Indiana Jones 5 director James Mangold has revealed that visual effects technology was used to dejuvenate Harrison Ford in the opening sequence of the upcoming film.
Mangold has told Empire magazine that Ford was digitally de-aged for the first few minutes of the film because they wanted to give audiences an “adrenaline” rush to see a young Indiana Jones return to action. The scene will place Indy in 1944, where he will have to go through a castle infested with Nazis before moving on to the main adventure.
“I wanted the opportunity to dive into this kind of old George and Steven movie and give audiences a burst of adrenaline,” Mangold explained. “Then we fall off, and you find yourself in 1969…Audiences don’t experience the change between the ’40s and ’60s as an intellectual conception, but rather literally experience the buccaneer spirit of those early days…and then the beginning of now”.
“My hope is that even though it’s being talked about in terms of technology, you look at it and say, ‘My God, they just found footage. This was something they shot 40 years ago,'” added producer Kathleen Kennedy. “We drop you on an adventure, something Indy is looking for, and you instantly get that feeling, ‘I’m in an Indiana Jones movie.'”
Apparently the visual effects team used several different techniques to perform the sceneincluding the use of new ILM software that scanned archived footage of Ford in its early years before cross-checking it with footage shot for Indiana Jones 5. In the scene, he will be wearing a replica Raiders of the Lost Ark jacket that is a “thread-to-thread” replica of the original.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen it and I believe it”, admitted Ford, praising the technology for having managed to return a younger version of Indy to the screen. “It’s kind of creepy. I guess I don’t even want to know how it works, but it works. It doesn’t make me want to be young though. I’m glad I earned my age.”
Indiana Jones 5 may be the last time we see Ford donning the iconic hat and whip. However, Steven Spielberg has confirmed that the franchise will “certainly continue afterwards.” Disney and Lucasfilm are reportedly “actively” looking to develop a Disney+ series featuring the legendary archaeologist, but it’s unclear who will star in the lead role.