Indy is back.
Finally, it was time for the Cannes Film Festival to host an old friend – a swashbuckling archaeologist named Indiana Jones – courtesy of the world premiere of James Mangold’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate. The screening took place Thursday night at the Palais and the filmmaker was joined by beloved franchise star Harrison Ford alongside co-stars Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Boyd Holbrook, Ethann Isidore and Mads Mikkelsen.
And after the final credits rolled for the Lucasfilm and Disney blockbuster, the black-tie crowd responded by setting a rousing standing ovation to six minutes, a strong performance for the out-of-competition title.
It wasn’t the only standing ovation of the evening. Before the screening, festival director Thierry Fremaux surprised the audience by taking the stage and presenting a highlight of Ford’s storied career. He then presented him with a Golden Palm as Ford took the stage with a visibly emotional look and on the verge of tears.
While the ovations here in Cannes are almost always noteworthy, news of tonight’s screening has also been about reunions. The Dial of fate premiere brought 80-year-old Ford and the Lucasfilm team back to Cannes, where they also debuted the most recent installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008. Steven Spielberg directed that entry and attended the Palais premiere with Ford, George Lucas and stars Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf and Karen Allen.
Ford was also here more recently, showing up in 2014 to promote another high-octane franchise movie, The Expendables 3, opposite Mel Gibson, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren and Ronda Rousey. But his first festival performance dates back to 1985, when he visited Cannes for the debut of Peter Weir’s crime thriller. Witness.
For 59-year-old Mangold, the screening marked his own festival reunion as he returned to Cannes 28 years after the director’s Fortnight debut of his first film, the 1995 indie drama. Heavy, starring Liv Tyler, Shelley Winters, Debbie Harry and Pruitt Taylor Vince. When news was announced of Dial of Destiny’s coming to Cannes, Mangold commented, “I’m proud to return with a slightly bigger spectacle.”
According to the film’s official production notes, Dial of fate begins in 1969 when Jones is ready to retire after more than a decade of teaching at Hunter College in New York. As he prepares to retire to a humble apartment where he lives alone, he receives a surprise visit from his estranged goddaughter Helena Shaw (Waller-Bridge). Her intent is to track down a rare artifact that her father entrusted to Indy years earlier: the infamous Archimedes Dial, a device said to have the power to locate cracks in time.
Helena, a sneaky con artist, steals the dial and makes a break from selling the artifact to the highest bidder. With no choice but to go after her, Indy “dusts off his fedora and leather jacket for one last ride,” while an old nemesis, Jürgen Voller, a former Nazi played by Mikkelsen, is on their trail and has plans of his own for the Dial, a plan that could change history.
The cast also includes John Rhys-Davies, Toby Jones, Shaunette Renee Wilson, Thomas Kretschmann and Olivier Richters. The film is written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, David Koepp and Mangold, based on characters created by Lucas and Philip Kaufman. It was produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Simon Emanuel with Spielberg and Lucas serving as executive producers. John Williams, who scored every Indiana Jones adventure since the original Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, again composed the score.
The Cannes premiere is a signal of Lucasfilm and Disney’s faith in the blockbuster. It’s also getting high-profile promotion here on the ground with an oversized video screen for the recently renovated Carlton Hotel. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate will open in theaters in France on June 28, followed by a US bow on June 30.