Indy fans are understandably dubious about the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones movie, following the bitter disappointment of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Harrison Ford is not getting any younger and also the more the productions deliberate over the script, the less necessary another Indiana Jones movie sounds. As it was announced that Steven Spielberg was stepping down in the director’s chair, that disbelief grew. Spielberg’s directorial vision contributed as much to Indy’s classic adventures as George Lucas’ storytelling, John Williams’ music, and perhaps even Harrison Ford’s performance.
But since Indiana Jones 5 promises to conclude the show after Crystal Skull left it open-ended, the fact that Lucasfilm has exploited Logan director James Mangold to replace Spielberg as the film’s director does provide some semblance of hope. With the right script (that is seemingly the toughest nut to crack with an Indiana Jones film ), Mangold can give Indy the same sort of swansong he gave Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine with a sense of finality and a poignant portrait of an aging superstar.
When Mangold started working with Jackman on 2013’s The Wolverine, the celebrity had been playing the part for more than ten years. In providing his stint as Wolverine a grand finale, Mangold used each of the traumas the character had amassed for this X-Men series and presented them as emotional baggage keeping him up at nighttime. Mangold’s Wolvie is rough around the edges. He drinks a great deal, avoids making attachments after having a couple of too many loved ones, and even admits to contemplating suicide using an adamantium bullet before finding purpose in rescuing another generation of mutants. The older Indy in Indiana Jones 5 does not necessarily have to be hard-edged as Logan’s Wolverine – and it definitely shouldn’t be R-rated; this is an enjoyable, lighthearted series of PG-13 actioners – however Indy could be confronting a similar identity crisis in the tail end of a lifetime of liberating artifacts that belong to a museum (or in front of”top men”).
The major question is: will Indy perish in Indiana Jones 5? Being the final movie in Indy’s on-screen arc would suggest that, such as Tony Stark at Endgame or Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi or indeed Wolverine at Logan, he will not survive to the ending credits. But murdering Indiana Jones would certainly be a daring undertaking. This is not Star Wars with its Shakespearean underpinnings or the MCU using its cosmic genocide – it is Indiana Jones, a series of light, fun, pulp-inspired action-adventures. The death of Indiana Jones would be one of the trickiest moments to pull off in movie history. He’s a beloved cinematic icon who has survived countless scrapes with death. Killing off Indiana Jones will be like murdering James Bond or Batman (which Christopher Nolan may have done, based upon your interpretation of The Dark Knight Rises).
If the productions do decide to boldly kill Indy at the end of the latest adventure, they’re in pretty safe hands with James Mangold. Wolverine isn’t quite on the same degree as Indy as a film icon, but he certainly has Indy-level status as a comic book hero, and Mangold defended his departure scene in Logan. Being murdered by a clone of his younger self provided a poignant coating of symbolism, Hugh Jackman played roles impeccably, and after the story built a tangible bond between Laura and her dad, their last moments together resonate a lot more than the striking scenes found in the average comic book movie. Wolverine’s solemn funeral, attended by the new generation of mutants he sacrificed himself to save, motivated by a strong scene by Shane, was a fitting ending for this character’s long, record-breaking on-screen journey.
In case Indiana Jones 5 does not kill off Indy, it can still have a sense of finality. The last Crusade already gave the Indiana Jones franchise its perfect decision – acknowledged by Steven Spielberg himself until he went and left the fourth one – with Indy, his father, and his closest buddies riding off into the sunset, having given up on the quest for the Holy Grail and realized what matters. What Indiana Jones 5 needs to do is show Indy at the end of his street. Crystal Skull took a few meta jabs in his older age, but he was still fit to battle another day. Indiana Jones 5 should catch up with Indy when he has just got one more adventure in him. Logan didn’t shy away from portraying Wolverine’s deteriorating health and the lasting harm of every fight scene. Mangold can subvert Indy’s pulpy plot-armour invincibility, in the same manner, he subverted Logan’s literal invincibility.
Ever since Mangold signed on to guide Indiana Jones 5, fans have been speculating about what elements from Logan he’ll reuse in his Indiana Jones movie and the truth is, he does not need to replicate anything particular in Logan – in fact, he should probably actively prevent it. Logan has been the perfect story for Wolverine; Indiana Jones 5 needs to tell the ideal story for Indy. However, Mangold should still approach Indy’s final experience with exactly the identical feeling of melancholic conclusiveness he attracted to Wolverine’s final stand.