Calling Dr. Jones: the new trailer for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is all kinds of awesome. The now-octogenarian Harrison Ford is set to kick all kinds of butt in his fifth, and seemingly final, Indy movie, taking on the fiendish Nazis for the first time since 1989's The Last Crusade.
With director James Mangold taking over from Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams returning to the fold, there are plenty of reasons to expect a rousing and spectacular curtain call for the world's greatest archaeologist-adventurer. Here's what we've discovered from the latest Dial of Destiny trailer, which was revealed as part of the 2023 Star Wars Celebration.
1. Indy is set to retire at the height of the space race
The original Indiana Jones trilogy spanned the 1930s and 1940s, encompassing Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom (remember, this movie is a Raiders prequel) and The Last Crusade. The much-maligned The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull moved everything forward to the Soviet 'Red' scare of the 1950s, and The Dial of Destiny moves ahead in time again.
Indy now finds himself becalmed in the 1960s as America embraces the 'Space Race'. No doubt there will be a sense of comic melancholy in the movie as Indy's personal, world-saving achievements threaten to fade into ancient history with the onset of intensive space exploration. Harrison Ford has always been terrific at suggesting the weight of Indy's emotional mileage, as well as the physical burden of his years, to coin the famous phrase from Raiders, and we can expect this inherent likeability to infuse The Dial of Destiny.
However, you can't keep a good Nazi-basher down and very soon Indy is up to his neck in another adventure. Time to don the fedora and crack the whip once again...
2. Indy's goddaughter Helena has picked up his thieving spirit
Fleabag creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge is set to bring her quick wit and astute comic timing to the role of Helena. Her exact role in the story is unclear but the trailer makes it evident that she's willing to double-cross her godfather Indy en route to locating the Dial of Destiny.
Of course, it's unlikely it'll be as simple as that, and no doubt Helena is motivated by a sense of good thwarting evil. Even so, it's great to see Indy's personal history being refracted through her character – after all, he's rarely one to let circumstances get in the way of claiming a valuable artifact. Is he a thief, as stated by Temple of Doom villain Mola Ram (Amrish Puri), or an archaeologist? The simple answer is he's both.
Helena, for her part, updates the philosophy with a signature dash of Waller-Bridge-esque snark: "It's called capitalism." The times are indeed a-changing.
3. Indy and Nazi villain Voller go way back
Who better than the reliably sinister Mads Mikkelsen to portray Indy's new Nazi nemesis? The Casino Royale scene-stealer portrays Voller, a former SS scientist who has now been co-opted into the American space race, a position that allows him to plot a dastardly insurrection.
The trailer makes it clear that Indy and Voller share a tortured history. We already know that the movie showcases a de-aged Ford during a pivotal flashback sequence and it's now evident that the movie will play on the front foot with these impressive CG effects. It's currently unclear where these events will sit in relation to the original Indy trilogy; given the World War II context, we imagine it will be pre or post-Raiders or Last Crusade since The Temple of Doom took place in 1935 before the conflict started.
The new trailer unspools a lengthy, train-based action sequence (reported to be the opening movement of the film) that commences with Indy punching Voller in the face with that signature franchise whack (created by a baseball bat striking a leather jacket, trivia fans).
4. Toby Jones portrays Helena's father
In the trailer, we cut upon the mention of Helena's father directly to Toby Jones' character Basil, implying a connection. It seems as if the British actor will largely, if not exclusively, be appearing during the flashback action sequence that involves Indy and Voller. If Jones isn't in the rest of the movie, we wonder if he meets a nasty fate at the hands of the Nazis?
That would certainly give a personal dimension to Indy's conflict with Voller, and it would also incentivise Helena to fight back against their forces when she reunites with Indy in the 1960s. Fortunately, Indy has a well-spring of other allies to rely on, including a returning John Rhys-Davies as Sallah, back for the first time since The Last Crusade, and Antonio Banderas'... actually, we're not sure what his character Renaldo is. A mercenary? A pirate? An old contact of Indy's whom we haven't met before?
5. The self-referential nods to the past suggest we really are coming to the end
By this stage in his life, Indy can roll off enough life-changing experiences to make Bear Grylls blush. From possession by voodoo doll to multiple gunshot wounds, he now wears his battered, bruised history with the same elan as his signature hat.
Ford's verbal summation of Indy's adventures carries a valedictory spirit, a sense of an iconic hero facing the final curtain. The trailer's more implicit visual references (a boulder being shifted; a shaft of golden light alluding to the Ark of the Covenant) also hearken back to the rich history of the Indiana Jones saga, wrapping us up in a warmly nostalgic glow as we face what is possibly the end of the road.
Prepare for one last ride with Indy when Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny opens at Cineworld on June 30th.