David Koepp, who scripted Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park and War of the Worlds before penning Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, reveals his reason for stepping away from Indiana Jones 5 alongside the director. Originally planned for a July 2019 and then July 2020 release, the untitled fifth chapter in the action-adventure franchise created by Star Wars' George Lucas lost Solo: A Star Wars Story co-writer Jon Kasdan before This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman boarded the project. In February, months after Koepp confirmed his continued involvement with Indy 5, Spielberg opted out of directing his fifth Indiana Jones film and the whip passed to Logan director James Mangold.
"Not anymore," Koepp told Collider when asked if he's still on Indiana Jones 5. "When James Mangold came in … he deserves a chance to take his shot at it. I'd done several versions with Steven." When Spielberg left the project, it "seemed seemed like the right time to let Jim have his own take on it and have his own person or himself write it," Koepp added.
Franchise producer Frank Marshall, who produces alongside Kathleen Kennedy and Spielberg for Disney-Lucasfilm, recently told Collider scripting work on the sequel "just started" with the reins passing from Spielberg to Mangold. Asked why the 3:10 to Yuma and Ford v Ferrari filmmaker was the right choice to take over from Spielberg, Marshall said it was Mangold's "love of the franchise."
"He's a wonderful filmmaker," Marshall added. "I think he also has a relationship with Harrison [Ford]. It was all of the right pieces coming together, at the right time."
In a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Mangold explained his approach to franchise filmmaking after following the Marvel Comics-inspired The Wolverine with Logan, the swan song for longtime X-Men star Hugh Jackman:
"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."
He continued, "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."
Indiana Jones 5 is scheduled to open in theaters July 29, 2022.