James Mangold is in talks to direct Indiana Jones 5 for Disney and Lucasfilm, replacing Steven Spielberg behind the camera.
Harrison Ford will be back to crack the whip one last time, though it’s unclear if this director switch will necessitate a delay for production, which had been slated to start this summer. Things are still early on that front, but given the circumstances, filming may not begin until 2021 now.
Indy 5 was originally set to open on July 19, 2019 before it was was pushed a year to July 10, 2020. Disney delayed the release once again to July 9, 2021 after Jonathan Kasdan came on to rewrite the script from original writer David Koepp.
Variety broke the Mangold news, reporting that Spielberg decided to pass the torch to a younger filmmaker who could bring a fresh perspective to the character. Regardless of whether or not Mangold’s deal closes, Indy 5 will mark the first film in the 39-year-old franchise to be directed by someone other than Spielberg, who will remain onboard as a producer.
I’ve never really been an Indiana Jones guy myself, but Mangold is a great choice who will reignite the fanbase following the lackluster reception to 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Though Mangold would be a great get for Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, Spielberg does represent the latest helmer to walk on her watch — and all due respect, but this isn’t Lord and Miller… it’s Steven Spielberg. Of course, those two go back decades, and this one was clearly out of her control, since no one tells Spielberg what to do. I expect he’ll spend his summer fine-tuning his new adaptation of West Side Story starring Ansel Elgort, which will dance its way into theaters on Dec. 18.
Mangold is coming off the global success of Ford v Ferrari, for which he earned a Best Picture nomination, and he also directed the hit X-Men spinoff Logan, which brought him an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. He has been developing an adaptation of Don Winslow‘s The Force that now has Matt Damon attached to star, and he’s also in line to direct a Bob Dylan movie called Going Electric that will star Timothée Chalamet as the famed musician. I’ve been a fan of Mangold’s since his directorial debut Heavy, and while I’m foaming at the mouth for The Force, I’d understand if he had to push that back a couple years to tackle an iconic franchise like Indiana Jones.
For our official rankings of the Indiana Jones movies, click here.