“Is it a Death Star again?”: James Mangold’s Real Reason for Indiana Jones 5 Ending to Outshine Steven Spielberg’s Franchise, Revealed

James Mangold revealed that he worked hard on the Indiana Jones 5 climax to ensure that it was exciting and unexpected for audiences.

James Mangold’s Real Reason for Indiana Jones 5 Ending to Outshine Steven Spielberg’s Franchise, Revealed


  • James Mangold’s Indiana Jones 5 proved especially memorable for fans due to its unique climax.
  • The director revealed that he wanted his film to stand out from the rest of the franchise via a unique element that could stand the test of time.
  • Mangold went through various versions of the climax before finally choosing the one that saw Indiana Jones travel to Ancient Greece, at the end.
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The Indiana Jones franchise was one of the biggest and most successful film series pioneered by Hollywood veteran Steven Spielberg. The Oscar-winning director helmed the first 4 installments before giving way to James Mangold, who took over the reins for the 5th film, Indiana Jones and the Dial Of Destiny. This finale with Harrison Ford released 15 years after the 4th film, and served as an emotional farewell to the actor and the franchise.

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Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones 5 directed by James Mangold

One of the big factors in the film appealing to audiences was the exciting and unique final act which saw Ford’s titular protagonist and his daughter go back in time to ancient Greece. This climax according to Mangold, was elaborately devised to ensure that it would remain memorable to fans and stand the test of time.


Also Read: “I want the world to know”: Deadpool 3 Director Makes James Mangold’s Worst Nightmare Come True After His Revelation on Hugh Jackman’s Logan

James Mangold’s Reasoning Behind The Indiana Jones 5 Finale

Indiana Jones and the Dial Of Destiny was a fitting swansong to an iconic franchise envisioned by Steven Spielberg more than 4 decades ago. The film was also a perfect farewell to Harrison Ford and his swashbuckling adventurer who has been a fan favorite over generations. Despite being released 15 years after its predecessor, Indiana Jones 5 still attracted the same attention from fans across the world.

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The climax of James Mangold’s Indiana Jones 5 was unique

In a change of guard, Spielberg handed over the responsibility of directing the film to James Mangold, who is well known for his unique filmmaking touches in movies like Walk the Line and Ford Vs Ferrari. One of the features of the film was the climax which saw Indiana Jones and his daughter go back in time to ancient Greece. Taking brilliant creative liberties, Mangold infused the final act with crossover moments that included Roman-Nazi battles, and Indiana Jones meeting Archimedes to hatch a plan.

In an interview with io9, the Logan director spoke about his vision for the film and the climax and his reasoning behind writing it. Mangold believed that he needed to bring something different and exciting to the franchise without becoming repetitive or copying elements from earlier films. Hence, he worked on various ideas before narrowing it down to the final act on screen.


“When I came on the movie, they had been playing with a bunch of different things which were basically just reduxes of what had happened in the first movie. In a way, I didn’t want to do the kind of ‘Is it a Death Star again?'”

Mangold added that, while audiences would have expected Nazi references as the film’s narrative opens in Germany during the war, he was keen to introduce a surprise element that would make fans sit up and take notice.

Also Read: “I don’t want to offend you”: Oscar-Nominated Director James Mangold Was Worried About Hurting Actor’s Feelings After Only Offering Him Villainous Roles


James Mangold Manifested His Teenage Dream With Indiana Jones 5

Not everyone in the world is fortunate enough to live his or her dream. Director James Mangold considered himself one of the lucky ones to be able to do just that. The Walk the Line director who was allowed to be part of an iconic franchise like Indiana Jones, believed that directing the 5th and final film was a lifelong desire that he was able to achieve.

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James Mangold with Harrison Ford on the sets of Indiana Jones 5

Mangold recalled being a huge fan since the first film in the series that he watched as a teenager. The Ford vs Ferrari director continued to channel his inner filmmaking geek by having a home studio in which he taught himself the techniques of filmmaking. In an interview with LucasFilm, Mangold spoke of hero-worshipping George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, the creators of Indiana Jones, and was grateful to the universe for presenting him with the opportunity to direct the 5th film.


You’re talking about George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. You’re talking about Harrison Ford and John Williams. These were my North Star.”

Apart from Indiana Jones 5 being the protagonist’s final adventure, it also served as a love letter from James Mangold to a franchise that he grew up idolizing from a young age.

Also Read: “I was disappointed”: Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones Co-Star Wasn’t Happy With James Mangold’s Script After Steven Spielberg Left as Movie Struggles at the Box-Office


Written by Sharanya Sankar

Sharanya Sankar, Writer for Fandomwire
Having completed her Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Sharanya has a solid foundation in writing which is also one of her passions. She has worked previously with Book My show for a couple of years where she gained experience reviewing films and writing feature articles. Sharanya’s articles on film and pop culture have also been published on Film Companion, a popular film-based website. Apart from movies and pop culture, her interests include music and sports. She has contributed over 650 articles to Fandomwire so far.