Greetings, readers! @Indy_Filmmaker here! Bittersweet news today as it was announced that Steven Spielberg will be stepping down as director of the fifth Indiana Jones installment, and handing over the reins to James Mangold, director of such films as Logan, Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma, and the recent, Oscar-nominated Ford Vs Ferrari, as well as producer Call of the Wild, working with Harrison Ford during reshoots.
If you know me, you know I’m an Indiana Jones fanatic. Have been since I was four-years-old. So one would assume that this news would have upset me or made me sad. Wrong! Surprisingly, I’ve had the opposite reaction to this news; I love it! I think this could be for the best. How? Why? Well, dear reader, I’ll explain. Here are five reasons why I think this could be good:
1. Spielberg’s A Hit Or Miss These Days
That’s right. I said it. He’s my favorite filmmaker of all time, but I’m not sure he’s the best man for the job. Firstly, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a controversial sequel, at best. Whether or not that was Spielberg’s fault is up in the air, but there’s more than just that. Film’s like The BFG and Tin Tin don’t help his case much. Ready Player One actually felt like classic Spielberg, but I account that to the source material. I’m not trying to say Spielberg is a bad director now, I just think he has matured beyond the blockbusters that made him famous.
2. Logan Is A Good Movie About An Aged Hero
The Oscar-nominated Logan, about an aging Wolverine who goes on one last adventure to save a little girl, was a huge success and a beautiful send off to Hugh Jackman who was about to retire from the roll. We find ourselves in a similar situation with Harrison Ford, who is willing to wear the hat one final time. What I love about Logan is it allows the aging hero to be vulnerable, get hurt, and actually show his age, so when he finally kicks-butt, you cheer for him all the more. Indy has always been an every-man, able to get hurt and be vulnerable. Now that he’s in his old age, I’d love to see him portrayed the way Wolverine was in James Mangold’s Logan.
3. Spielberg May Have Been Holding Indy 5 Back
Harrison Ford was quoted recently explaining that Indy 5 was facing “scheduling conflicts.” Could these scheduling conflicts have been due to Spielberg? Even though he’s getting up in age, the director shows no sign of slowing down. Not only does he have his remake of the classic West Side Story, but he’s about to mount The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, a true story much more in-line with the current Spielberg trend. With Harrison Ford not getting any younger, I assume time is of the essence with this production. Maybe Spielberg has stepped back in order to make sure this actually happens, and that his schedule doesn’t deprive the fans of one last adventure.
4. James Mangold Is A Great Director
Did I mention how much I love James Mangold’s films? Just do a quick search of Mangold’s credits and you will see how great a filmmaker he actually is. If anyone is suited to take on Indy after Spielberg, it’s him. I know we are all worried—this is the first time anyone else has directed an Indy film—but we couldn’t be in better hands in my opinion. Besides, Indy deserves to live beyond Spielberg, and even Ford, for that matter. This character was always meant to be like James Bond, and I hope we get to see him on adventures for many years after the original creators have retired.
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) February 26, 2020
5. Spielberg Is Still Involved
We also need to consider the fact that Spielberg is still on board as a producer. Now, I know what you’re thinking, Spielberg’s name has been on a million things as executive producer, and that doesn’t mean anything. Well, the report didn’t say executive producer, it just said producer, which is much more involved than the former.
This means Spielberg is likely going to be more involved creatively, and why not? He would be able to inform the direction Mangold takes and keep the film in-line with the originals. We’re not losing Spielberg, we’re simply gaining Mangold. I see this as an absolute win.
Hopefully, I’ve made some kind of dent in your skepticism. I really think, as fans, we need to learn to be more open-minded to change. We’ve been proved to time and time again that change can be good. How many Batmen have came and went that we passed our comment on only to end up loving? How many directors have we doubted only to enjoy their films? Indiana Jones should be no different.
Now, this is the part I usually ask if you agree with me or not, and although I don’t care, I’m still going to ask you to let me know in the comments. Do you think James Mangold is a good choice? Do you have a better choice? Let us know below!
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