Director James Mangold continues to keep his narrative surrounding Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny straight; however, he does not appear to be doing a good job. The latest hiccup comes from his own mouth as he admitted Steven Spielberg had seen the film seven times before it arrived in theaters.
Mangold previously responded to rumors that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny had undergone test screenings by claiming there had not been any screenings at all.
When asked in November 2022 by Twitter user GusHendenborg if there had been test screenings of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Mangold replied, “Nope. Haven’t been any screenings at all.”
However, in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mangold himself admitted that the film was screened at least seven times for Steven Spielberg.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Brian Davids asked, “When you eventually screened the movie for [Steven Spielberg], were you pacing back and forth outside the screening room for two-and-a-half hours? Were you beside yourself?”
As part of his answer, Mangold said, “So, what was it like showing the movie to Steven for the first time? I probably showed it to Steven seven times, meaning that he was just really involved and engaged all the way through: before we mixed, after we mixed, when effects came in. He was a marvelous producer and mentor on the movie.”
This is not the only point that Mangold contradicted himself on in the interview. Mangold previously tried to defuse rumors about the film insinuating that the film did not involve time travel.
He tweeted back in December 2022, “None of this makes sense. Trolls have lied so much about what’s been going on with Indy 5’s production regarding test screenings, reshoots, time travel, and CGI use that by September I expect them to deny the even movie even exists.”
Anyone who saw the film knows that it does include time travel when Voller and his associates active that Dial of Destiny and travel through a time warp to the Siege of Syracuse.
Mangold would try to explain to The Hollywood Reporter that he does not view this as time travel, “Well, I never presented it as time travel. I never really thought of it as time travel.”
He then pointed to the film’s opening sequence, “There’s this way the press can frame a story that can then help drive the story. We worked for three years on the opening sequence, but only in the last 30 days have people started calling it the ‘AI sequence at the beginning of Indiana Jones.’”
Mangold then admitted the film does include time travel, “So I never thought about this as time travel per se, although they certainly go through a portal in time at the end of the movie. But the movie isn’t about time travel. It’s about time, it’s about getting older and it’s about the world changing around you.”
“And as long as there’s been Indiana Jones movies, the power of the relic has always had some kind of dialogue with the theme of the movie itself,” he attempted to justify its inclusion. “So it was no shocker.”
What do you make of Mangold now admitting he did indeed screen the film and did so seven times to Steven Spielberg? What about his admission that time travel was in the film?