Empire magazine is touting the first look at a movie they are calling Indiana Jones 5, which is strange, because there are only three Indiana Jones movies. Everyone knows that. There are only three Indy movies, no other Indy movies have ever been made, just Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade. I don’t know what fourth movie they’re implying happened, there is no fourth Indiana Jones movie, nothing ever happened in the year 2008 of significance or note in the world of Indiana Jones. 


Anyway, the new, as-yet untitled Indiana Jones movie is due in summer 2023. It stars Harrison Ford, returning as beloved adventurer Indiana Jones, a man who has never fought communists or met aliens. It will be set in 1969, and the bad guys are once again Nazis. Hopefully, this new film will continue the long and proud cinematic tradition of punching Nazis in the face. Mads Mikkelsen stars as the main bad guy, and my personal fave Boyd Holbrook stars as one of his henchmen. Phoebe Waller-Bridge has also joined up, as has Antonio Banderas in an undisclosed role. A very solid cast, to be sure.

The big changes all come behind the camera. James Mangold, director of such films as Walk the Line and Logan, is taking over directorial duties, so not only is this the first Indy movie without a hands-on George Lucas, it’s also the first without Steven Spielberg directing (he’s still on board as a producer). John Williams, however, is still providing the score. Ford promises us this film is “full of adventure, full of laughs, full of real emotion” and also calls the film “tough and sneaky”. He says he’s “very happy with the film that we have”. These are print quotes, so there’s no accounting for tone, but he doesn’t sound grumpy? At all? Does that mean the movie is actually good? 


There’s a rumor going around that the movie has had bad test screenings, but it’s way too early to put any stock into that kind of talk. The film isn’t due till next June. Even without double-checking, I doubt there have been any test screenings at all. Show a film to an audience this early, and you’re showing them a film with unfinished effects, no sound, no score, and often incomplete color timing. It looks like a mess at this point! It’s too early in the timeline to be showing the film to anyone outside production staff, so I don’t even believe this rumor, but I DID double check, call it due diligence, and found this:

James Magold's tweet

That’s James Mangold, the director himself. Could he by lying? I guess, but again, at this stage, the film is too unfinished to show anyone. Even if the cut is done, as in, the director, editor, producers, et cetera, agree on the sequence of scenes, the film is not done for all the aforementioned reasons. Don’t get me wrong, I am VERY skeptical of this film, because while I understand the loyalty to Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, I do think it’s a mistake and a fundamental misread on what audiences want from Indy on screen. If only they had already made a more recent movie with Ford as Indy to show them the issues with an aging Indy… Well, I guess we’ll never know till Indiana Jones “5” comes out if Harrison Ford playing an elderly Indiana Jones is something audiences are into.