When Indiana Jones 5 is in theaters next year, star Harrison Ford will be celebrating his 81st birthday. Not your typical age for the star of a big action-adventure film, and certainly not an age you’d expect to see a person running and jumping around like they’re 40. In Indiana Jones 5 though, the filmmakers found a way to do just that. The film opens with a flashback sequence set during the same era as Raiders of the Lost Ark with Ford looking decades younger.
“I wanted the chance to dive into this kind of full-on George-and-Steven old picture and give the audience an adrenaline blast,” director James Mangold told Empire, referring to the franchise’s architects, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Each of their four films starts with a massive action set piece, and Indy 5 is no different. The film starts in 1944 in a Nazi-infested castle before jumping ahead to the film’s main timeframe of 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,” Mangold said.
Making Ford appear decades younger was done with technology Industrial Light and Magic has been dabbling with for several years, in films like Captain America: Civil War and on shows like The Book of Boba Fett. Apparently, though, it’s better than ever on Indiana Jones 5. “This is the first time I’ve seen it where I believe it,” Ford told the magazine.“It’s a little spooky. I don’t think I even want to know how it works, but it works. Doesn’t make me want to be young, though. I’m glad to have earned my age.”
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who had been with the Indiana Jones franchise long before taking over everything at Lucasfilm, explained her hopes for the sequence too. “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’,” she said. “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.’”
That’ll happen June 30, 2023 when Indiana Jones 5 (title coming soon) opens in theaters.
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