James Mangold to Direct Indiana Jones 5 as Steven Spielberg Steps Back
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Logan Director James Mangold to Direct Indiana Jones 5 as Steven Spielberg Steps Back From Franchise

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BY February 26, 2020

The fifth Indiana Jones movie will begin filming later this year, but a massive driving force behind the franchise will no longer be behind the camera. Steven Spielberg is stepping down from the franchise, and Logan director James Mangold will likely direct Indiana Jones 5. It is unclear if this will further delay filming and, possibly, cause the movie to miss it’s 2021 release date. (Which may be good since it would only have a few weeks until The Batman takes over all the box offices.)

This move comes as a surprise for a number of reasons. The first is that Spielberg has been intimately involved with the Indiana Jones franchise since he and George Lucas co-created it circa 1977. Lucas (who bore most of the animus in the wake of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) is now retired. With Steve Spielberg stepping away from Indiana Jones 5 in favor of James Mangold, fans might fear that they lose the last through-line to Indy’s creators.

Why Steven Spielberg Stepped Away From Indiana Jones 5 In Favor of James Mangold

Steven Spielberg James Mangold Indiana Jones 5 Image by Maximilian Bühn via Wikimedia Commons

James Mangold is a familiar name to genre fans, mostly for his work on The Wolverine and, especially, Logan. When Mangold took over the Canucklehead’s franchise, it was in disarray. The X-Men series proper was in the midst of a reboot with X-Men: First Class. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a bit of a flop, earning slightly more than double its production budget. So, Mangold has experience with franchises that struggled during their last outing. The Wolverine was a bonafide hit, and the follow-up, Logan, is arguably one of the best comic book films ever made. Thus, it makes James Mangold something of a perfect replacement for Steven Spielberg for Indiana Jones 5.

However, according to Variety who broke the story, Spielberg isn’t stepping down completely. He will be “a hands-on producer.” Their source says that Spielberg still loves Indy and wants to help guide its creative direction. Yet, since Indiana Jones was conceived as a kind of James Bond figure, he wants to pass the franchise on to the next generation. Harrison Ford is still involved in the film, of course. James Kasdan, son of original Indy screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, was also recently brought on to rewrite David Koepp’s script. If Mangold is officially brought in to direct, he may want to take a pass at the screenplay himself.

What do you think? Are you happy James Mangold will take up the fedora for Indiana Jones 5 or do you wish Steve Spielberg took one more bite of that apple? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Featured image via Paramount

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Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

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