At last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Top Gun: Maverick screened at Cannes and that premiere kicked off its soaring buzz. The eventual result was box office nearing $1.5 billion and six Oscar nominations (including Picture). Disney would love for a similar result with Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the fifth adventure in a franchise that began with an iconic 80s classic.
Harrison Ford dons the fedora once again (and for the final time) 42 years after Raiders of the Lost Ark. Steven Spielberg has handed over directorial duties to James Mangold. Costars for the reported $300 million production include Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Antonio Banderas, John Rhys-Davies (as series favorite Sallah), Shaunette Renée Wilson, Thomas Kretschmann, Toby Jones, Boyd Holbrook, and Ethann Isidore.
It’s been 15 years since previous entry Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (which was also unveiled in the south of France). Let’s catch up on the Academy’s history and their love for Dr. Jones (or lack thereof). Raiders, back in 1981, nabbed 8 nominations (including Picture and Director though not Actor for Ford). The win total was four (Art Direction, Film Editing, Score, Visual Effects). Three years later, Temple of Doom managed two mentions in Score and Visual Effects (winning the latter). 1989’s Last Crusade received three nods and took the now defunct Special Effects Editing race. In 2008, Skull was derided by many critics and filmgoers. It was blanked at the Oscars.
We are obviously very early when it comes to reviews for Destiny. However, signs are troubling. The Rotten Tomatoes score (based on 7 write-ups) is 43%. Social media reaction from those in attendance overseas is also quite mixed. A safe assumption is this won’t be the next Maverick. I suppose John Williams in Score or Sound or Visual Effects (though there are gripes about this digitization) is feasible. Another likely result is this ends up contending in the same number of competitions as its predecessor. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…