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James Mangold fires back at 'Indiana Jones' trolls: 'No one is taking over or replacing Indy'

"They push contoversial guesses as coming from 'sources' to gin up clicks. Let it go."

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2022)

Following the premiere of the teaser trailer for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, James Mangold took to social media to set the record straight once and for all. Posting a trio of tweets, the director fervently shot down rampant rumors that Phoebe Waller-Bridge (playing Indy's goddaughter, Helena Brody) is set to replace Harrison Ford as the iconic adventurer.

"One more time: No one is 'taking over' or replacing Indy or donning his hat nor is he being 'erased' thru some contrivance — and he never was, not not in any cut or script — but trolls will troll — that's how they get their clicks," wrote Mangold, who is the first filmmaker to helm an Indiana Jones movie outside of Steven Spielberg. "And please don't exhaust me pointing out how once in a while a troll is 'right.' Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then. All one has to do is look at set photos and interviews and you get enough info to make wild guesses about a movie plot. The diff between trolling a-holes & everyone else is they r trying to make money off your feelings about other films & culture war politics. They push controversial guesses as coming from 'sources' to gin up clicks. Let it go." 

Appearing on The Today Show in 2019, Ford was asked about who he'd like to see don the fedora and whip once he retired. "Nobody is gonna be Indiana Jones — don't you get it?" said the actor, placing a fatherly hand on the shoulder of host Craig Melvin. "I'm Indiana Jones. When I'm gone...he's gone. It's easy."

Set against the backdrop of the 1969 moon landing, Dial of Destiny finds Dr. Jones on another globetrotting quest to find a mystical artifact before a group of "ex"-Nazis (now working for NASA) do. As we speculated last week, the fan theories about time travel playing a major role in the plot are looking more and more valid. Even if that's not the case, however, the movie will still dial back the clock for its opening prologue, in which Indy fights his way through a castle teeming with German soldiers during the final days of World War II. To make Ford look like his Raiders-era self, the production made use of pioneering de-age technology.

“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’,” said producer and Lucasfilm head honcho 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.’”

John Rhys-Davies (reprising the fan favorite role of Sallah), Antonio Banderas, Shaunette Renee Wilson, Thomas Kretschmann, Toby Jones, Boyd Holbrook, Oliver Richters, Ethann Isidore, and Mads Mikkelsen co-star. Frank Marshall and Simon Emanuel produced the feature. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas — godfathers of the cinematic property — return as executive producers.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny hits the big screen on June 30, 2023.

In the mood for some heart-pounding action? The Fast and the Furious is now streaming on Peacock.

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