John Williams may have revealed more key info, but who’s going to stop him?
As has been mentioned before, John Williams may have a penchant for spoilers, but when a legendary nonagenarian film composer lets slip a few details about an upcoming film, most people are willing to let it slide. Back in December of 2022, the composer revealed that there were new endings being filmed for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023), which in and of itself wasn’t too shocking but interesting to know. In a new interview, Williams is at it again.
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As diehard fans may be aware, the original Indiana Jones films, starting with Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), were based stylistically on the adventure serials of the 1930s and 1940s. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg borrowed heavily from elements from films like Zorro Rides Again (1937) and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). A lost treasure, a swashbuckling hero, very clearly delineated right and wrong, and a happy ending where the hero and the leading lady ride off into the sunset together.
Raiders, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) all followed this formula very closely and to great success. Dr. Henry Jones/Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) was an eminent but adventurous archaeologist and lady’s man, taking along a new leading lady for every swashbuckling adventure. Though he butted heads with Marion (Karen Allen), Willie (Kate Capshaw), and especially Elsa (Alison Doody), things generally worked out in the end…except for the latter.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), on the other hand, chose another route. Lucas and Spielberg chose to take inspiration from the Hollywood B-movies of the 50s and 60s, and that’s exactly what it felt like. Audiences came out of theaters a little confused: it was an Indy movie, but it felt slightly off. This was a cause for concern with Dial of Destiny: would it be based on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) or The Love Bug (1969)? John Williams has fortunately laid those fears to rest.
In a rare interview with Variety, Williams shed some light on the new installment in the Indiana Jones saga and gave fans even more to look forward to. In speaking about the kind of music he composed for the fifth installment of the franchise, Williams went into detail about the kind of interaction audiences can expect between Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who plays Helena Shaw, Indy’s (Ford) Goddaughter:
“It’s certainly a swashbuckling affair from beginning to end, fashioned more like movies of the ’30s and ’40s where the orchestra is racing along with the action, which you wouldn’t do in contemporary films very much.”
So it seems that audiences are in for a treat: an Indy movie that feels like an Indy movie, based on those serials of the 30s and 40s! That wasn’t all, either. In addition to describing the relationship between Ford and Waller-Bridge as “old-style Hepburn-and-Tracy kind of bickering”, Williams also revealed just how much music he had written for the film, giving fans a huge clue:
“It’s certainly got to be an hour and a half of music, maybe more…But I’m quite happy with it. There’s a lot of new material. The old material works very well as a touchstone of memory, but I had great fun, and I have a theme that I’ve written for Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the wonderful actress.”
Using this information, in addition to other statements, fans can glean a runtime for Dial of Destiny! For Last Crusade, Williams wrote around one hour and forty-six minutes worth of music, give or take. If this pattern is consistent, figuring in a runtime of just over two hours for that film, audiences should be able to expect a similar runtime of two hours, maybe more for this last installment in the Indiana Jones franchise!
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All in all, it’s becoming more and more apparent that James Mangold has really done his Indy homework, and audiences are in for a treat this June. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny hits theaters June 30, 2023, and stars Harrison Ford as Henry Jones Jr./Indiana Jones, Phoebe Waller-Bridge as his goddaughter, Helena Shaw, John Rhys-Davies as Sallah, and Mads Mikkelsen as Jürgen Voller. Dial of Destiny will follow Dr. Jones as he once again fights to save the world from nefarious forces that threaten both him and the entire world!
What do you think about these new details from John Williams? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!