Many of the Best Stunts in “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” Are Practical

The Indiana Jones franchise has always been a joyous ode to old-school filmmaking, where practical effects and stunts give viewers the kind of swashbuckling, cave-spelunking, snake-avoiding, boulder-barreling, whip-cracking adventure they now expect from an Indy film. Considering the previous four films in the franchise were all directed by Steven Spielberg, it’s no surprise they were endlessly creative in the way they kept devising the most devilishly dangerous situations for Indy (Harrison Ford, obviously) to puzzle his way out of, and more times than not, the magic we viewers saw on screen was created right there on location or on set. For director James Mangold, taking over for Harrison Ford’s last adventure as Indy in Dial of Destiny, making sure the action matched, if not topped, the previous installments was paramount. In a new “Behind the Action” video for the film, Mangold, the cast, and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy talk about the Herculean effort of putting together a proper Indiana Jones film, one breathless action sequence at a time.

Whether it’s a chase on horseback, in a tuk-tuk, on a motorcycle, or dangling out of a plane, the action in Dial of Destiny was largely created by stunt performers, ace practical effects wizards, and in some cases, the performers themselves. “When you’re able to keep it real, that feels more visceral for the audience,” Harrison Ford says in the middle of the new look.

“Harrison still has that brash Indy attitude,” says none other than Steven Spielberg, while his co-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who plays his goddaughter Helena, the woman who kickstarts Indy’s final adventure, adds that “there’s so much action and spectacle in this film, but also, it’s got heart.”

“It’s not just action for action’s sake,” Ford adds, “you can see a human experience.”

Yet the action is primary to any good Indy adventure, and as the new video shows, there’s a ton of it in Dial of Destiny. The film opens with an epic sequence from Indy’s past, then finds him in his present day (1969) on the cusp of retirement. That’s when Waller-Bridge’s Helena presents him with information that the Dial of Destiny, a relic he once came into contact with ages ago, is once again in play, and she’s determined to set out on a dangerous mission to secure it. You know Indy’s not just going to sit around and wait for word of the outcome. Thus, the dynamic duo’s adventure begins. 

Joining Ford and Waller-Bridge are Mads Mikkelsen as Jürgen Voller, Boyd Holbrook as his henchman Klaber, Antonio Banderas as Indy ally Renaldo, Thomas Kretschmann as Colonel Weber, Toby Jones as Basil (Helena’s father), and John Rhys-Davies as Sallah.

The Dial of Destiny is the fifth film in the franchise, following Spielberg’s four previous Indiana Jones films; Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), The Temple of Doom (1984), The Last Crusade (1989), and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008).

Check out the “Behind the Action” video below. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny hits theaters on June 30:

For more on Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, check out these stories:

New “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” Teaser & Photos Hype Harrison Ford’s Final Indy Adventure

New “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” Featurette Whips Up Excitement

Steven Spielberg Saw “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” & Loved It

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” Drops Action-Packed Official Trailer

Featured image: (L-R): Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) and Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.


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