No Time To Die in order to give the film more humor.
James Mangold spoke briefly about the addition of Phoebe Waller-Bridge to the cast of Indiana Jones 5. “Steven, Harrison, Kathy (Kennedy), Frank (Marshall), and John are all artistic heroes of mine,” he said via the New York Daily News. “When you add Phoebe, a dazzling actor, brilliant creative voice and the chemistry she will undoubtedly bring to our set, I can’t help but feel as lucky as Indiana Jones himself.”
The movie, which has been talked about for years and years, has seen many starts and stops. The main issue was that Spielberg couldn’t quite find the story that suited him, which is why he handed over the reins to Mangold. David Koepp, who has written many of Spielberg’s hit movies, even gave Indiana Jones 5 a try but told Den of Geeks, “I tried a couple different versions with Steven and they all had some good stuff about them and they all had some stuff that didn’t work.” The plot is being tightly guarded with Koepp getting a partial credit on the script and Mangold, who previously wrote the hit Hugh Jackman movie Logan, adding in his two cents with a rewrite.
Mangold is hoping to get Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in front of the cameras shortly with the film set to bow on July 29, 2022.