Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny director James Mangold decided to deride fans for not liking his deconstruction of Indiana Jones.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Mangold was asked by Brian Davids, “Life is filled with peaks and valleys, and I appreciate when my fictional heroes, such as Indy, have their own ups and downs. So why does a segment of the audience seem to want these legacy characters to be infallible? I just can’t figure out why anyone would want such little drama.”
Mangold replied, “Well, there’s a point where these characters become symbols more than characters, and so there becomes this anxiety that if you examine the humanity of a hero, you somehow weaken them.”
He continued, “And honestly, I can’t speak for how fans relate and wrestle with these questions in relation to other movies, but certainly in relation to mine, I think your question almost has my answer built into it. I mean, I think you’re in a sense already addressing it. Good drama gives a hero a problem. If a movie is about a beautiful hero who is capable of anything and is virtually indestructible and is without any personal issues or concerns, then you just have a fashion video with action.”
“I am a fan of starting a character in one place to go to another,” Mangold elaborated. “Movies are a continuum. By definition, in drama, a character starts in one place and ends up in another.”
Mangold then accused critics of his deconstruction of being divisive when it was his and Lucasfilm’s choice to deconstruct Indiana Jones in the first place.
He said, “So, if people want to be divisive [in the age of social media], they can focus on where a character starts, as opposed to where they end, or they can focus on where they end, as opposed to where they start.”
“In reality, for Harrison who’s playing this character, he’s tracing an arc and he’s changing through the whole picture. So it all depends on where you’re landing and where you’re pointing your finger on that timeline,” he concluded.
Ironically, Mangold previously admitted he was deconstructing Indiana Jones and that moviegoers would have to “readjust and retool their brains for this guy.”
In a previous interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he explained how the film would transition from Indiana Jones in his prime to a much older Indiana Jones, “It reminds the audience of the contrast between a hero in his physical prime and a hero at 70. We’re not relying solely on the audience’s memory of the previous films. It reminds everyone what he’s done, what he’s survived, what he’s accomplished.”
“By showing him in his most hearty and then finding him at 70 in New York City, it produces for the audience a kind of wonderful whiplash of how they’re going to have to readjust and retool their brains for this guy,” he asserted.
“His past is a live memory for the audience, hanging over a man who is now living with anonymity in a world that no longer cares or recognizes the things he felt so deeply about,” Mangold elaborated.
He then concluded, “You’re left with a multilayered perception of his character, both what he was and what he is, and how the world is different between the first 20 minutes of the movie.”
This is not the first time Mangold has lashed out and made accusations against Indiana Jones fans expressing their concerns.
Mangold infamously threw a temper tantrum when YouTuber Matthew Kadish shared his concerns about Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny back in June 2021.
Kadish wrote on Twitter, “To anyone thinking Indiana Jones 5 might be good, just let me point out… 1. Steven Spielberg is not directing. 2. Kathleen Kennedy is producing. 3. Harrison Ford is 78 years old. 4. It’s written by Jonathan Kasdan, who wrote SOLO.”
Mangold took exception to the tweet and responded by insulting him, “Thanks, Matt! 1) Keep making the world a better place crapping on things in the 1st week of production from your basement. 2) Never seen a script by Jon. Nothing against him. Just reality. Butterworths & I started from a blank page. 3) 1-3 r hugely talented & all at my side.”
Mangold would continue to deride and Kadish and his podcast team, The Salty Nerd.
The Salty Nerd tweeted, “We don’t have basements. But we do have a kick ass studio with a Batman statue.”
Mangold replied, “Yeah. That’s a kick ass studio. Congrats on the Batman statue. And the jar of corks. So how about you let me finish my film and then b**** all you want in front of your vinyl bricks lit by your fancy bounce light. And maybe don’t call opinion ‘news’..”
He would also describe Kadish as a “click baiter” and “night crawler.”
Mangold tweeted in response to a user encouraging him, “Thanks, Ax. I don’t mind people griping & prognosticating. But, on my watch, false info, agism & snark from so-called ‘journalists’ is gonna be confronted directly & forcefully.”
Mangold added, “IMO, these click baiters like to dish it out, but like night crawlers, can’t stand the light.”
The film had an abysmal opening weekend only bringing in $60.3 million domestically. So far the film has only grossed $102.3 million domestically and another $69.5 million internationally for a global gross of $171.8 million.
The film is expected to lose The Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilm more than $250 million due to its massive $300 million budget.
What do you make of James Mangold’s latest comments deriding fans of Indiana Jones?