The filmmaker will remain on the project as a “hands on producer” and is expected to give the directing reins to Ford v Ferrari‘s James Mangold.
This will make the untitled fifth Indiana Jones film the first in the franchise’s 39-year history to not be directed by Spielberg.
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His decision was inspired by a desire to pass the character’s legacy along “to a new generation to bring their perspective to the story”.
Following the announcement, which was reported by Variety, fans have been expressing their shock on social media, where a large contingent are questioning why production is continuing without Spielberg in the director’s chair.
“In my mind, literally the ONLY reason you’d do an INDIANA JONES V would be to course-correct after CRYSTAL SKULL. This was Spielberg’s chance to leave the franchise on a high note, basically a do-over. So, with him out of the equation I don’t know why you do this, period,” one journalist wrote.
Another tweeter wrote: “Ok, now I’m really angry! So now, we have an Indiana Jones movie with neither Spielberg or Lucas? Why are you doing this Disney?”
Another added: ”The lack of Steven Spielberg in the director’s chair, along with George Lucas not producing, means INDIANA JONES has joined STAR WARS as once defining cinematic franchises that are now just another piece of Disney IP.”
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Harrison Ford – wo recently spoke out about the actor who was first offered the role before him – will return as the whip-cracking professor.
Spielberg’s next film will be a new version of West Side Story followed by The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, an adaptation of David Kertzer’s novel following a young Jewish boy in 1850s Italy starring Oscar Isaac and Mark Rylance.
George Lucas – who helped create the character – will executive produce the fifth instalment, while John Williams will once again be on composing duties.