Steven Spielberg No Longer Directing 'Indiana Jones 5'; James Mangold Might Take Over Instead

There's a shake-up regarding Indiana Jones 5: Steven Spielberg is out, James Mangold is possibly in. Spielberg will no longer direct the fifth entry in the adventure series, and is instead planning to hand the franchise over to Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold. The decision to depart is entirely Spielberg's, and he'll still be involved as a hands-on producer. But does anyone really want a new Indiana Jones movie without Spielberg's direction?

Very few movie news stories leave me flabbergasted these days, but this one did the trick. Variety says that Steven Spielberg is no longer directing Indiana Jones 5, and that James Mangold is in talks to take over. Per their report:

Spielberg will remain as a hands-on producer on "Indy 5." According to a source close to the filmmaker, the decision to leave the director's chair was entirely Spielberg's, in a desire to pass along Indy's whip to a new generation to bring their perspective to the story.

Harrison Ford is still attached to star, but there's now a good chance that the 2021 release date might change. The release date has already moved around a bit before as Indy 5 has dealt with script problems. Both Jonathan Kasdan (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Dan Fogelman (This Is UsTangled) have worked on the script, but then the project reverted back to David Koepp, who wrote Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, along with several other Spielberg projects.

Folks, I don't know what to say about this. I think James Mangold is a good – occasionally excellent – filmmaker. But the idea of handing Indiana Jones to anyone but Spielberg just feels...wrong. Especially since this will probably be the last time Harrison Ford plays the character. Why have Ford's final Indy outing handled by someone other than Spielberg?

The biggest takeaway from this is that the franchise is nowhere near close to concluding. While Indy 5 might be Ford's last go at the character, it's all but certain that the series will live on in the hands of new filmmakers, and with a new star. Kathleen Kennedy has confirmed that Indiana Jones 5 won't be a reboot – but that doesn't mean a reboot is inevitable.

In the meantime, Indy 5 remains up in the air. Harrison Ford was recently quoted as saying production on the film was set to begin in about two months, but whether or not that still happens now – with Mangold at the helm – is anyone's guess.