Indiana Jones 5: Screenwriter David Koepp Explains Why He Left Because of James Mangold

When James Mangold came on board to direct the forthcoming, fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull writer David Koepp, who had been expected to write the film for director Steven Spielberg, backed out. Spielberg will remain on board as a producer, but Koepp believed that it was important to respect Mangold's process, and felt that the franchise was so important that if the chemistry wasn't just right, it could be a real problem. This means Koepp's ideas for the fifth film will be just the latest in a series of screenplays that may or may not have promise, but haven't been made, based on the property.

Of course, with a new film -- You Should Have Left -- coming out this week, Koepp is making the rounds doing press. And of course everyone wants to know what happened with Indy, even if it isn't that exciting or scandalous a story.

"The reason Indiana Jones movies are so difficult is because it's really difficult. It's hard. It has to be great. The first and third movies in that series are just utterly beloved, and 'utterly beloved' is a high bar," Koepp told The Hollywood Reporter. "So, I did a couple versions of this last one that I thought were good; the last one, in particular. But it didn’t quite come together. Steven couldn’t do it in the end and whatever. It just didn’t come together. Sometimes, they do; sometimes, they don’t. But if there’s going to be another Indiana Jones movie, I think James Mangold is a great guy to explore it. Certainly, what he did with Logan was remarkable…"

While it's a disappointment for fans to lose Koepp and Spielberg, who have long history with the franchise, and to see the movie go back onto the back burner again, franchise star Harrison Fold agrees with Koepp: things have to be just right, or it isn't worth doing.

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"I don't really want to give them what they want to see," Ford said recently. "I want to give them something they didn't anticipate seeing. I think they're used to a degree of disappointment when you revisit -- I mean certainly the Marvel movies have made a spectacular example of success that worked the other way around. They killed it. Well, we're not going to make another Indiana Jones unless we’re in a position to kill it. We want it to be the best. So we've got some scheduling issues, a few script things still to do, but we're determined to get it right before we get it made."

Indiana Jones 5 is expected to hit theaters on July 29, 2022.

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