Disastrous test screenings of “Indiana Jones 5”? Director reassures fans with big promise

It has to work, it just has to work! “Indiana Jones 5” is the only remaining attempt for Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg to make up for the disastrous fourth installment, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” and bring the most iconic adventure series of all time to a good conclusion. The “Indiana Jones” films simply cannot be allowed to end with two representatives at once that completely fail with fans and movie audiences. It would bury them like ancient artifacts.

The pressure is so great that George Lucas is no longer involved at all and Steven Spielberg only as a producer. For the first time, he is not directing, but James Mangold (“Logan: The Wolverine”). And: The last adventure for Harrison Ford and supposedly final for the adventurer-archaeologist Dr. Henry Walton “Indiana” Jones Jr. will definitely be the last film project for star composer John Williams.

Even the chosen title, which will simply be “Indiana Jones,” has been chosen with care and is probably intended on the one hand to illustrate a return to the roots, but also to emphasize the importance of the main character for the entire film series. After all, the first film of 1981 is the only one that does not bear his name in the title: “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. By merely bearing the name, the last film thus symbolically closes the circle.

Attention: Despite everything, there are potential spoilers to “Indiana Jones”!

But now the fan base has been shaken by a rumor about allegedly disastrous test screenings. According to the rumor, several endings were tested, six in all, with one of them standing out in a particularly negative way. In each ending, Indy is said to hand over the scepter to his assistant and goddaughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). The “Indiana Jones” series, so it could be the plan of Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Disney, would then be continued as a series with Waller-Bridge’s character Helena possibly exclusively on Disney+. A corresponding TV series was just reported by the industry magazine Variety.

But this information was already leaked in June 2021 – by a YouTuber named Overlord DVD, formerly Dicktor Van Doomcock. He now claims that the test audience should have been enormously disappointed. In several of the alleged endings, Harrison Ford is said to die the screen death as Indiana Jones, also time travel is said to really come up as a theme and transition to the series in some form. Disney boss Bob Chapek is said to be so incensed by the poor showing that he has demanded extensive reshoots. We have more information about the next Indy adventure for you in the video.

“Indiana Jones 5”: Director James Mangold speaks up

Fans are currently wildly debating the veracity of these rumors. How potentially damaging they can be is shown by the fact that now even director James Mangold has intervened to put them out of the world. As a rule, filmmakers do not comment on such things in order not to bring them even more attention. But in this particular case, it seems that it has to happen, since everyone involved knows what is at stake against the backdrop of the changed viewing behavior of the cinema audience:

When asked by a fan if there have actually been any test screenings of “Indiana Jones,” Mangold responds with:

“No. There haven’t been any test screenings at all.”

When another fan points to World of Reel with those very rumors, Mangold denies them:

“But so not true! Absolutely not, terrible!”

Then Mangold addresses the rumors themselves:

“Well, Paolo, it’s up to you who you want to believe – an anonymous troll named Basement Dweller and Doomcock or the actual director of the film. No one is going to replace Indiana Jones. Not in any script. In no cut. Was never up for debate.”

While the rumor may have been true about the series, most of what Overlord DVD is spreading has to be considered pure sensationalism. Basically, he takes what fans fear as well as the typical approach of major studios with revenue-generating franchises, mixes it with existing rumors, and spreads it as fact based on “various sources.”

So fans should definitely not worry for now and wait for the first official information regarding the plot and first teasers and trailers. Indiana Jones” will be released in cinemas on June 29, 2023.