James Mangold is in the enviable/precarious position of being the first person not named Steven Spielberg to direct Ford as Indiana Jones in a feature-length film. After the crushing disappointment of “Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull,” it’s hard not to temper your expectations for the forthcoming “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” But the first teaser hit the sweet spot and the fact that we know this is 80-year-old Ford’s final go-round as the adventuring archaeologist inspires a bit of hope. We expect Indy and Ford to go down swinging.
Mangold has worked with the biggest stars in Hollywood (Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, and so on), so there shouldn’t be an intimidation factor here. But in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said that getting to collaborate with Ford on his Indy swan song left him in awe of what he called the star’s “profound instincts” as a movie actor.
According to Mangold:
“There’s so much more than just the truth of the performance but also tailoring it to the frame and knowing what’s going to work. What I thought was most refreshing was — and I can’t say I found this surprising because his body of work represents this so fully — is you sense he’s working every moment to undermine the bulls**t of the scene. He looks for ways to make it more like life, mess up the false moments and to take the piss out of his own character. He’s got this great sense of how to be a hero and how to undermine the tropes of heroism at the same time.”