Steven Spielberg steps down as director of Indiana Jones 5

The director is stepping down to allow a new generation of directors the chance to leave their mark on the iconic franchise

Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Steven Spielberg is handing over the reigns – or should we say whip – of his Indiana Jones film franchise, following the news that he is stepping down from directing the as-yet untitled fifth film.

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The director (who is currently working on his West Side Story remake) reportedly opted to step away from the upcoming film, preferring to allow the next generation of directors the opportunity to leave their mark on the franchise, according to Variety. However, he will remain on the project as a producer.

Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold, whose previous projects include the Wolverine blockbuster Logan, is currently slated to take over from Spielberg.

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks
Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks (Getty Images)
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for National Board of Review

The film was first announced back in 2016, but has been pushed back several times and seen the departure of screenwriter David Koepp (he’s been replaced by Jonathan Kasdan, whose father Lawrence penned Raiders of the Lost Ark).

The franchise’s titular, whip-cracking hero is also expected to return, following Harrison Ford’s various public comments about reprising the role in a fifth film.

The fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was released in 2008, and introduced Mutt Williams (played by Shia LaBeouf), Indy’s teenage ‘greaser’ son. LaBeouf will not be reprising the role.

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Indiana Jones 5 is scheduled to hit theatres on 9th July 2021