Indiana Jones 5’s opening sequence will feature a de-aged Harrison Ford, reverting the 80-year-old actor back to his younger self, as seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade.
James Mangold, who takes over the directorial reins from Steven Spielberg for Indiana Jones 5, shared the news during an interview for Empire’s January 2023 issue, confirming that the movie starts in an era that would necessitate a much-younger-looking Indy.
“I wanted the chance to dive into this kind of full-on George-and-Steven old picture and give the audience an adrenaline blast,” Mangold told Empire, which teased a “setpiece that dials the clock back to 1944, set in a castle swarming with Nazis” and how audiences can expect a Raiders-era Indy thanks to the miracle of de-ageing technology.
“And then we fall out, and you find yourself in 1969,” Mangold added, teasing a transition to the main action of the film. “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.”
Empires goes on to explain how Industrial Light & Magic tackled the challenge of bringing an younger Ford to life for the fifth installment of the franchise:
Several techniques were employed to pull the sequence off, including new ILM software that trawled through archived material of the younger Harrison Ford before matching it to the freshly-shot footage. The original Raiders jacket was even pulled out of storage (possibly from the sprawling Area 51 warehouse) and tried back on by Ford, before being replicated thread-for-thread.
“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’,” says producer Kathleen Kennedy. “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.’”
Indiana Jones 5 is scheduled for release in theaters on June 30, 2023.
The previous installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, released in 2018 and introduced Mutt Williams, Indy’s son, played by Shia LaBeouf, but he does not appear to have a role in the new film that also stars Death Stranding and Another Round’s Mads Mikkelsen.