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James Mangold Teases His R-Rated Star Wars Movie That Will Never Be

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny director James Mangold teases the R-rated spaghetti Western Star Wars film he was making.

When it was announced earlier this year that James Mangold, who took over Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny for Lucasfilm when Steven Spielberg decided that he didn't want to direct the film, was going to direct a Star Wars movie, no one was that surprised. It seemed obvious that things must have gone well behind the scenes with Indiana Jones, so it stands to reason that they would want to continue working with a director that they had worked with well on previous projects. However, this new film isn't the first time Mangold has tried to go to a galaxy far, far away. Back in 2018 when it was announced that he and Simon Kinberg were working on a Boba Fett movie. During a recent interview on the Happy, Sad, Confused Podcast (via Variety), Mangold teased the pitch for the R-rated true spaghetti western script he was working on for Lucasfilm.

"At the point, I was doing it, I was probably scaring the shit out of everyone," Mangold said. "I was making much more of a borderline R-rated, single-planet spaghetti Western. They probably would never be able to embrace Baby Yoda if I had made that. It didn't really belong in the world I was kind of envisioning."

Indiana ad the Dial of Destiny: New Behind-The-Scenes Featurette
(L-R): Mads Mikkelsen and James Mangold on the set of Lucasfilm's IJ5. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

If that sounds like something that Lucasfilm wouldn't have ever even considered for Star Wars, Mangold provides more context, and we have to remember that this happened not long after Solo: A Star Wars Story underperformed and the restructuring of Star Wars that came after that.

"In a moment of corporate realignment or whatever happened with the Han Solo movie, they just suddenly decided they weren't making pictures like that, and the opportunities in streaming presented themselves," Mangold said. "I was just listening to [spaghetti Western composer] Ennio Morricone all day, all night, and typing away. I'm not sure it ever would have happened. I'm not sure it was in anyone's plans, what I was thinking."

Before Solo underperformed, the idea was that there would be trilogies of Star Wars movies going on, with one-off films being told that would help expand the universe. While Rogue One was one of those films [and rules, don't @ me] and performed well when Solo did not, Disney and Lucasfilm decided that they wanted to reshape how they were approaching Star Wars in the future completely. That's how we ended up where we are today, with Star Wars off the big screen since late 2019 but plenty of stories being told on streaming. Mangold is still returning to the Star Wars universe but with a different pitch that goes back to the beginning of the Force and exploring that. The film currently doesn't have a release date. Still, between that and the other two films that have been announced, it sounds like Lucasfilm is looking to embrace the diversity of tone within the Star Wars universe and staying away from long-term storytelling on the big screen — at least for now.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny: Summary, Cast List, Release Date

Harrison Ford returns to the role of the legendary hero archaeologist for this fifth installment of the iconic franchise. Starring along with Ford are Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark), Shaunette Renee Wilson (Black Panther), Thomas Kretschmann (Das Boot), Toby Jones (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), Boyd Holbrook (Logan), Oliver Richters (Black Widow), Ethann Isidore (Mortel) and Mads Mikkelsen (Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore). Directed by James Mangold (Ford v Ferrari, Logan), the film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, and Simon Emanuel, with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas serving as executive producers. John Williams, who has scored each Indy adventure since the original "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in 1981, is once again composing the score. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will be released on June 30th, 2023.

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Kaitlyn BoothAbout Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Film critic and pop culture writer since 2013. Ace. Leftist. Nerd. Feminist. Writer. Replicant Translator. Cinephillic Virtue Signaler. She/Her. UFCA/GALECA Member. 🍅 Approved. Follow her on Twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on Instagram.
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