The thing’s a week away and so the marketing machine is belching out exhaust in choking quantities now. How diligent do you expect Mojo to be about collecting all that smoke with a butterfly net? Well, we’ll see what we can do.
First off, we’ve got a new piece from Variety with James Mangold that’s reasonably substantial as far as these things go. There’s some new behind-the-scenes photographs as well as a little more light shed on the process of Spielberg passing the torch.
It was the fall of 2019, and Mangold had joined the team working on the film adaptation of “The Call of the Wild,” in which Ford plays a rugged frontiersman, to help with reshoots. In their downtime, Ford began confiding in Mangold about the fifth “Indiana Jones” movie, which had been bouncing around in development for the better part of three years. Steven Spielberg and screenwriter David Koepp had conceived a roughly five-minute opening sequence set during World War II, in which Ford would be digitally de-aged. Ford wasn’t sure it was a good idea.
“Harrison told me he was nervous, because he felt like if people saw him younger, when they confronted Indiana in his 70s they’d be disappointed,” Mangold says, sitting on a cream-colored couch inside his sunlit office on the Fox lot in early June.
At the time, the filmmaker had no reason to think he was auditioning to be the guy to solve Ford’s dilemma. But Mangold impressed the actor. “He seemed to have a keen perception of what was required,” Ford says. “I just found it very easy and comfortable to work with him.” So much so that when Spielberg decided later that year that it was time to bequeath Indy’s signature whip and fedora to someone else, Ford recommended Mangold.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who has produced every “Indy” film since serving as Spielberg’s assistant on “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” recalls, “It was pretty much immediate that Steven said, ‘Oh, he would be fantastic. Let’s do that.’”
The director gave another good interview to Uproxx as well. If reading bores you, Mangold and the cast have been junketing their way through no end of taped puff pieces for morning shows and the like, so a “fun” day on Youtube awaits the PR-addicted. I think the most worthwhile plug is gonna be an upcoming appearance by Ford on Conan O’Brien’s podcast, likely dropping Monday. It’s comforting to know that despite Conan’s television show being over and the general improbability of a fifth Indy with Ford even existing, that the tradition of the two of them behaving like jackasses survives for one final round. A good sampling of the arts they’ve worked together in the past:
There’s also a bunch of new clips, promos, and featurettes. Probably more than the four below, and there’s undoubtedly more to come, but I think we’ve done our part by now. On the Dial of Destiny score, let’s agree to meet up again at Mojo’s release day review. Our topicality streak can’t possibly last, but why not go out swinging?