Steven Spielberg
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By: Nick Gambino

Indiana Jones is arguably one of the most iconic film characters to ever grace the silver screen, so in the age of the reboot/remake/sequel it’s no surprise that the powers that be have put a ton of effort into bring the whip-welding archaeologist back.

Indiana Jones 5 (we have no idea what the real title is going to be, but I’d like to toss Indiana Jones and the Quest for More Money in the hat) will see Harrison Ford returning to the titular role, but we’ve just learned that Steven Spielberg has stepped away as director, making this the first time in the series he won’t direct.

This shocking news was reported by Variety which cites Spielberg’s desire to let a new generation tell the story. While I’m not against this reasoning, it seems in a film where you’re bringing back 77-year-old Harrison Ford, you might as well stick with the creative formula and collaboration which has worked four times over multiple decades. George Lucas, who is in pseudo-retirement, is not expected to be involved in any official capacity.

Apparently, the Jaws director will still be a very hands-on producer, helping shepherd in this decade’s installment of the adventure film series. The news is bittersweet as Variety reports that James Mangold (Logan, Ford v Ferrari) is in talks to step into the director role.

Spielberg is incomparable as a director, especially when it comes to adventure films, but Mangold is a phenomenal director in his own right. Just check out this year’s Best Picture Oscar-nominated Ford v Ferrari for an example of the writer-director’s ability to elevate a story into “classic” territory.

Indy’s last outing was in 2007’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a movie divisive amongst fans. I’ve been outspoken about my love for that film and the amazing job the creators did in bringing the part-time professor back to the big screen in a heart-thumping thrill ride that pays homage to the films that came before.

Some fans (or whatever you want to call them) bring up eyeroll-inducing issues with the film, like the “outrageous” use of aliens as a MacGuffin, as if the Ark of the Covenant or the Holy Grail were somehow more plausible than the real possibility of beings from another planet. I could go on ad nauseam about why the film is a lot better than some give it credit for, but for the sake of brevity and word count, I’ll leave it at that.

If they can nail down the final creative team and ensure the script is in order, we should see Indiana Jones 5 go into production in the next couple months with a 2021 release date.