Indiana Jones 5 Will Change Harrison Ford’s Appearance

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Harrison Ford will be de-aged to his 1980s appearance using CGI technology in a scene for the new Indiana Jones film.

By Vic Medina
| Published

The newest issue of Empire Magazine, which features a first-ever look at the fifth Indiana Jones movie, dropped a bombshell about Harrison Ford’s appearance in the film, due in theaters in 2023. According to an interview with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and Indy 5 director James Mangold, Ford’s Indiana Jones will be de-aged using CGI technology, a process used to great effect in a number of recent films, including the Marvel movies. It’s a rumor that first emerged last year, when a picture with Harrison Ford on the set with motion capture dots on his face surfaced.

Kennedy revealed the de-aging technology for Harrison Ford will be used in the opening sequence for Indiana Jones 5. “My hope is that, although it will be talked about in terms of technology, you just watch it and go, ‘Oh my God, they just found footage. This was a thing they shot 40 years ago’,” Kennedy said of the scene.

Director James Mangold stated that he wanted the film to begin with a “dive into this kind of full-on George-and-Steven old picture and give the audience an adrenaline blast,” he said. The scene is set in 1944, close to the events of The Last Crusade, and unfolds within a castle where Indy goes up against a bunch of Nazis. The scene will then transition to Indy’s present, 25 years later. “And then we fall out, and you find yourself in 1969,” he said of the sequence.

Kennedy also stated that it isn’t a brief glimpse at a 1980s-era Harrison Ford, but a significant sequence that will being back a wave of nostalgia for viewers. “We’re dropping you into an adventure, something Indy is looking for, and instantly you have that feeling, ‘I’m in an Indiana Jones movie.’”

Mads Mikkelsen in Indiana Jones 5

While there are several techniques to de-age an actor on film, it appears that Harrison Ford’s appearance will be melded with archived footage from an early Indiana Jones film to create the sequence. Ford even tried on one of the original jackets from Raiders of the Lost Ark and then had it replicated meticulously, so he could wear it in the sequence.

The de-aging process even managed to impress Harrison Ford, who is famously stoic about the technical side of moviemaking. “This is the first time I’ve seen it where I believe it,” he says of seeing the finished footage of himself as a younger Indiana Jones. “It’s a little spooky. I don’t think I even want to know how it works, but it works.”

Mangold takes the director’s chair from Steven Spielberg, who steps aside after four films but still stays on as executive producer.

The film also stars Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Helena, Indy’s goddaughter who is long for the latest adventure that involves Nazis, the space race, and the Apollo 11 astronauts. Mads Mikkelsen plays Voller, a former Nazi in the mold of Wernher von Braun, who is trying to make amends for his past and is after something that Indy wants as well. “He’s a man who would like to correct some of the mistakes of the past,” Mikkelsen says of his character.

Boyd Holbrook plays Klaber, another adversary to Indy, as he is loyal to Voller. “I’m a lapdog to Mads, and a crazy one at that,” Holbrook says of his character. We do know his character is in a scene set during the Apollo 11 welcome home parade in New York City in 1969 (a real-life event that is tied to the film), but not much more.

Indiana Jones 5 also stars Shaunette Renée Wilson, Thomas Kretschmann, Toby Jones (who is believed to be in the flashback sequence), and Antonio Banderas all appear in the film, as does John Rhys-Davies, reprising his role as Sallah.

Jez and John-Henry Butterworth wrote the script for the film, which opens in theaters on June 30, 2023.