Unlike the original Star Wars trilogy, which had three directors for the three films, every installment in the Indiana Jones franchise has been overseen by the same filmmaker: Steven Spielberg. He even returned for everyone’s favorite Indiana Jones movie, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 19 years after Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Spielberg won’t be back for Indiana Jones 5, though, which, yes, is still happening.
Variety reports that “Steven Spielberg is handing the directing reins on Indiana Jones 5 to another filmmaker for the first time in the franchise’s 39-year history.” That director: James Mangold, who’s had a Spielberg-esque career in that he’s tackled multiple genres, including physiological dramas (Girl, Interrupted), superhero movies (Logan), biopics (Walk the Line), and Pixar’s Cars but for adults (Best Picture nominee Ford v Ferrari). The deal for Mangold to take over “hasn’t closed” yet, according to Variety, but “the decision to leave the director’s chair was entirely Spielberg’s, in a desire to pass along Indy’s whip to a new generation to bring their perspective to the story.”
This isn’t new territory for Spielberg — after directing Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park, he let Joe Johnston take over Jurassic World 3, and Colin Trevorrow and J. A. Bayona do the Jurassic World movies — but it’s still hard to imagine Indiana Jones without Spielberg yelling at Harrison Ford to stop looking so cranky during takes, which I assume is half the job. The man’s 77 years old. Let him nap when he wants to!
Indiana Jones 5 comes out on July 9, 2021.