Indiana Jones Writer Explains Why It Was the Right Time to Leave the Franchise Behind

The upcoming Indiana Jones 5 will be notable as it's the first entry in the series that won't see Steven Spielberg at the helm, with writer of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull David Koepp also officially parting ways from the franchise, detailing that James Mangold being announced as the new director marked the best time to transition away from the project to allow the new creatives to take the storytelling reins. The filmmaker detailed that his decision wasn't at all driven by any sort of negativity, but that he wanted to allow Mangold to tell the story he wants to tell without any influence from the former regime.

“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, which happens,” Koepp shared with Den of Geek. “But it was just very hard to have everybody come together and have all the elements — Steven, Harrison (Ford), the script, and Disney — come together at once. And it didn’t.”

The new film was confirmed back in 2016 with Koepp attached, though Jonathan Kasdan (whose father Lawrence Kasdan wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark) took over as writer in 2018, only for Koepp to return to the project in 2019. With news of Spielberg parting ways from the project emerging back in February, and with the coronavirus pandemic thwarting the development of virtually every movie and TV show, fans have still been left to guess about how the new film from Mangold will move forward.

“When James Mangold came in and Steven stepped out, that was a pretty logical breaking point,” the filmmaker pointed out. “It’s a gracious time to step out the door because I think the last thing a new director wants is the old director’s writer. I mean, that’s a drag. The last thing you need is some guy sitting around with his arms folded saying, ‘Well, the way Steven would have done it is…’ I had one nice friendly conversation with him and then I’m sure he wanted to be able to move on anyway. Everybody was pretty polite, I thought.”


The new Indiana Jones is currently slated to hit theaters on July 29, 2022, but with Disney recently delaying a number of their Marvel Cinematic Universe films and with no clear end in sight to the pandemic, it's unknown when the new film could move forward, potentially seeing more delays.

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