It may be a Logan moment for Indiana Jones.
Variety reports the 3:10 to Yuma director is in talks to replace Steven Spielberg at the helm of the fifth Indiana Jones film. Spielberg, who directed the first four pictures in the series, will remain as a producer while co-creator George Lucas is not expected to be involved in any capacity. The project will also be the first made under the Disney stewardship of Lucasfilm.
Spielberg’s decision to walk away reportedly comes from a desire to see a younger filmmaker take over the series. Granted, at age 56, Mangold is not exactly a newcomer. Besides Logan and 3:10 to Yuma, the director also made the recent Oscar contender Ford v. Ferrari, picked up The Wolverine when Darren Aronofsky walked away from it, and made his debut with 1995’s Heavy. But at 73, Spielberg may no longer be interested in making big action pictures like Indiana Jones.
Indeed, the fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull continued a trend of fan ambivalence toward Lucasfilm projects following the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. It also continued that series’ reliance on computer created locations and creatures. The two may not be related, of course, but considering Mangold tends to avoid green screens in favor of wide vistas, Spielberg may actually want the film to shoot in places he can no longer go and look as real as the earlier films.
And, as it happens, Mangold was at one point in talks to direct a film based around Star Wars character Boba Fett. The project was abandoned when Lucasfilm decided its Star Wars Story slate was not working. But one assumes the relationship with Mangold was amiable enough for him to become a contender to take over the helm of Indiana Jones. He also has a history with Disney as the co-writer of the 1988 animated film Oliver and Company.
Plot details are, of course, nonexistent. But if the film continued Crystal Skull‘s decision to age Indy in real time alongside star Harrison Ford, the story could see the famous adventure and
grave robber archeologist facing some threat in the 1970s.
The film is currently slated for a July 9th, 2021 release — although that may soon change.