There's something to be said about the success of the Indiana Jones franchise, as the higher-regarded ones are the original Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and the third film, The Last Crusade (1989). The two things both movies had in common were Christian relics with the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders and the Holy Grail in Crusade and Nazis, which Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr (Harrison Ford) battled to get to them. Now it appears the franchise will go back to that Nazi well once again as Indy will battle them again when the enemy has largely been made irrelevant in 1969. This will be Ford's final outing as the character.
Empire Magazine, which did a feature story on the upcoming Disney & Lucasfilm sequel, released details on the new plot with director James Mangold at the helm, who took over for Steven Spielberg. The story finds the title character living against the backdrop of the space race – but the American effort to beat the Russians to the moon brings with it some uncomfortable truths for the hero. "The simple fact is that the moon-landing program was run by a bunch of ex-Nazis," Jez Butterworth, co-writer of the untitled fifth Indiana Jones film, said. "How 'ex' they are is the question. And it gets up Indy's nose… It's not just that the model of what a hero is has completely changed. It's not just that they're looking for something where there's nothing up there – it's like Reno without the gambling or whatever his line is. But the people that are behind it are, you know, his sworn enemies."
Russians were the primary villains in 2008's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which dealt with an extraterrestrial artifact. In Indiana Jones 5, Mads Mikkelsen will play real-life Nazi-turned-NASA-engineer Wernher von Braun. "He's a man who would like to correct some of the mistakes of the past," teases Mikkelsen of Voller. "There is something that could make the world a much better place to live in. He would love to get his hands on it. Indiana Jones wants to get his hands on it as well. And so, we have a story." For more, including Boyd Holbrook's character Klaber, exclusive images, and more, you can check out the entire piece here. Indiana Jones 5, which also stars Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Thomas Kretschmann, Shaunette Renée Wilson, Toby Jones, Antonio Banderas, and John Rhys-Davies, comes to theaters on June 30, 2023.