What to Expect From Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny

“Nazis. I hate these guys.” - Indiana Jones

by Abhirup Sengupta
Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Indiana Jones 5 | Image: Lucasfilm

Following 2008’s controversial Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the legendary Doctor Henry Walton Jones Jr. is back for his last adventure in the franchise. With Harrison Ford’s last time as Indy, the franchise’s fifth film, Indiana Jones And The Dial of Destiny, is set to release on June 30, 2023.

The hyped film will be directed by James Mangold of Logan and Ford V Ferrari fame. According to an exclusive by Empire, Indiana Jones 5 will once again pit the iconic archeologist against Nazis. Furthermore, as showcased in the official trailer, 80-year-old Harrison Ford’s Indy will be de-aged in flashbacks. As per director James Mangold’s interview with Empire, at least one of these de-aged scenes will be in the film’s opening sequence.

While many may not be interested in the fate of Indy’s son from Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull due to the controversial likeability of Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt, Mangold’s sequel will also address that. 

Indiana Jones And the Dial of Destiny Plot – What Will It Be About?

While the official synopsis of the project has not been released yet, the exclusive coverage by Empire Magazine mentioned the film is set in 1969, amid the space race. In his conversation with Empire, co-writer Jez Butterworth hinted that Indiana Jones would go against the embedded Nazis posing as ex-members of the fascist group.

Furthermore, as revealed in the official trailer footage, Harrison Ford’s Indy would be joined by series newcomer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who would portray Helena, i.e., his goddaughter. As of now, the identity of Helena’s origin is unknown. However, as hinted by the trailer clip, she may be in the same game of archeology as his godfather.

Indiana Jones And the Dial of Destiny Cast

  • Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
  • John Rhys-Davies as Sallah
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Helena
  • Mads Mikkelsen as Jürgen Voller
  • Boyd Holbrook as Klaber
  • Toby Jones as Basil
  • Antonio Banderas as Renaldo

Possible Time Travel in The Dial Of Destiny

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The Dial Of Destiny | Image: Lucasfilm

The film’s title possibly hints at time travel, as theorized by legion of fans on Reddit. It is possible that Mads Mikkelsen’s Jürgen Voller, who may pose as an ex-Nazi, would be the film’s primary antagonist. As per several fan theories, Mikkelsen’s Voller may use the “Dial Of Destiny” artifact to travel into the past and attempt to sway history to favor the Nazi regime and their goals.

This leaves the possibility that Harrison Ford’s young version of Indy (de-aged) is not from flashbacks but actually from the past. In the film, Ford’s older version of Indiana Jones will be in his 70s, while the flashbacks or possible time travel may showcase Indy from the original trilogy’s timeline.

Space Race And Inspirations From Real Life

In the trailer, Indiana Jones is seen at the Apollo 11 Landing parade. This real-life event was organized in New York on August 13, 1969, where astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins were present amongst millions of attendees. The footage further showcased Indy being possibly chased by Boyd Holbrook’s Klaber, who works for Jürgen Voller.

As per multiple sources, Voller will be an ex-Nazi associated with NASA’s Apollo program. However, as the film’s primary villain, the character may only be posing as a former Nazi. This plot point was hinted at by the film’s co-writer Jez Butterworth who mentioned to Empire: “The simple fact is that the moon-landing program was run by a bunch of ex-Nazis. How ‘ex’ they are is the question. And it gets up Indy’s nose…”

Additionally, it appears that Mads Mikkelsen’s Jürgen Voller is inspired by real-life German-American rocket scientist Wernher von Braun. Following Braun’s co-development of the famed V-2 rocket under Nazi Germany, the scientist willingly surrendered to the US Army to escape Germany. Later in 1960, NASA was formed, and Braun was made the director of Marshall Space Flight Center and was a key figure at the agency during the Apollo missions. However, unlike Mikkelsen’s character in Indiana Jones 5, Braun was likely not a Nazi sympathizer following his escape from Germany.

Return Of Sallah

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Sallah in the trailer | Image: Lucasfilm

The Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny trailer also featured the return of Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir (portrayed by John Rhys-Davies). Sallah’s return and a few glimpses of a sandy city could mean that Indy would briefly return to Egypt, where he is likely to be accompanied by his close friend.

New Character – Basil

In addition to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Hellen, Indiana Jones will be accompanied by Basil, who will be portrayed by Toby Jones. The character is expected to be heavily featured during the flashback scenes with Indy against the Nazis.

Homage To The Original Trilogy

As James Mangold took the helm from Steven Spielberg, the former will likely find some way to tribute the original trilogy (1981 to 1989). In a few glimpses of the trailer, Indy and Helen deal with what seems to be a round boulder. This would be a direct homage to 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark with the iconic boulder escape scene featuring Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones.

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Homage to the boulder scene from Raiders Of The Lost Arc | Image: Lucasfilm

Meanwhile, another brief scene showcased Indy’s attempt to threaten a few foreign goons in what appeared to be Egypt. However, Indy’s trusty whip is no match for the goons’ guns, which forces him to duck from the gunshots. This is a callback to the iconic Raiders of the Lost Ark scene when Dr. Jones shoots the swordsman instead of engaging in a whip vs. sword fight.

Reshoot Rumors

While fans await how Indiana Jones will leave the franchise, especially his survivability factor in this supposed last Indy film of Harrison Ford, rumors of reshoots concerned the internet. However, director James Mangold rejected any such hypothesis and assured the fans that there are no reshoots or alternate endings being filmed.

Now, it remains to be seen whether Mangold’s Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny will lead into the TV show based on Indy, currently being developed at Disney Plus.

- This article was updated on December 27th, 2022