In 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, a worn-out Harrison Ford grumbled as Indiana Jones, “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.”
The 80-year-old Ford has a lot more years and miles on it after four decades.
In order to give audiences a chance to see Ford/Indy in his prime, the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones movie, which will be directed by James Mangold (who took over the franchise from Steven Spielberg), has devised a sequence.
The opening of the movie will take place in 1944, which is around eight years after the events of Raiders, according to an upcoming issue of Empire. In a fortress, Ford will face off against Nazis thanks to de-aging technology. Along with the actor’s authentic jacket from Raiders, old footage of the actor was used to help create the illusion.
De-aging technology has historically been notoriously unreliable, with actors from Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to Robert De Niro in The Irishman frequently looking like stiff Polar Express versions of themselves.
Ford, though, is adamant that the upcoming movie, whose title has not yet been released, pulls off a classic Indiana Jones. The actor remarked, “This is the first time I’ve seen [the technology] where I believe it. It’s a little spooky. I don’t think I even want to know how it works, but it works.”
Following the sequence, the storyline of the movie will quickly advance to 1969, employing Ford as his present-day self, and that is when the majority of the action happens.
Mangold wanted “the chance to dive into this kind of full-on George [Lucas]-and-Steven [Spielberg] old picture and give the audience an adrenaline blast. 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.”
Producer Kathleen Kennedy stated that they wished for viewers to watch the introduction and exclaim, “Oh my God, they just found footage.”
How the de-aging technology works:
A visual effects method called “de-aging” is employed to make actors appear younger, especially in flashback scenes. This is frequently done by digitally altering the image or applying overlays or touch-ups using computer-generated imagery (CGI). In certain films, de-aged digital actors are even created from scratch or using a combination of stand-ins and CGI.
The release of Indy 5 will take place precisely 15 years after the conclusion of The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which was widely regarded as a letdown by both fans and reviewers.
In an interview, Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Ford’s co-star in the movie, said that Ford’s character is “going heavily back to the first and second film and getting that original feel, the original Indy, something dense and epic,” and shared a story about Ford’s endurance, reported The Hollywood Reporter.
“[Ford]s an insanely powerful person,” Mikkelsen added. “Not just as an actor, but physically. I remember the first day we were shooting, it was a night shoot, then we stopped at 5 a.m. — and then he got on his mountain bike and went biking for 50 kilometers [31 miles]. Harrison is a monster of a man, a very nice monster.”
The theatrical release date for Indy 5 is June 30, 2023.