Steven Spielberg will no longer direct the forthcoming Indiana Jones movie and will instead remain as a “hands-on” producer.
That’s according to sources who told Variety the franchise’s longstanding director will hand the reins to another filmmaker to breathe new life into the fifth installment.
The decision, a source close to Spielberg said, was entirely the director’s own. A deal hasn’t closed, however Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold is reportedly in talks to take over from Spielberg.
Mangold had a similar experience when he was enlisted for the Wolverine franchise, helping 2017’s Logan gross $619 million globally. The writer/director also got an Oscar nod for best adapted screenplay.
Indiana Jones 5 has had many setbacks. Disney first announced it in 2016, with Spielberg directing and Harrison Ford reprising the iconic titular role he’s played since 1981.
The film was originally slated for a July, 19 2019 release. That was then pushed back to July 10, 2020 and delayed again to July 9, 2021. The latest postponement was due to Jonathan Kasdan (son of Raiders of the Lost Ark writer Lawrence Kasdan) coming on board to handle the script after screenwriter David Koepp left the project.
Ford, meanwhile, remains on the project. During an interview with CBS Sunday Morning this month he said that he was “going to start doing ‘Indiana Jones’ in about two months”, and then days later told HeyUGuys that the project is still facing “scheduling issues and a few script things” and that “we’re determined to get it right before we get it made.”
Variety added that spokespeople for Spielberg and Disney declined to comment on the possibility that the film faces yet more delays.