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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Here's everything we know about 'Indiana Jones 5' so far

Antonio Banderas comes aboard as Harrison Ford takes a break

Written by
Andy Kryza

Thirteen years ago, Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones survived a nuclear blast, psychic communists, CGI monkeys, ancient aliens and middling reviews in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Now, Harrison Ford is officially back in his fedora, having begun production on the yet-untitled Indiana Jones 5 at the beginning of June. 

Forty years since his first adventure, Indy’s latest is already shaping up to be a drastically different affair than his last. Here’s everything we know so far about the yet-untitled fifth outing with the world’s most violent elderly college professor.

When will Indiana Jones 5 be released?

The film is set for release on July 28, 2022. Unfortunately, Ford recently sustained a shoulder injury during fight rehearsals on June 23. Rumor has it that Ford could be benched for up to three months in order to undergo surgery and recover. A similar catastrophe befell Ford when he reluctantly stepped back into the vest as Han Solo for The Force Awakens and was promptly smashed under the door of the Millennium Falcon. 

There are conflicting reports on whether the shoot will continue without Ford or be halted as he mends. Ford, meanwhile, seems to be taking things in stride, having been spotted hanging around in London to the delight of tabloids and Instagrammers. That indicates that the actor is still accessible to the production, which was shooting around England when the injury occurred.

As of press time, the July 2022 release date is still on the books. 

Who is returning for the movie?

Ford is the only recurring cast member confirmed to return, though John Rhys-Davies, who declined a cameo in Crystal Skull, told Digital Spy he would love to reprise his role as longtime Indy ally Sallah. Casting reports have not included Karen Allen, whose Marion Ravenwood tied the knot with Indy at the end of Crystal Skull long after debuting in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Nor have they mentioned Jim Broadbent, who took on the role of Indy’s dean at Marshall College in the last film. 

One thing is almost for certain: The film will not see the return of Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams. The son of Indy and Marion, Mutt was positioned as the heir apparent to Jones. Fans tore the leather-jacketed greaser stereotype to shreds before the torch could be passed. Now, with abuse allegations hanging over the LaBeouf's head, it appears Mutt’s only legacy will be the time he swung like Tarzan alongside a bouffant-sporting monkey. 

Who is joining the cast?

Despite Ford being pulled from action, the casting news out of Indy 5 has continued to surprise. On July 15, Deadline reported that legendary actor Antonio Banderas had joined the cast. The Pain & Glory Oscar nominee is a rare A-list supporting player in the Indy series, joining an exclusive club of scenery-chomping international superstars that also includes previous co-stars Cate Blanchett and Sean Connery. 

Not that the supporting cast was hurting for scene stealers: Banderas joins a cast of character actors that includes Fleabag darling Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who can now boast appearing alongside Indiana Jones and Han Solo. Mads Mikkelsen is on villain duty, given his tendency to be Mads Mikkelsen. And photos leaked from the set reveal veteran character actor Toby Jones in an elaborate action scene alongside Ford. 

Boyd Holbrook of Logan and The Predator and Black Panther’s Shaunette Renée Wilson round out the cast.  

Who is behind the camera this time?

For the first time in the series, Steven Spielberg is stepping away from directing duties. Dad-movie specialist James Mangold — who previously helmed LoganWalk the Line, Ford V. Ferrari and 3:10 to Yuma — will direct. Spielberg will remain hands-on as producer alongside longtime collaborator Frank Marshall.  

Stepping into recent Netflix-revisionist Spielberg’s shoes clearly comes with a lot of pressure, so much so that Mangold saw fit to hop on social media to  defend himself against preemptive criticism and tell fans to wait until the movie is out to pass judgement:

John Williams, meanwhile, is on board to rework on the score that immediately came into your head upon reading the words "Indiana Jones."

What will Indiana Jones 5 be about?

Following the Communist-punching, ‘50s-set Cold War antics of Crystal Skull, Indy 5 will jump forward into the ‘60s, with Mangold indicating it could take place at least partially in NY.

The nuts and bolts of the story are open to speculation, but rumors have frequently mentioned it has to do with the Space Race and will see Indy return to the time-honored (and now more relevant than ever) pastime of punching Nazis. That will likely include Mikkelson, who is rumored to be a goose-stepping scientist with lunar aspirations. 

Whether he’s punching said Nazis in in the ’60s or the past, Nazis will be punched. Early set photos revealed Indy going up against a cadre of goose-steppers traveling the European countryside by train. Fans also spotted a stuntman wearing a mask resembling a younger Ford, and noted the presence of tiny visual-effects dots on Ford’s face… the kind that are typically used for the type of digital de-aging used in Marvel films, Star Wars flashbacks and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. The period details coupled with the presumed VFX work points to a flashback in which Ford will play the younger version of Indy, perhaps detailing some of his adventures as a WWI-era spy alluded to in Crystal Skull.

Pre-production photos from Bamburgh Castle in the UK also have fans at Den of Geek speculating that at least part of the film could be resurrecting a discarded opening sequence from Last Crusade in which the famed archaeologist squares off with a Scottish ghost. Given Jones’ tendency to globe-trot, though, it’s anyone’s guess what he’ll be up to in that castle. 

Is this Ford’s last turn as Indy?

"It’s not the years, honey, It’s the mileage," Indy famously told Marion in Raiders of the Lost Ark. That was 40 years ago. The famously cantankerous Ford will be a few weeks shy of 80 once Indy 5 debuts, and given the time between films, it’s probably unrealistic to think that Ford is willing to get dragged behind a truck again. 

While recasting is often met with derision, it’s pretty unlikely that Disney is going to let this franchise sit in a giant warehouse gathering dust next to the Ark of the Covenant. In all likelihood, the series will have to follow the lead of Last Crusade and Young Indiana Jones chronicles and allow Ford to narrate a prequel adventure. Or Ford could assume the Sean Connery role, provided they find a more worthy successor to Indy's whip. 

See where Indy's adventures rank among the 101 greatest action films of all time

And read what Time Out's critic had to say about Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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