'Indiana Jones 5': Upcoming Film's Opening Sequences De-Ages Indiana Jones To His Age From The Original Trilogy

With more info about “Indiana Jones 5” coming out recently, there’s much speculation about the upcoming blockbuster. Fans now know a couple of new things now, like the film taking place in 1969. And Harrison Ford‘s archeologist adventurer takes on the Nazis yet again for the third time in five movies. But what else does incoming director James Mangold have in store for audiences, and will his take on Jones dramatically depart from Steven Spielberg‘s vision?

READ MORE: ‘Indiana Jones 5’: Phoebe Waller-Bridge Plays Indy’s “Slippery, Charming” Goddaughter in Upcoming Film

In a new interview with Empire, Mangold reveals he pays homage to Spielberg’s original films in the opening of “Indy 5,” but it could be in a way some fans find unsettling. How come? Well, the movie’s opening set-piece takes place in 1944 in a castle full of Nazis, with de-aging technology making Ford’s Jones look like he did in Spielberg’s original trilogy. “I wanted the chance to dive into this kind of full-on George-and-Steven old picture and give the audience an adrenaline blast,” explained Mangold. And then we fall out, and you find yourself in 1969. So that the audience doesn’t experience the change between the ‘40s and ‘60s as an intellectual conceit, but literally experiences the buccaneering spirit of those early days… and then the beginning of now.”

Understandably, Mangold wants to touch upon Spielberg’s original film, but de-aging technology may cause some fans to bristle. After all, when has de-aging older actors to look young ever looked …amazing? But producer and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy think the upcoming film masters the use of the technology. “My hope is that, although it will be talked about in terms of technology, you just watch it and go, ‘Oh my God, they just found footage. This was a thing they shot 40 years ago’,” Kennedy told Empire. “We’re dropping you into an adventure, something Indy is looking for, and instantly you have that feeling, ‘I’m in an Indiana Jones movie.'”  

The film uses several techniques to pull off its opening sequence, including new ILM software that goes through archive material of a younger Harrison Ford while matching it up to freshly-shot footage. Mangold even pulled out Ford’s original jacket from “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” so the actor could try it on and costume designers could replicate it. But will the final result be a seamless recreation of a younger Indiana Jones? Or will it it be something more akin to Robert DeNiro in Martin Scorsese‘s “The Irishman,” an uncanny and effective, but jarring, use of digital manipulation?

Indiana Jones himself thinks Mangold pulled off the de-aging in the film’s opening sequence well. “This is the first time I’ve seen it where I believe it,” Ford said to Empire. “It’s a little spooky. I don’t think I even want to know how it works, but it works.” But, of course, that doesn’t mean Ford, who just turned 80, wants to return to his early 40s. “Doesn’t make me want to be young, though,” Ford added. “I’m glad to have earned my age.”  

What other surprises does Mangold have for audiences in “Indiana Jones 5”? Find out as more details about the film as it approaches release next summer on June 30, 2023.