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The return of Indiana Jones: Can he survive without Spielberg?

Production is shortly to begin on Indiana Jones 5, with James Mangold taking over from Steven Spielberg as director. Geoffrey Macnab is not convinced, however, that the magic of the franchise can be maintained much longer

Friday 19 March 2021 06:30
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<p>Spielberg’s original 1981 film was high tempo, and it had a zany sense of humour – even though Harrison Ford was only the third choice to wear the soft fedora</p>

Spielberg’s original 1981 film was high tempo, and it had a zany sense of humour – even though Harrison Ford was only the third choice to wear the soft fedora

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etails are being kept under lock and key but what is now known for sure is that that the fifth Indiana Jones movie is soon to start shooting at Pinewood Studios. At the ripe old age of 78, Harrison Ford will be back in that faded old leather bomber jacket. We’ll hear the rousing John Williams music once again, although, this time, Steven Spielberg won’t be directing. That task has fallen to James Mangold, the filmmaker behind the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line and the full throttle motor racing drama, Ford v Ferrari. Spielberg will executive produce. A release date has been set for July 2022.

The question is whether the new film really is such a good idea. There must be a danger the series’s legacy will be tarnished by an unneeded late addition. Will Mangold have the lightness of touch, ability to improvise, zany humour and sheer relentlessness that Spielberg brought to the original Indiana Jones films?

We can expect that Ford will give a performance similar to that of Sean Connery as Professor Henry Jones, Indiana’s father, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Which is to say, he will use cunning and comic timing to make up for his declining powers of athleticism. The main stunts will be left to a younger co-star, whose identity is yet to be revealed. (Ford seemed to suggest in a recent interview that Chris Pine will be involved in some capacity.)

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