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That’s how Harrison Ford described the world premiere of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in Cannes on Thursday night and a special career tribute — and a surprise honorary Palme d’Or — that he received prior to the hot ticket screening at the Palais.
Speaking at the press conference the star said it was “extraordinary” to see highlights of his lengthy and celebrated career relayed on screen in such a manner. “The warmth of this place, and the sense of community…the welcome is just unimaginable. And it makes me feel good.”
In a delightfully upbeat, jovial and at-times emotional meeting with the press, the non-Ford cast — including Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Boyd Holbrook, Mads Mikkelsen, Ethann Isidore and Shaunette Renee Wilson — all waxed lyrical about getting the opportunity to appear alongside Ford in an Indiana Jones movie. Several friendly jibes were, however, made about Ford’s age (he’s 80).
“The first [Indiana Jones] film came out 30 years before I was born,” joked Mikkelsen. Ford himself made several self-deprecating digs. When asked by a journalist whether he was ready to let the character of Indiana Jones go — and why now — Ford replied, to big laughs from the crowd: “Is it not evident?” (while gesturing to his physique). “But I love to work and I love this character and I love what it brought into my life,” he added.
“I wanted to see completion of the five, I wanted to round out the story,” he asserted, in a more serious manner, on why he wanted to round out the Indy franchise.
“There’s so many expectations upon a film like this and you’ll only achieve some of them, because everyone has their own dear version of Indiana Jones, and there’s no way you’re ever going to please everyone,” said James Mangold on stepping up to direct such an iconic franchise.
“But you also have the other hesitation of such a legendary crew of the greatest of film producing, acting, scoring team. I was trying to understand the most honest way that I could make a movie that also felt like mine. You know, I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark when I was 17 years old in an upstate New York mall on opening day and it’s one of the reasons I’m a movie director.”
Jones said that Mangold had “more than filled” the shoes of Steven Spielberg. “For me, he made a beautiful movie,” he said.
“There’s a little myth and a little magic — and they all belong in the same box,” he claimed of making Indiana Jones once more. “And when it works, it’s fucking magic.”
The first scenes in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny feature a de-aged Ford, but producer Kathleen Kennedy immediately shot down a question about whether the technology would be used to bring a younger Indiana Jones to the screen in future films.
After an emotional world premiere and star-studded party on the beach Thursday night in Cannes, the Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny team returned to the Palais on Friday to meet the press. Director Mangold was joined by producers Kennedy and Frank Marshall, as well as stars Waller-Bridge, Holbrook, Mikkelsen, Isidore and, of course, the man of the hour (and recent honorary Palme recipient), Ford, at the press conference.
At the world premiere the evening before, after every last credit rolled for the Lucasfilm and Disney blockbuster, the audience responded by dialing up a rousing standing ovation to six minutes, a strong showing for the out-of-competition title on what turned out to be a very emotional night for its franchise star.
Ahead of the screening, festival director Thierry Fremaux surprised the audience by taking the stage and presenting a highlight reel of Ford’s legendary career. Scenes from Witness; Blade Runner (both installments); Working Girl, The Fugitive; Six Days, Seven Nights; and the Indiana Jones and Star Wars franchises along with many others made up the impactful sizzle reel that earned another rousing round of applause.
Despite the warm reception for the film and its star at the premiere, Dial of Destiny reviews have been less than flattering. THR‘s David Rooney described the action as not much more “than a talented director slumming it with mind-numbingly rote videogame plotting,” and said that “both [Ford] and the audience get a raw deal with this empty exercise in brand redemption.”
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