Director Steven Spielberg and the Indiana Jones franchise will be parting ways, with the famed director handing the reins over to someone else for the first time in 39 years.
According to an exclusive report from Variety, Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold is currently engaged in talks to take over the job, though nothing has been confirmed by either the studio or James Mangold’s camp.
However, despite Steven Spielberg stepping back from the director’s chair, he will still be intimately involved in the franchise he started over 39 years ago and will remain as a ‘hands-on’ producer for the long-gestating Indiana Jones 5 film.
According to reports, Steven Spielberg’s decision was entirely his own, without any interference from the studios or executives — he simply wanted to pass along the story of Indiana Jones to a new generation who could bring a fresh perspective to the story.
Luckily for the rumored frontrunner Director James Mangold, this won’t be the first time he’s taken over an aging franchise. The talented director took on the Wolverine franchise in 2017 with Logan, a gritty, noir take on comic book movie storytelling that was a major commercial and critical success, grossing $619 million worldwide against an estimated $127 million budget and earning Mangold an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
And though Steven Spielberg has stepped down, Harrison Ford remains on board as the titular and iconic character, with the actor recently telling CBS Sunday Morning that Indiana Jones 5 was set to begin filming in another couple of months.
Indiana Jones 5 was initially slated to open on July 19, 2019. However, it was then pushed to July 10, 2020, and then delayed again to July 9, 2021.
Given that Steven Spielberg is out and a new director will be boarding the film, there’s a likely possibility that Indiana Jones 5 will be pushed once again from its targeted 2021 release date, though spokespeople for Spielberg and Disney declined to comment.