‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ Revealed!- ScreenHub Entertainment

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It’s here at last! The first trailer and the title of the fifth adventure of Professor Henry Jones Jr. have been revealed. Harrison Ford will wear Indy’s fedora hat for a fifth and final time in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, which will be directed by the one who brought us Logan (2017) and Ford v. Ferrari (2019): James Mangold. This is the first time that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are not working on an Indy project, but it’s still a Lucasfilm production supervised by Kathleen Kennedy (who worked on Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981). From what was revealed, we will see the movie in theatres in June 2023, and it looks as exciting as ever!

Although the trailer was short, it was still filled with many details and plot information, which encourages us to speculate on what we will witness. Again, this is pure theory and speculation, we’ll surely get it wrong.

From what we have read from the Empire Magazine full report on the film, Dial of Destiny is set in 1969, the year of the famous Apollo 11 launch to the Moon. Considering that Harrison Ford just turned 80, that makes sense to us. We see familiar faces who are still in Indy’s life after all this time, namely his good friend Sallah (John Rhys-Davies, back in the role). The two are discussing their old age and the fact that they miss going out on adventures. Numerous chase scenes in different locations also point to the fact that Indy will be traveling most likely to North Africa (back to Egypt maybe?), New York City during a parade, which is most likely around the Apollo 11 festivities and on a train that points out to Europe occupied by Nazy Germany decades earlier. Multiple catacombs, where the famous archeologist feels right at home, also appear, although the location is still unknown. Interesting fact, now pushing 80, Indy is still teaching at the university, now using modern projectors and not just a chalkboard. We definitely feel that Indiana Jones is a fish out of water here, we see him in an ever-modernizing setting, aligning him from the pre-war and early post-war setting of the franchise to date. Connected to a prologue set in the 1940s, during the war, there will be a discovery made by the Nazis that will surely influence the future in a major way.

In terms of the supporting cast to join Ford, the key additional player here is Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is identified as Indiana’s goddaughter Helena. No clues as to who she is related to, but we can surely guess that she’s either Sallah’s daughter that we have seen briefly in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) as a young child, or maybe Marcus Brody’s (the late Denholm Elliot) grand-daughter (both great friends of Indy from the original trilogy). The villains are less obvious, but we see two obvious faces, one being Mads Mikkelsen as a Nazi officer named Voller, who Jones seems to encounter during World War II. Boyd Holbrook is also appearing to chase Indy on a horse in New York City; a possible henchman? Finally, we see one single shot of famous Mexican actor Antonio Banderas, but as to his character’s identity, that remains completely unknown.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny [Credit: Lucasfilm]

I must say, from what we saw, everything looks gorgeous in this film! The casting is brilliant (especially Mikkelsen as a villain) and they seem to be able to pull off the realism of having an old Indiana Jones still on a mission…at 80 years old! The Empire cover and the production stills that were shared as of now really place the character of Indy as a “man out of time”, who might be struggling to adapt to the society of the 1960s, which we kinda saw back in 1957 during the events of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Grandpa Jones will be as grumpy as ever for sure once he witnesses the cultural revolution of the 1960s and the militant youth, and that’s funny as hell.

Mads Mikkelsen and other cast members in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny [Credit: Lucasfilm]

Retconning The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?

The numerous shots selected for the trailer and the promotional stills of The Dial of Destiny make us ask an important question: where are his family members from the previous movie, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? As we remember, the very last scene from that movie shows Indiana Jones getting married to his previous love interest from Raiders, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen). And yes…Indy and Marion have a son, who was revealed to be Mutt Williams (Shia LaBoeuf). No mentions and no appearances, so will they decide to retcon the fourth film entirely? Probably not, as we expect minor references.

Considering how much of a disappointment Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was for everyone, it’s hard to argue if they wish to disregard it as much as possible. George Lucas took an unexpected route in his writing and decided to include aliens…oh no sorry…”interdimensional beings” from “the space between spaces” as antagonists alongside the Soviets. So yeah, a poor story to be sure. Let’s keep the intrigue focused on ancient history, cultures and mystical powers on Earth and in this dimension, we’ll be more than okay with that!

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny [Credit: Lucasfilm]

De-aging Harrison Ford

Finally, there’s one specific technical upgrade to Dial of Destiny: they will ‘de-age’ Harrison Ford using deepfake special effects, so that we see him as a younger soldier in WWII being captured by Nazis around a very nice-looking castle, which reminds us of The Last Crusade. Although de-aging technology is risky, multiple improvements were made in recent Disney productions to apply that technology. The obvious references are the Star Wars TV productions (also Lucasfilm) The Mandalorian (2020) and The Book of Boba Fett (2022), where Harrison’s Star Wars co-star, Mark Hamill, came back as a younger Luke Skywalker using deepfake special effects and a body double. His appearance in the latter was quite convincing, so it’s a certainty that they have the budget and capabilities to make it better in The Dial of Destiny.

Maybe not a popular opinion, but I find this creative idea to go back in time to the 1940s genius! As we know, Indy was fighting Nazis in his previous adventures, but always prior to the invasion of Polland by Hitler’s forces and the start of the Second World War. It was mentioned in the fourth installment, which took place in 1957, that Indy served in the OSS and was most certainly deployed in Europe and came back with plenty of adventures. We would be very interested to see him in action during the war, possibly stealing artifacts from the Germans, which would make sense. If done well, we can have a brilliant action-packed prologue, connected to the plot of the movie set in the 1960s, where a younger Indiana Jones kicks ass in Nazi-Occupied Europe. That’s what makes Jones a classic action hero. If done well, this will be brilliant.

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny [Credit: Lucasfilm]

Fun little anecdote here – Harrison Ford is known for sounding unimpressed and uninterested by his career and the iconic movies he made during recent interviews (the most obvious one is Han Solo, a character he couldn’t care less about). He sees acting as a job and is easily annoyed by the stardom it gave him throughout the years. However, Indiana Jones is actually the famous character that he likes playing. With that in mind, we can surely expect a good and deep performance from him in this final adventure. He was quite excellent in Blade Runner 2049 as an older Rick Deckard, and I’m confident he can pull that off in stories that are meaningful to him.

Other cameos to be expected?

Considering this was announced as Harrison’s final appearance in an Indiana Jones movie, which breaks everyone’s heart, of course, I’m wondering if they might go the extra mile and include characters from the previous films, which I think they are keeping as a secret. My guess is there will be at least one and here are the nominees below, place your bets!

Short Round from Temple of Doom (70% chance – likely candidate)

Marion Ravenwood as Indy’s wife Marion from Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Kingdom of Crystal Skull (50% – a quick cameo is possible, or at least a mention of her)

Mutt Williams as Indy’s son from The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (30% – will probably be mentioned, but won’t appear)

Willy Scott from Temple of Doom (30% chance – unlikely, but who knows)

More news to come on Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny as additional information becomes available!

The EMPIRE Magazine cover for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny [Credit: EMPIRE Magazine]

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