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The new ‘Indiana Jones’ movie de-ages Harrison Ford. He found it ‘a little spooky’

An older man in a gray shirt and black blazer smirks and gives side-eye at a premiere
Harrison Ford at the February 2020 premiere for “The Call of the Wild” in Los Angeles.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision / Associated Press)

For part of “Indiana Jones 5,” Harrison Ford will look as if he hasn’t aged a day since the ’80s. That’s because the veteran actor was made to look like his younger self for the upcoming movie.

Filmmaker James Mangold, who is directing the next “Indiana Jones” chapter, spoke to Empire about his take on the beloved adventure franchise. Looking to follow in the steps of previous directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, Mangold said he wanted an opening sequence that would “give the audience an adrenaline blast.”

According to Empire, “Indiana Jones 5" will dial back the clock to see Ford’s titular archaeologist going up against Nazis in 1944, as he did in 1981’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” When that film premiered, Ford was 39. He’s now 80.

After that blast-from-the-past beginning, “we fall out, and you find yourself in 1969,” when the main action occurs, Mangold explained. “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 … and then the beginning of now.”

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No motion capture. No green screen. Just actors talking to each other in front of a camera. For Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman,’ the task of de-aging Robert De Niro involved cutting-edge CGI and countless hours of collaborative work. The technical advances are one more step in an uncertain road to the de-aging of Hollywood that reaches beyond the grave.

To de-age the “Star Wars” actor, Mangold and his team replicated Indy’s iconic “Raiders” jacket and used software that matched “archived material” with newer footage. Producer Kathleen Kennedy said her hope is that audiences will say, ‘“Oh my God, they just found footage. This was a thing they shot 40 years ago.’

“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,’” she added.

De-aging tech has become more prominent in recent years (think Robert DeNiro in “The Irishman”), and garnered a range of reaction from viewers and Hollywood. But Ford said he thinks the de-aging in the new “Indiana Jones” looks genuine.

“This is the first time I’ve seen it where I believe it,” Ford told Empire. “It’s a little spooky. I don’t think I even want to know how it works, but it works.”

One House Bakery calls its creation ‘Pan Solo,’ which is a 6-foot replica of Han Solo frozen in carbonite from the 1980 ‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back’ film.

The “Indiana Jones” opening sequence might be something to marvel at for fans, but Ford said he has no interest in reliving his youth.

“I’m glad to have earned my age,” he added.

More than a decade after Ford’s most recent stint as Indy in “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” “Indiana Jones 5" will premiere June 30, 2023.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Boyd Holbrook, Renée Wilson and Antonio Banderas are also in the cast of the still-unnamed franchise finale.

‘If he’s in heaven, I hope they have golf courses,’ Harrison Ford wrote in a tribute to Sean Connery, who played his father in an ‘Indiana Jones’ film.

Plot details for the film have been under tight lock and key, but in a preview for Empire’s upcoming issue, Ford said his final bow as Jones is “full of adventure, full of laughs, full of real emotion.”

“I’m very happy with the film that we have,” he said.


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