Taking over for Steven Spielberg isn't an easy task, but James Mangold is going try his hardest with the fifth Indiana Jones movie. With the project delayed until 2022 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the director can't say much (or anything) about its plot at this time, but has assured fans that he'll be applying the important lessons he learned on 2017's Logan, which dealt with another beloved legacy character.
"Like in all my work, I'm always trying to find an emotional center to operate from," Mangold told ComicBook.com, going on to explain that "with any franchises, serving the same thing again, the same way, usually just produces a longing for the first time you ate it." His point was that when you're dealing with a long-running property, fans are driven by nostalgia and the desire of wanting "the first one over again. So, you have to push something to someplace new, while also remembering the core reasons why everyone was gathered."
For Hugh Jackman's X-Men swan song, Mangold (who was "dealing in a world of a very pressured franchise") admitted that he unfettered himself from a lot of the "canon" and "baggage" in order "to try and make the best story."
He continued, "the core values of Logan, of Wolverine, and Charles Xavier and the X-Men, were something that I felt we never abandoned. The core ideas of their honor, their sense of duty, and the uniqueness of this particular set of characters that they were outcasts, oddities ... And 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."
Chatting with Collider, executive producer Frank Marshall offered a quick update on the status of Indy 5's production, elucidating all of the ways the sets will have to be made safe in order for shooting to begin.
"We’re looking at the guidelines that are coming slowly, from the health experts and the studios and the different parts of the business, and we’re just trying to incorporate everything, so we can move forward and be safe," he said. "It’s going to obviously slow things down, so we’re trying to adjust. You won’t see a lot of big crowd scenes, for example, for awhile. There won’t be any more craft service, so maybe that’ll be good for people, in keeping more fit. It’s a moving target right now. There are a lot of people working on the solutions, to be able to work and be safe."
Marshall added that Mangold is the perfect choice to direct, thanks to his deep adoration of the Indiana Jones series.
"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," the producer continued.
Spielberg is also attached as an executive producer ("Steven is staying on as a producer, so we’ve got the best of everything," Marshall said), with Harrison Ford set to reprise the titular role. No other casting announcements have been made yet. Heck, we don't even know what supernatural artifact Professor Jones will be seeking this time around. Jonathan Kasdan, son of Raiders of the Lost Ark screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and co-scribe on Solo: A Star Wars Story, is penning the script.
Indiana Jones 5 has been shunted from one release date to another since it was first announced by Disney. Its latest theatrical debut is set for July 29, 2022. Hopefully it sticks for good this time, and if it doesn't, well, we can always blame Belloq for snatching the treasure out from under us at the last second.