Indiana Jones. Indy. Henry Jones Jr. Whatever you call him, Harrison Ford’s whip-cracking, Nazi-punching, relic-relishing archaeologist is cinema’s ultimate action hero – a man whose very image invokes the smell of popcorn and the thrill of big-screen adventure. Through the decades, he’s fought fascists, come face-to-face with the Ark Of The Covenant (albeit with his eyes closed), restored the Sankara Stones, drunk from the Holy Grail, and encountered interdimensional life. And he’s not done yet: 15 years after his last Indy outing, Harrison Ford is donning the fedora one last time in the as-yet-untitled Indiana Jones 5. Now, in a major world-exclusive, Empire presents your first look at his epic comeback.
In the new issue, we get the first word on the film that brings the iconic hero back to the screen – and its star promises all the excitement, emotion, spectacle, and unexpected turns that only Indiana Jones can provide. “It’s full of adventure, full of laughs, full of real emotion. And it’s complex and it’s sneaky,” Harrison Ford tells Empire. Stepping back into the world of Indy was no mean feat. “The shooting of it was tough and long and arduous,” he says. “But I’m very happy with the film that we have.”
Why go back, then? 2008’s Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull left our hero happily married to Karen Allen’s Marion Ravenwood. But while it found Indy older and perhaps wiser than we’d ever seen him in the original trilogy, it wasn’t necessarily an ending. That’s where Indiana Jones 5 comes in. “I just thought it would be nice to see one where Indiana Jones was at the end of his journey,” Ford explains. “If a script came along that I felt gave me a way to extend the character.”
That script comes from Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, writing alongside director James Mangold – the Logan and Ford V Ferrari filmmaker, now facing the daunting task of following up a certain Steven Spielberg (on board here as producer). For Mangold, it was all about the challenge of making a final Indiana Jones film. “It became really important to me to figure out how to make this a movie about a hero at sunset,” he says, noting that he steered the film further in that direction. “The issues I brought up about Indy’s age were not things I thought were being addressed in the material being developed at the time. There were ‘old’ jokes, but the material itself wasn’t about it. To me, whatever your greatest liability, you should fly straight towards that. If you try to pretend it’s not there, you end up getting slings and arrows the whole way.”
But let’s not get too hung up on the end just yet – the adventure is only just beginning. Stay tuned for more Indiana Jones exclusives coming soon from Empire, and seek out the world-exclusive Indiana Jones 5 issue – packed with the very first images and interviews, speaking to Harrison Ford, James Mangold, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Shaunette Renée Wilson, Boyd Holbrook, James Mangold, Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Simon Emanuel – when it hits newsstands on Thursday 24 November. Pre-order a copy online here.
Indiana Jones 5 comes to UK cinemas on 30 June 2023.