When setting up our Indiana Jones 5 bingo cards, ahead of the movie’s June 2023 release, there are a few obvious plot points that we already knew we’d want to include. “Indy fights Nazis” is practically a free space, for instance, having happened in fully half of the franchise’s films. “Indy hates the moon landing because he thinks it’s a secret Nazi plot (and it probably is)?” Not so much!
And yet, that does appear to be at least part of the story of James Mangold’s upcoming sequel, according to a new story and photo spread in Empire. Per co-writer Jez Butterworththe upcoming film takes place in 1969, when Dr. Henry Jones Jr. is apparently the one person in America note swept up in Space Race fever. “It‘s not just that the model of what a hero is has completely changed,” says Butterworth, noting that a certain part of Indy (a man who, we feel moved to note, has with aliens) is apparently annoyed that all this focus on a place that, by definition, has no human history to explore. “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,” said Butterworth. It’s that the guys running the whole space program are “his sworn enemies.”
Which is to say that Indy 5 is apparently going to touch pretty heavily on Operation Paperclip, the US government program that brought more than a thousand German scientists—many of them card-carrying members of the Nazi party—to the States to work in technical fields, general “We gotta beat the Ruppchoose!” developments, and, yes, at NASA. In fact, the Empire spread reveals that Mads Mikkelsen‘s main villain, Voller—who looks like a dead ringer for Ronald Lacey’s Gestapo baddie Toht from Raiders Of The Lost Ark in the released photos—is apparently patterned in part on Werner Von Braun, the former high-ranking SS member who was instrumental in both the creation of the Nazi rocketry program, and the Apollo program’s indispensable Saturn V
All of which leads us to ask: Is this going to be a movie where an 80-year-old Indiana Jones punches a Nazi astronaut on the moon? Because we could kind of fuck with a movie where an 80-year-old Indiana Jones punches a Nazi astronaut on the moon.