Every Indiana Jones needs to be a thrill ride right out of the gate… and apparently, the best way to achieve that for the upcoming fifth film was digitally de-aging Harrison Ford. The team behind the latest entry in the franchise was struggling to figure out what the next iconic opening sequence would be, and after much deliberation, they figured out their angle. Rumors of a de-aged Harrison Ford had been floating around following a photo of the actor wearing motion-capture dots on his face, but a recent report from Empire has officially confirmed it. Of course, this kind of tech isn’t without its detractors. A lot of people weren’t even sure if Ford would reprise his role in the first place, let alone go to these kinds of lengths for the production.
Die-hard fans of the franchise have also been a little skeptical of the new entry because it’s the first without Steven Spielberg in the director’s chair. There’s also no involvement from George Lucas this time around. The director, James Mangold, has some big shoes to fill. Luckily, he has some solid experience and Spielberg is sticking around as a producer on the project.
James Mangold recently spoke a bit with Empire, shedding a bit of light on his approach to the franchise.
“I wanted the chance to dive into this kind of full-on George-and-Steven old picture and give the audience an adrenaline blast.” From there, he went on to describe a sequence featuring Indiana Jones in a Nazi castle back in 1944. He continues on to say: “And then we fall out, and you find yourself in 1969 so that the audience doesn’t experience the change between the ’40s and ’60s as an intellectual conceit, but literally experiences the buccaneering spirit of those early days… and then the beginning of now.”
The technology itself is really inventive. It’s a new form of software that goes through old scans of footage featuring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and then matches it to footage shot specifically for the new sequences that were filmed. We’ll just have to wait and see how it actually looks, but Ford was pretty convinced. He said: “This is the first time I’ve seen it where I believe it. It’s a little spooky. I don’t think I even want to know how it works, but it works. Doesn’t make me want to be young, though. I’m glad to have earned my age.”
Indiana Jones 5 is set to debut in theaters on June 30, 2023.