Steven Spielberg gave his approval for James Mangold's work on Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
Steven Spielberg has seen Indiana Jones 5 and has given it his enthusiastic endorsement. According to Vanity Fair, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has officially been blessed by the man himself, as he exclaimed at an exclusive screening with Disney execs and director James Mangold, “Damn! I thought I only knew how to make one of these!”
The fifth film in the series following the adventures of the world’s most famous rogue archaeologist is also the first to not be directed by Spielberg, who began the series with Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981.
Many fans were uncertain about Steven Spielberg’s decision to hand the reins of Indiana Jones 5 to another director, even after his 2008 entry into the franchise, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was met with wide criticism and even ridicule for its lack of cohesion and believability. Still, the legendary director turned in the classic original trilogy of films, ending with 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, considered by many to be the best of the bunch. But Spielberg decided his days of adventuring with Jones were over, and Mangold, auteur of such well-regarded films as Ford v Ferrari and Logan, seems to have fit the bill perfectly at the helm of the newest Jones installment.
While Steven Spielberg did not stay on board for Indiana Jones 5, other key players did, including film score master John Williams and, of course, the man in the hat himself, Harrison Ford. For his part, Ford has said this will be his last time cracking the old whip and that he would prefer Jones’ jacket to stay hung up for good after he’s doffed it for the final time. Though the actor insists he is Indiana Jones and no one else should play the role, he is far from the only actor to inhabit the character thus far, and rumors have long swirled about possible younger Indys like Chris Pratt.
But with the effusive praise of Steven Spielberg himself as the first review we’re hearing of Indiana Jones 5, it leaves as an open question whether there will indeed be more ancient-treasure-hunting adventures in store for Jones. This is especially true given Disney‘s marked penchant for cranking out sequels, prequels, and series related to their most successful properties. As this film carries Jones into his senior years in the 1960s—and with Ford’s firm decision to leave the role—the challenge of recasting will be the only way forward for future Indy projects.
While Steven Spielberg’s response to Indiana Jones 5 is indeed heartening for fans, we wonder whether it really should be the intrepid scholar-adventurer’s last time on the big screen. Not only is Ford synonymous with the iconic role he has brought to life for more than forty years, but a recent attempt at a new Indy series was quashed at Disney+, leading some to believe the franchise could be at its end. Still, if the new film garners enough enthusiasm—and large enough box office receipts—we wouldn’t put it past Disney to attempt to extend the Indiana Jones legacy.