Steven Spielberg Is “Really Proud” of ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’

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Harrison Ford returns as Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones in the Dial of Destiny which just got the rare Steven Spielberg...

Harrison Ford returns as Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones in the Dial of Destiny, which just got the rare Steven Spielberg stamp of approval.Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures via Everett Collection
 “I thought I was the only one who knew how to make one of these.”

As the first Indiana Jones film in 15 years—and considering that last installment was… less than stellar—there’s a lot riding on this summer’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. It’s also the first film in the series that isn’t directed by Steven Spielberg. But here’s a promising sign: Spielberg says he loved the film.

The director told an audience at the Time 100 Summit about his reaction to seeing the first Indy film made without his involvement: “When the lights came up I just turned to the group and said, ‘Damn! I thought I was the only one who knew how to make one of these.”

And sure, on some level he would say that, given that he’s an executive producer. But in the 15 years since the last installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was released, Spielberg has been candid about some of his issues with the film’s story, so his full-throated support of Dial of Destiny wasn’t a given. 

Dial of Destiny is directed by James Mangold, who is no stranger to helming a crowd-pleaser—see his work on 3:10 to Yuma, Logan, and Ford v Ferrari. The film’s first trailer was released back in December, highlighting the digital de-aging done on Harrison Ford. Mangold said that ideas around a fifth Indy movie weren’t really hitting the character’s advanced age head-on–Ford is 80 years old–and he wanted to go for a more direct approach. According to Empire, the movie will open with a scene that takes place in 1944, and sees Jones back at the age he was in the original trilogy of films, before jumping ahead to 1969, when the main story takes place.

“The issues I brought up about Indy’s age were not things I thought were being addressed in the material being developed at the time. There were ‘old’ jokes, but the material itself wasn’t about it,” Mangold told Empire. “To me, whatever your greatest liability, you should fly straight towards that. If you try to pretend it’s not there, you end up getting slings and arrows the whole way.”

Dial of Destiny features Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Jones’ goddaughter, Mads Mikkelsen as the  ex-Nazi villain, and Antonio Banderas as a boat captain and loyal friend of Jones’. The movie will make its official debut  at the Cannes Film Festival before being released on June 30. Though there is an Indiana Jones TV series being developed for Disney+, Ford has said that Dial of Destiny will be the final time he plays the iconic character.

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