After almost 40 years leading the Indiana Jones franchise, Steven Spielberg is ready to pass the whip. According to Variety, the 73-year-old filmmaker has decided to forgo directing Indiana Jones 5, although he’ll support the project as executive producer.
Spielberg himself hasn’t commented on the decision, but sources suggest he’s ready for the next generation to put their spin on the story. As for who that younger filmmaker might be, Variety reports that James Mangold is in talks to direct. Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari received an Oscar nomination this year for Best Picture, and his 2017 film Logan earned half a billion dollars and an Oscar nod for Mangold’s work on the screenplay.
Even if a deal is finalized soon, whether with Mangold or someone else, the change in leadership will probably lead to yet another delay for the long-gestating project. Indiana Jones 5 was originally set to drop last summer, before being pushed back to 2020 and then 2021. A release in the year 2022 now seems more likely, at which point Harrison Ford would be 80 years old.
Ford is still attached to play the title character, and in an interview with HeyUGuys last week, he spoke about the difficulties facing the production. He said, “We’ve got some scheduling issues and a few script things. We’re determined to get it right before we get it made.”
Even without Indiana Jones, Spielberg has a full professional calendar. His Amazing Stories reboot just released its first trailer, and he’s busy producing a Band of Brothers sequel called Masters of the Air and a Leonard Bernstein film from Bradley Cooper. This winter his latest directorial effort, West Side Story, comes to theaters, and before that we’re expecting his series for Quibi, Spielberg After Dark.