So first, the good news for Indiana Jones 5. Not only has director James Mangold been confirmed for the fifth Indy movie, but Steven Spielberg is still very much involved with the project even though he’s stepped aside as director for the first time in the series’ history.
In an interview with Collider, longtime Indiana Jones producer Frank Marshall has confirmed Mangold’s involvement and praised the Ford v Ferrari director as the perfect fit to tackle the whip-cracking archaeologist’s next adventure.
Marshall explained why Mangold was the ideal choice to take over for Spielberg: “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.” I must agree with Mr. Marshall — I think Mangold is an expert at twisting old-fashioned genres and tropes with just enough postmodern intrigue to result in comforting yet challenging Hollywood movies. And for those who are still worried about Spielberg’s exit, fear not: “Steven is staying on as a producer, so we’ve got the best of everything.”
And now the bad news. According to Marshall, the writing process for Indy 5 has surprisingly “just started.” This information seems to suggest that Mangold is starting from scratch and jettisoning what has already been a lengthy script process, which has already seen several rewrites and delays. On top of the setback in the writing department, there’s the current state of Hollywood productions that have been scattered to the wind thanks to the pandemic. Even a production as big as Indiana Jones 5 doesn’t know how or when it can restart while protecting the safety of the cast, crew, and surrounding communities where filming would take place.
“It’s a moving target right now,” Marshall tells Collider after admitting that the safety concerns have slowed things down. There’s also the matter of Harrison Ford pushing 80 and developing a penchant for getting into trouble with his plane, which could pose problems if the film is delayed even further. Just putting that out there.