‘Indiana Jones 5’ Used New VFX Technology To Age Harrison Ford Return To Original Trilogy Indy: ‘It’s A Little Spooky’

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Harrison Ford is back in adventure mode in the first footage of “Indiana Jones 5,” which debuted exclusively through Empire magazine. Along with some stills, it is confirmed that Ford will be aged using visual effects so that Indiana Jones appears in the film as his age from the original trilogy. The aging technology is only used in the film’s opening sequence, set in a castle in 1944 and featuring Indiana battling a group of Nazis.

“Then we fall out, and you’re in 1969,” said director James Mangold, who is taking over filmmaking on the franchise from Steven Spielberg. “So that the audience does not experience the change between the 1940s and 1960s as intellectual conceit, but literally experiences the buccaneer spirit of those early days…and then the beginning of now.”

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“My hope is that while technology will be talked about, you just look at it and say, ‘Oh my God, they just found footage. This was a thing they recorded 40 years ago,'” added producer Kathleen Kennedy added: “We drop you into an adventure, something Indy is looking for, and you immediately feel like, ‘I’m in an Indiana Jones movie.'”

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As reported by Empire magazine, “Various techniques were used to bring the sequence to a close, including new ILM software trawling through archived footage of the younger Harrison Ford before comparing it to the freshly shot footage.”

Ford said it was “a little creepy” watching himself age, but added: “This is the first time I see it where I believe it… want to know how it works, but it works. It doesn’t make me want to be young though. I am happy that I have earned my age.”

Most of “Indiana Jones 5” is set in 1969 and set against the space run. The film will take the franchise back to its “Raiders of the Lost Ark” roots by putting Indiana back to battle against the Nazis (hence the 1944 opening). A key action scene in the film takes place during the Apollo 11 ticker tape parade in New York, which took place on August 13, 1969.

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“The simple fact is that the moon landing program was run by a bunch of ex-Nazis,” co-writer Jez Butterworth told Empire. “How ‘ex’ they are is the question. And it gets in Indy’s nose…”

Mads Mikkelsen plays the villain of “Indiana Jones 5”, a man named Voller who is inspired by real-life Nazi-turned-NASA engineer Wernher von Braun. The actor teased, “He’s a guy who would like to correct some past mistakes. There is something that could make the world a much better place to live in. He would like to get his hands on it. Indiana Jones wants to get their hands on it too. And so we have a story.”

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Opposite Ford and Mikkelsen in the film are Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Thomas Kretschmann, Boyd Holbrook, Shaunette Renée Wilson, Toby Jones, Antonio Banderas and John Rhys-Davies.

The fifth ‘Indiana Jones’ movie comes as Disney and Lucasfilm hope to revive the franchise in more ways than one. Variety exclusively reported earlier this month that Disney is actively looking to develop an Indiana Jones TV show for Disney+. The Mouse House and Lucasfilm have recently raised the possibility of a streaming show set in the world of the itinerant archaeologist at general meetings with writers.

Disney will release “Indiana Jones 5” in theaters nationwide on June 30, 2023.

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