The opening sequence to the as-yet-untitled Indiana Jones 5 will use visual effects to digitally de-age Harrison Ford, giving fans a look at a younger, familiar face for the world's most famous archaeologist. With a German ex-Nazi as the film's central antagonist, Indiana Jones 5 will flash back to the 1940s, presumably to give some context for his master plan, before the rest of the film takes place in 1969. The flashback device is not excatly unprecedented; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade started by telling a story of young Henry Jones, Jr. as a teen before moving back into the more familiar territory of the 1930s. That flashback was only somewhat connected to the movie's main conflict, though, whereas it seems likely the new movie will use the flashback as a bigger plot point.
Raiders of the Lost Ark was set in 1936, but the franchise's second film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, was actually a prequel set in 1935. The last of the original Indy movies, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, opened up in 1912 with River Phoenix as a young Indiana Jones, and then flashed forward 26 years to 1938. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull then moved forward in real time: released 19 years after The Last Crusade, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull took place in 1957. That movie saw Indy and Marion Ravenwood finally get married, and in photos from the new film, Indy is still wearing his ring.
"I wanted the chance to dive into this kind of full-on George-and-Steven old picture and give the audience an adrenaline blast," Mangold told Empire.
It's in that spirit that the movie opens in 1944, and sees Indy squaring off with Nazis during World War II. Then you smash forward to 25 years later, and a more contemporary look for Indy.
"We fall out, and you find yourself in 1969," Mangold explained. "So that the audience doesn't experience the change between the '40s and '60s as an intellectual conceit, but literally experiences the buccaneering spirit of those early days…and then the beginning of now."
"My hope is that, although it will be talked about in terms of technology, you just watch it and go, 'Oh my God, they just found footage. This was a thing they shot 40 years ago'," added Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy. "We're dropping you into an adventure, something Indy is looking for, and instantly you have that feeling, 'I'm in an Indiana Jones movie.'"
Indiana Jones 5 is expected to hit theaters on June 30, 2023.