Indiana Jones 5: James Mangold Tapped to Replace Steven Spielberg as Director

James Mangold is in talks to replace Steven Spielberg as the director of Indiana Jones 5.

Ford v Ferrari and Logan director James Mangold is in talks to replace Steven Spielberg as the director of Indiana Jones 5according to Variety. The outlet reports that the deal isn’t set in stone yet, but that it was Spielberg’s decision to step away from the director’s chair in order to give another director a chance to bring a new perspective to the sequel. Spielberg will instead remain on the project as a “hands-on” producer. This will be the first Indiana Jones movie not directed by Spielberg. 

Mangold is an exciting new addition to the franchise, having already cut his teeth on big blockbuster franchises like Fox’s Wolverine film series, earning a few Oscar noms along the way. Mangold was previously tapped by Disney to direct a Boba Fett standalone movie before plans fell through after Solo: A Star Wars Story, another standalone film, flopped at the box officeIndiana Jones 5, then, is Mangold’s second chance to leave his mark on a legendary Lucasfilm franchise. 

Harrison Ford is expected to reprise his starring role as the whip-toting archaeologist for the first time since 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which brought back Raiders of the Lost Ark companion Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and introduced Indy’s son, Mutt Williams, played by Shia LeBeouf. At the time, some speculated that LeBeouf would take over the Indy role for a new generation of adventures, but original Indiana Jones 5 scribe David Koepp confirmed in 2017 that LeBeouf would not appear in the new film. 

Since 2017, Jonathan Kasdan, son of Raiders of the Lost Ark writer Lawrence Kasdan, has since taken over script duties. With Mangold potentially replacing Spielberg as director, it’s unclear how plans and the story might change for Indiana Jones 5. Variety suggests that the sequel will likely face another delay after first being set for a 2019 release date and then 2020 and now July 9, 2021. 

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So what is the story of Indiana Jones 5? Your guess is as good as ours, but at least take comfort in the fact that it won’t involve Mutt. What we do know is that George Lucas, who created the Indiana Jones character and has had a hand in the story of each installment thus far, will likely not be involved with this latest sequel. Lucas sold Lucasfilm and the rights to Indiana Jones and Star Wars to Disney in 2012 and has in large part stayed away from the franchises he created ever since. 

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more about what shape Indiana Jones 5 will eventually take. As of right now, the movie is sticking to its 2021 release date, with Ford confirming earlier this year that the movie will begin shooting in the summer.