Watch This Before You See Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny
It's time to dust off the fedora and crack the whip one more time! As our favorite globetrotting archaeologist returns to the big screen, here's everything you need to know about Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. The last time we saw Indiana Jones, he was exploring the jungles of South America, avoiding killer ants, and hanging out with a greaser sidekick played by Shia LaBeouf. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull hit theaters all the way back in 2008, and it was actually the second highest-grossing film of that year worldwide, but it's not exactly beloved by hardcore Indy fans. So the stakes are pretty high for Dial of Destiny, which is set to land in theaters a little over 15 years after the last adventure. It was originally supposed to be released in July 2019, but two additional release date changes and one pandemic later, it's finally scheduled to hit theaters on June 30, 2023.
Indiana Jones has faced his fair share of bad guys over the years. In Crystal Skull, he was up against a group of Soviets in South America, and he narrowly avoided having a heart to heart with a cult leader in Temple of Doom. But there's one particular group of baddies who cross Indy's path again and again: Nazis. As it turns out, Indy's not done with the Third Reich just yet, as he'll be butting heads with some sinister Nazi faithful in The Dial of Destiny. According to an exclusive report
from Empire Magazine, the film will be set in 1969 during the height of the Space Race. In both the film and in real life, the American government employed multiple Nazi scientists to beat the Russians to the moon. In Dial of Destiny, one of them is the nefarious Voller, whose loyalty to Hitler's regime remains strong. According to Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Voller, "He's a man who would like to correct some of the mistakes of the past. There is something that could make the world a much better place to live in. He would love to get his hands on it." We're assuming that that something is the Dial of Destiny, which Indy will need to find first with the help of his goddaughter Helena. The story will also focus on Indy truly growing old and
getting ready to take off his fedora for good. As writer-director James Mangold explained to Empire, "It became really important to me to figure out how to make this a movie about a hero at sunset." We'll also get some clarification on what's going on with Shia LaBeouf's Mutt Williams. While the actor won't appear in the film, Mangold told Entertainment Weekly that we'll indeed learn what happened to him.
You simply can't think of Harrison Ford without also thinking of Indiana Jones, and vice versa. And Ford seems to genuinely love playing Indy. So even though he's 80 years old, he'll be stepping onto screens for one more go-round as Dr. Jones. "I'd always wanted to see Indiana Jones at the end of his career, towards the end of his life, when everything catches up to him." John Rhys-Davies will also be returning to play Indy's best friend Sallah. Outside of this franchise, Rhys-Davies is probably best known as the ax-wielding dwarf Gimli in the Lord of the Rings. Indy will also be teaming up with a new character in the form of his goddaughter Helena, whom James Mangold described to Empire as "slippery, charming, the girl next door" and "a grifter." She'll be played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge,
who's best known as the creator and star of the sitcom Fleabag. As for the big bad, it'll be Mads Mikkelsen as Nazi scientist Voller, who's tricked the U.S. government into thinking he's abandoned his old ways. Mikkelsen is no stranger to playing antagonists, as he's delivered villainous turns in the likes of Casino Royale, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Doctor Strange, and as the title cannibal on NBC's Hannibal. Voller's murderous enforcer Klaber will be played by Boyd Holbrook, another actor who specializes in scary roles, like Commander Donald Pierce in Logan and the Corinthian in The Sandman. In addition to those big names, Antonio Banderas is set to show up in a cameo role. Plus,
Toby Jones will play Helena's dad Basil. The cast will be rounded out by Shaunette Renée Wilson, Thomas Kretschmann, and bodybuilder Olivier Richters. When you think of the behind-the-scenes talent of Indiana Jones, obviously Steven Spielberg springs to mind. The celebrated filmmaker directed the first four Indy films,
and it's almost impossible to imagine the franchise moving on without him. However, Dial of Destiny won't see Spielberg calling the shots. While he will remain on hand as a producer, he stepped away from the director's chair so that a younger filmmaker could take the reins.
That leaves The Dial of Destiny in the very capable hands of James Mangold, who should be a great fit. The story is supposedly about an aging Indy going on one last adventure before riding off into the sunset, and Mangold has some promising experience in that area. He co-wrote and directed 2017's Logan, which is the acclaimed swan song to 20th Century Fox's version of Wolverine. "Look. I gotta go."
In addition to Logan, Mangold's credits include the Western 3:10 to Yuma, the crime drama Cop Land, the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, and the sports drama Ford v Ferrari. When it comes to film composers, there's none more famous than John Williams. Jaws, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, E.T., Harry Potter, and Superman are just a sampling of his iconic pieces. He even came up with the theme for the Olympics. Williams is also responsible for the rousing scores that accompany Indiana Jones on each of his adventures. And he'll be back for Dial of Destiny, providing music that's sure to
get the blood pumping as Indy traverses the globe once again. Interestingly, at one point in time, Williams implied that The Fabelmans and Dial of Destiny would be his last projects before retiring. However, in January 2023, he walked those statements back, as he explained, "I'll stick around for a while. I can't retire from music. A day without music is a mistake." The teaser for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny dropped in December 2022 and promised all sorts of adventures for our aging hero. When the preview starts,
it seems that Indy has been living the quiet life of a college professor, as an exchange between him and Sallah makes clear. His old friend laments that he misses waking up in anticipation of the exciting adventures promised by each new day. "Those days have come and gone."
"Perhaps. Perhaps not." But while Dr. Jones may be done with adventure, adventure isn't quite done with Dr. Jones. As the teaser progresses, we see Indy picking up his whip, getting in a showdown atop a train, and exploring ruins filled with Greek statues. He also makes his way through a Nazi castle and an exciting chase at a ticker-tape parade for the Apollo 11 astronauts. The whole time, he regales us with his unique worldview, as he declares,
"I don't believe in magic, but a few times in my life, I've seen things, things I can't explain." "And I've come to believe it's not so much what you believe, it's how hard you believe it." In April 2023, we were finally treated to the full official trailer, which is scored to the classic Rolling Stones song "Sympathy for the Devil." That tune makes it clear that Indy is a man outside of time in the strange world of the 1960s. Speaking of time, it's possible that that theme might play
a big part in the film, as Voller explains why he wants to get his hands on the Dial of Destiny. "Hitler made mistakes, and with this, I will correct them all." Could time travel somehow factor into all of this? Is that why so many people want the Dial? Not only are the Nazis after it, not only is Indy trying to get it, but it also looks like Helena has an agenda of her own, as she too is trying to get her hands on this precious artifact. This prompts a three-way chase across the world, complete with undersea exploration and aerial action, all in the pursuit of something that could very well change the course of history. Harrison Ford is obviously a Hollywood legend, but he's also still just a mortal who ages like everyone else. He's 80 years old, and he presumably can't run around beating up Nazis forever. Plenty of us thought that he would hang up the fedora for good after
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But here he goes again, in what surely must be the final adventure. In an interview with Total Film in April 2023, Ford revealed, "This is the final film in the series, and this is the last time I'll play the character. I anticipate that it will be the last time that he appears in a film." "For me, this is it."
"Harrison, let me tell you something. You've told me that two Indiana Joneses ago." Granted, that claim may be a little naive on Ford's part. If Hollywood can find a way to reboot this franchise or start a prequel series, they will. However,
we do believe Ford when he says that this is the last time he'll play Indy. And if it sounds like we're crying, that's just the dust from all those ancient artifacts in our eyes. De-aging technology is a great tool, but its uses in film thus far have been a bit wonky. The Irishman, for example, is a fantastic movie, with a terrific Robert De Niro performance. But those scenes with him as a younger man just look plain weird. However, it sounds like Dial of Destiny is taking de-aging technology to the next level.
While most of the movie will be set during the late 60s, the opening act will take place during World War II. This segment will reportedly run for 25 minutes, which means that James Mangold must have plenty of faith in the de-aging tech if we're going to be looking at an artificially youthful Harrison Ford for nearly half an hour. As Mangold gushed to Total Film, "It was an incredible technology [...] The goal was to give the audience a full-bodied taste of what they missed so much."
From the clips we've seen of the opening sequence, Ford looks pretty fantastic, and better even than recent examples of de-aging like Sean Young in Blade Runner 2049 or Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Evidently, the jump from the 40s to the 60s is going to be key to the story in Dial of Destiny. The film will be hopping from an era when it was clear who the bad guys were to a much more complicated time. As Mangold told The Hollywood Reporter,
"It's not just a movie about a hero in his twilight years who is called back into action. It's more than just that his bones might ache, it's that his soul might ache, or that some of his optimism or sense [of] fitting into the world might have evaporated." Furthermore, Indy will be dealing with a body that's much older and creakier than before. Slugging bad guys in the face isn't going to be as easy as it once was, with Mangold explaining, "It reminds the audience of the contrast between a hero in his physical prime and a hero at 70. We're not relying solely on the audience's memory of the previous films. It reminds everyone what he's done, what he's survived, what he's accomplished. By showing him in his
most hearty and then finding him at 70 in New York City, it produces for the audience a kind of wonderful whiplash of how they're going to have to readjust and retool their brains for this guy." "He's about to retire." "Yes." "From being a professor."
"Yes." "And all hell breaks loose." "It does."
This fifth Indiana Jones film has been in development for a long time. Even all the way back in the 1970s, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg hoped to tell a quintet of stories about the globe-trotting adventurer. And after having waited so long after The Last Crusade to make Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it didn't seem like another big-screen outing could ever happen. But following Crystal Skull's release, Lucas began researching possible story ideas. As he told the Times Online in 2008,
"I'm in the future; Steven's in the past. He's trying to drag it back to the way they were, I'm trying to push it to a whole different place. So, still we have a sort of tension." The project was stuck in development for years before Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney, who hoped to revive the series without him. At that point, Spielberg and Crystal Skull writer David Koepp began working on the script for what would eventually become Dial of Destiny. By 2018, Spielberg was preoccupied with other projects, and Koepp was replaced by Solo writer Jonathan Kasdan, son of Raiders of the Lost Ark scribe Lawrence Kasdan, before returning quickly thereafter. Eventually, Spielberg's version of Indiana Jones 5 failed because he, Harrison Ford, and Disney couldn't all agree on the script. When James Mangold took the helm, things
seemed to be back on track. He rewrote Koepp's script alongside his Ford v Ferrari writers, brothers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, with all four men receiving final "written by" credits. Following the sale of Lucasfilm, George Lucas distanced himself from both Star Wars and Indiana Jones. After Disney declined to use his treatments for the Star Wars sequel trilogy,
his involvement in the space opera franchise has been essentially nonexistent. Besides visiting the set of The Mandalorian, he's effectively bid his former glories goodbye. While Lucas wrote and directed Star Wars during his time as a filmmaker, he was never actually a credited screenwriter for any Indiana Jones movie. Instead, he helped craft the story for each film, served as a producer, and worked closely with Spielberg to make sure that their shared vision became a reality. But while Lucas' involvement in the fifth Indiana Jones has been diminished following his sale to Disney, he's still in the loop. According to James Mangold, both Spielberg and Lucas are involved with Dial of Destiny.
While they may not be in the director's chair or receiving any story credit, these two filmmaking giants just had to be included in another Indiana Jones picture, especially if it's going to be the final one. Serving as executive producers, Spielberg and Lucas have continued to help curate Hollywood's most famous archeologist from afar, which is surely comforting to plenty of loyal fans. If they trust Mangold to deliver a killer version of Indiana Jones, then the rest of us probably shouldn't be too worried. Since he directed the first four Indiana Jones movies, one can't help but wonder how Steven Spielberg feels about Dial of Destiny. He's been the primary creator of the character for decades, so an Indiana Jones movie without him is sort of impossible to even imagine. "Oh, dear."
Of course, the filmmaker is still involved and serves as an executive producer alongside George Lucas, but he isn't working as closely as he used to this time around. But regardless of his time, or lack thereof, on set, Spielberg is still the authority on all things Indiana Jones, which makes his thoughts on Dial of Destiny all the more exciting. After watching the film at a Disney executive screening, he told Variety, "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 [...] Everybody loved the movie. It's really, really a good Indiana Jones film. I'm really proud of what [Mangold] has done with it." That's high praise coming from the man who single handedly directed all of this character's previous on-screen adventures. With Spielberg clearly on board with this version, our hopes for Dial of Destiny have only risen, giving this installment the potential for this to be one of the best of the series.
With Indy's favorite Egyptian excavator Sallah returning for Dial of Destiny, many have wondered if other fan favorites could return as well. Among the most requested is Ke Huy Quan's Short Round from 1984's Temple of Doom. "Okee-dokee, Dr. Jones. Hold on to your potatoes!" Before recently, Quan was best known for his work as Short Round and as Data in The Goonies, which was released the following year. But then in 2022, he returned to international stardom thanks to the success of the multiversal action-comedy-drama Everything Everywhere All at Once. He played Waymond Wang, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting
Actor. After years away from the big screen, Quan is suddenly doing quite well for himself. In 2022, Quan and Harrison Ford shared a tearful reunion at Disney's D23 convention, but alas, Quan has insisted that he isn't returning for Dial of Destiny. He told Entertainment Tonight in April, "I want to say [I'll be in it], but no. Here's the thing. I don't want to disappoint the fans. I've joked about it all the time, but reuniting with Harrison after 38 years, that was very special." With this being Ford's final adventure as Indy, and Quan unlikely to return as Short Round for a potential spinoff, it seems like fans will just have to settle for the off-screen reunion.
As Indy's original love interest, Karen Allen's Marion Ravenwood is the only recurring female character in the Indiana Jones chronology. First appearing in Raiders of the Lost Ark, she and Dr. Jones share a steamy romantic history. Upon reuniting, they resume their previous affairs, at least for a while. Since Temple of Doom took place a year before the events of Raiders and The Last Crusade focused mainly on Indy's relationship with his father, Marion wasn't in either of the first two sequels. But then Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came along, with Allen appearing with their son and managing to finally put a ring on the elderly archaeologist's finger.
When Spielberg and Lucas first began developing the fifth Indiana Jones film, Allen initially expressed interest in returning as Marion once more. As she told MovieWeb in 2011, "I mean, we're married now, so it would be difficult, I think, to move forward without her." But ever since, there's been no official comment regarding Allen's inclusion in Dial of Destiny.
Though James Mangold has confirmed that we'll learn more about what happened to her and Indy's son Mutt, we've heard nothing more about her own status. With Allen seemingly radio silent, we can only speculate about whether or not she'll show up in the final chapter after all. "Do you and Harrison talk? Do you stay in contact?" "We talk every now and then." For nearly 30 years, the Indiana Jones series was distributed by the motion picture giant Paramount Pictures after Spielberg and Lucas made a deal for five Indiana Jones pictures with the distributor. The studio's famous mountain logo has appeared at the beginning of each Indy flick, from 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark all the way to 2008's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It's now pretty
much synonymous with Harrison Ford's globetrotting adventures. Alas, nothing in Hollywood lasts forever. So after Lucasfilm was sold to the Walt Disney Company in 2012, Paramount's involvement in any future Indiana Jones installments was subject to change, and that change has in fact happened. Paramount has retained its initial distribution rights for the first four films in the series, which is why they're currently available on Paramount+ and not Disney+. But the House of Mouse now owns distribution rights to any future films.
Dial of Destiny is a co-production between Lucasfilm and Disney, making it the first Indiana Jones film not solely produced by Lucasfilm. But Paramount has received an "associate credit" on this latest picture, with an undisclosed financial participation as well. How this all works behind the scenes is a bit of a mystery, but it's clear that the cooperation between Disney and Paramount has only helped Indiana Jones going forward. Still, replacing the snow-capped mountain
with the Disneyland castle will surely be pretty hard for moviegoers to adjust to. Unlike a lot of other action films, the Indiana Jones series wasn't released in strict chronological order. While Dial of Destiny is the final feature in the saga, parts of it fit between some of Indy's other earlier adventures. The first film chronologically in the Indy timeline is Temple of Doom, which takes place in 1935. Only a year later, the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark unfold, which see Indy and Marion fight a group of Nazis in search of the Old Testament relic known as the Ark of the Covenant. The Last Crusade takes place a few years after that in 1939,
but not before a flashback to Indy's time as a young man played by River Phoenix set in 1912. This is as far back in the past that the feature films have ventured thus far. "This should be in a museum." Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released in 2008, but it takes place in 1957 during the Cold War. A somewhat older Indy finds his long-lost son Mutt, marries Marion, and discovers the existence of extraterrestrial, or rather interdimensional, creatures. As for Dial of Destiny, though there will be flashbacks to 1944, it will reportedly mostly be set in 1969. Thus, it will be the farthest forward Indy has ever ventured in the 20th century.
Described by director James Mangold as "a hero at sunset," Indy's fifth and final big-screen adventure is set to be his swan song. And while that's sad on some level, there's plenty of mystery and excitement with such a promise. Mangold is possibly best known for directing the final two installments of Fox's Wolverine trilogy, so he's no stranger to telling an action hero's final tale. 2017's Logan closed the book on Hugh Jackman's long-running turn as the iconic X-Man, at least until Marvel Studios introduced the idea of him returning again. That film pretty much told the definitive Wolverine story for a generation, so fans are anxious to see if Dial of Destiny will employ the same tone and effectively serve as Indy's version of Logan. As Mangold rhetorically asked Entertainment Weekly, "What does the hero do when the world no longer has a place for him? I find it really interesting to try to look at classical heroes through the prism of our jaundiced contemporary attitudes."
"The best version of this movie was the one that didn't do everything like all the other movies." Mangold also compared Dial of Destiny to Logan, while reassuring fans that the film's tone would remain faithful to the Indian Jones mythos. He further noted, "I am under no illusions that my job making an Indiana Jones film was to suddenly beat the humor out of it and turn it into some kind of dirge. I think that what we're trying to do is balance both an accurate and realistic appraisal of where this character would be at this time in his life, and do that honestly [...] This is an Indiana Jones film."
After Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, fans wondered how the House of Mouse would continue the Indiana Jones franchise. While Star Wars has been Disney's main LucasFilm priority following the sale, projects like Dial of Destiny and the Disney+ series Willow prove that there's more to Lucasfilm's catalog than just Star Wars. After Dial of Destiny was greenlit and it was announced that this would be Harrison Ford's last outing, many speculated that Disney would attempt to reboot the franchise through a series of prequels. And for a while, that looked like a real possibility. In 2022, Variety reported that a prequel series set before the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark and probably Temple of Doom was in the works at Disney+. But by 2023,
other sources implied that the series, which would've been the first Indy prequel since The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, had been scrapped entirely. Then in April, ScreenRant reported that Dial of Destiny would close out the franchise for good. While this news sounds pretty final, recent years have proven that nothing is permanent in Hollywood. And while we shouldn't expect a reboot any time soon, it would actually be surprising if Disney and Lucasfilm never returned to the world of Indiana Jones ever again.