Indiana Jones franchise producer Frank Marshall confirms James Mangold as director on Indiana Jones 5, saying the fifth installment again starring Harrison Ford as the titular archaeologist and adventurer has the "best of everything" with four-time Indy director Steven Spielberg on board as producer. Spielberg, who earlier revisited the franchise with 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, reportedly decided to step away from the director's chair for a fifth round "in a desire to pass along Indy's whip to a new generation to bring their perspective to the story." That new generation is two-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker James Mangold, director of 3:10 to Yuma and Logan.
Asked why Disney-Lucasfilm selected Mangold to take over from Spielberg, Marshall told Collider, "His love of the franchise. He's a wonderful filmmaker. I think he also has a relationship with Harrison. It was all of the right pieces coming together, at the right time."
With Spielberg remaining on as producer for this next sequel in the George Lucas-created franchise, Marshall added, "We've got the best of everything." Asked to provide an update on the film's script, Marshall revealed script work "just started."
Jon Kasdan, co-writer of Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story and the son of Raiders of the Lost Ark screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, was developing the film's script until he exited the project more than a year ago. The younger Kasdan took over from David Koepp, who wrote Spielberg's Jurassic Park and Crystal Skull.
Asked about his rumored involvement with Indiana Jones 5 in a new interview with ComicBook.com, Mangold admitted he "can't comment on anything like that." But Mangold, who most recently directed Ford v Ferrari, did remark on his approach to big-budget storytelling:
"Like in all my work, I'm always trying to find an emotional center to operate from," Mangold said. "I think the most important thing is, in an age when franchises have become a commodity, that serving the same thing again. At least for me, in the dances I've had with any franchises, serving the same thing again, the same way, usually just produces a longing for the first time you ate it. Meaning, it makes an audience wish that they just had the first one over again. So you have to push something to someplace new, while also remembering the core reasons why everyone was gathered. And to use Logan as an example of that, when you're dealing in a world of a very pressured franchise."
Referencing Logan, a loose sequel to the X-Men franchise and the swan song for 17-year franchise veteran Hugh Jackman, Mangold added, "In any franchise I take in, I'd always be trying to capture and make sure that we preserve those core ideas that are at the center, because that's why these stories are more than franchises. They're the fairy tales of our contemporary culture."
Disney has scheduled Indiana Jones 5 to open July 29, 2022.