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Find Out More About Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

James Mangold, Mads Mikkelsen and Phoebe Waller-Bridge talk Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

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More than just a box office behemoth — its four entries grossing a cumulative of nearly $2 billion — the Indiana Jones franchise represents something fairly unique and rare, even among zeitgeist blockbusters.

Itself a more modern repackaging of some of the tropes of 1930s and ’40s adventure movie serials that originating creative force George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg had enjoyed on television growing up, the franchise (along with a couple other trailblazing series from the aforementioned pair, of course) turned out to be a significant north-star inspiration for an entire generation of creatives.

Fans who stared up wide-eyed at the screen watching those movies became actors, directors, screenwriters and producers themselves, in some cases taking the reins of the very objects of their obsession.


Talk of a fifth and final entry in the franchise has been reliably bubbling up on the Internet for more than a decade, ever since 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Many different iterations were developed, sometimes receiving the support of two-thirds of veto-possessing parties, but not all three.

However, with the summer theatrical release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, which will mark a 42-year span between first and last entries, fans will finally have a chance to put eyes on what they hope will be a grand send-off for the titular swashbuckling archaeologist.

Naturally, anticipation is high. One year ago, at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California, star Harrison Ford himself debuted the first image from the movie. At the D23 Expo in September of last year, the first footage from the movie was shown to attendees. A teaser trailer dropped in December, followed by a TV spot during the American Super Bowl in February 2023.

Now, just over a month from its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, a new trailer has been released at the Star Wars Celebration Europe event at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London, this past weekend.

Indiana Jones Dial of Destiny Poster

There, too, director James Mangold (who also takes a screenplay credit on the impending film, alongside David Koepp and brothers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth) was joined by some of his cast. As pointed out by event moderator Anthony Carboni, Mads Mikkelsen and Phoebe Waller-Bridge

are of course no strangers to Lucasfilm productions; they’ve gone from either designing the Death Star to being integrated into the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. Now, however, the pair will both be glimpsed squaring off against one another this summer in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Excerpts from the Star Wars Celebration conversation with the aforementioned trio are presented below, edited for length and clarity:

Question: What did you feel like you had to nail to both make this a classic Indiana Jones movie, but also make it your own?

James Mangold: Well, Steven’s work is something. I mean, these movies are something I grew up with. I saw the first Indiana Jones in upstate New York when I was 17 years old, and it changed my life. Also, Steven’s work and George’s work has been a part of my life ever since I had a Super 8 camera in my hand in my teens. So in some ways I felt like, yes, it’s a big job taking over for Steven. But, in other ways, his style is something I’ve been studying and admiring all my life. And it’s been a huge influence on my work, even before I stepped into a movie like this. So I tried to just stay inside my own voice. But also, I mean, as I think people will see when they see the film, the first 25 minutes or so is me doing my very best to channel Steven, 100 percent. (laughs)

Question: Now is the part where I ask things and you say very little. Tell us about your characters.

Mads Mikkelsen: I play Jürgen Voller. I’m German and from the ’30s, if that rings a bell. I’m also a scientist. I think that’s all I’m allowed to say.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge: I play Helena, who is Indy’s long-lost goddaughter who comes back and gives him a bit of a fright later on in her life.

Question: We’re all trying to figure out whose daughter you are, and there are so many theories. Have you been watching them? Have you found any of them interesting?

Phoebe Waller-Bridge: Absolutely can’t answer. (laughs) Yeah. I’m sorry. (laughs) No, you’re going to have to wait and see. But it’s a wonderful revelation.

Question: One of my favorite things in the trailer is the shot of Indy sitting down next to a kid on the subway with an astronaut helmet on. So, how has the world sort of changed for Indiana Jones? And how do the two of you fit into this sort of Space Age world now?

Mads Mikkelsen: It is not Indy’s time. It’s not my time. I think both Indy and Jürgen Voller are kind of lost in the past — just look at the way they dress. But they also have dreams that have nothing to do with the present. So ’69 is just a phase, you have to get over it. Something better is out there. That’s how my character sees it.

James Mangold: Well, it’s a great point. The ’60s are a kind of a huge period of change… it’s the arrival of modernism, it’s the arrival of cynicism, it’s the arrival of realpolitik and triangulation and wars (where) we’re not even sure who we’re rooting for anymore, and the Cold War and nuclear power and moon landings. And so, one way or another, we were going to have to make a movie that took place in this period. So the movie is really interesting as it opens and you find Indy (in a time where) it’s no longer fashionable, that kind of hero. And he kind of proves his worth again in the course of the movie. But the time period has a really interesting effect on the story, of course.

Question: I mean, obviously (with the series) we think of globe-trotting as well. Were there any fun locations that y’all went to?

Phoebe Waller-Bridge: We went to Sicily, Morocco, and Glasgow was extraordinary. Glasgow’s energy is off the wall. It’s incredible! They all were actually. We were really blessed with these different incredible places. I loved Morocco. It was just such an immersive experience. And all the action sequences we did there were just — it really added to it, the fact that we were there.

Mads Mikkelsen: Morocco rocked (but) I was a big fan of Sicily. There’s something very “Indiana Jones” about Sicily. It was the roughness of the island. It was just very much down the alley of what this film is all about, and (full of) beauty at the same time.

Question: This is not your first time working on a Lucasfilm production. What was it like coming back? Were there any tips you had for people who were new to this sort of production?

Phoebe Waller-Bridge: Well, it’s such an extraordinary thing, working on movies that have this scale. It’s such a gift to be able to experience that. And I thought that I might be sort of a bit more prepared, having done Solo and seen something on that scale, but I wasn’t. The marvel of it is extraordinary, every single time. You really feel like you are living the adventures. So, there is something so beautiful about being able to feel like you’re really in that world when you’re on that set. Because sometimes they’re 360-degree sets and you just look around — you’re actually in a tomb and you just can believe it. I feel like all that stuff really actually happened to me.

Question: Is there anything you’d like to say to fans regarding Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny?

James Mangold: We hope you love it. We loved making it. I mean, it’s not complicated. It was a real thrill — not just the scale of the movie, but to work with a legend like Harrison, producers like Kathy Kennedy, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and to have the miraculous John Williams at 91 years old writing a kick-ass score — two hours of music by that man! So fasten your seatbelts, we can’t wait for you to see it.

by Brent Simon

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