Indiana Jones: The Dial of Destiny director reveals the pressure to take over from Steven Spielberg

Virgin Radio

28 Jun 2023, 12:00

Credit: Getty / LucasFilm

Harrison Ford might be back as Indiana Jones for the new flick, The Dial of Destiny, but famed director Steven Spielberg took a step back from the franchise for the very first time in its 40-year history.

Spielberg directed four of the Indiana Jones movies, from 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark all the way through to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008. 

The Dial of Destiny is the only film in the long-running action adventure series that is neither directed by Spielberg nor written by George Lucas, with both taking a backseat as executive producers. 

Instead, James Mangold, who previously directed Ford v Ferrari and The Wolverine, was at the helm, and while at the UK premiere of Indiana Jones’ fifth adventure, the filmmaker explained to and other press about the extra pressure he felt not just to live up to fan expectations, but the expectations of his heroes too. 

He explained: “I was 17 years old when I first saw the first Indiana Jones, Raider of the Lost Ark, in my hometown in Upstate New York. I feel like Steven and George and [composer] John Williams have been whispering and singing and humming in my ear, since I first picked up a Super Eight camera back then. 

“On a very personal level, this movie was just a chance to dance with my idols and to collaborate with my heroes. Not just Indiana Jones, but Harrison Ford and John Williams and Steven Spielberg, who are all my friends now and collaborators. That's such a profound honour.”

Working with Hollywood treasure Harrison was also a highlight for James, who said audiences are quick to forget just how hilarious the Star Wars icon is. 

“He's so good that you forget how funny he is,” James continued. “He's just crazy funny, and he's always looking to infuse, and I think the secret sauce of these movies is, with a hint of comedy at all times. These movies aren't this kind of violent machismo action that other movies do. They're more like Buster Keaton films are kind of charming and the action has a kind of...sure it's spectacular, but it also has to have a kind of charm to it. Harrison is an expert in leading that way.”

Harrison himself has admitted that this Indiana Jones film will be his last, and while chatting to, he shared why Indy’s age was such a big factor in wanting to come back for a final adventure. 

He said: “I always wanted to do a movie about him at this age. It's been 15 years since we did the last one. Clearly I've aged, and I don't want to run away from it. I wanted to do a story about a guy who depended on his youth, depended on his vigour, depended on his kooky young head to be brave, but has now matured, is in a different place in life, but it's the same guy.” 

The Hollywood star continued: “He's conned into this adventure. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but I'm really happy with the film.”

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is in UK cinemas now.