It’s been 15 years since the fourth instalment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which came along a whopping 19 years after the original trilogy-topper Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Notably, The Dial of Destiny is the first feature film in the series not to be directed by Steven Spielberg, with James Mangold (Le Mans ’66, Logan) at the helm for this fifth and final Indy outing. Spielberg and series co-creator George Lucas serves as executive producers instead.
Ahead of its streaming release, here’s everything you need to know about Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny…
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny release date
The final Indiana Jones adventure will be available to stream on Disney+ from Friday, 15 December, and is already available to buy from digital retailers including Prime Video, Apple TV, Sky Store and Google Play, with never-before-seen bonus content.
The Dial of Destiny was originally released in UK cinemas on Wednesday, 28 June. It is the longest Indy film so far, with a runtime of two hours and 34 minutes. Disney has confirmed it will indeed be Dr Jones' final big-screen quest.
The earliest rumblings of a fifth instalment came after Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released in 2008 and have gradually grown louder over time. This is the first new Indy adventure released by Disney, which acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 and later purchased the Indiana Jones distribution rights from Paramount in 2013.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny reviews
After premiering at Cannes Film Festival to a standing ovation and a teary-eyed Ford, reviews for Indy's fifth and final adventure have started to arrive. Is it fortune and glory or do critics have a bad feeling about Dr. Jones' last quest? Here's what they've been saying...
Yahoo Movies: Indy's last adventure is a blast from the past (3-min read)
The Telegraph: A shabby counterfeit of priceless treasure (4-min read)
Evening Standard: Harrison Ford still packs a punch (3-min read)
The Guardian: Harrison Ford cracks the whip in taut sequel (3-min read)
The Independent: Harrison Ford carries this ragged exercise in nostalgia (4-min read)
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny trailer
The first trailer for the film was released in December 2022, followed by a 30-second teaser during the 2023 Super Bowl.
The official trailer was released by Lucasfilm at Star Wars Celebration in 2023. It gave us our best look yet at the film, showing Harrison Ford's Indy is back to his swashbuckling best.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny cast
For starters, The Man In The Hat is back. Whatever Disney’s plans after this, Ford has made it clear that there’s no Indiana Jones without him, and he’s duly returning for this fifth run-around.
Leading the new additions to the cast is Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Helena Shaw, Indy’s goddaughter, a character who drags our hero into his latest adventure when she brings trouble to his doorstep.
Speculation abounds that Helena might be related to another character from the franchise, but that’s one aspect of the film that’s being kept under wraps.
Elsewhere, the great Mads Mikkelsen plays the film’s villain, Jürgen Voller, a Nazi scientist who’s found a new vocation in the American space program but still has designs on changing the world.
Talking to Yahoo at Star Wars Celebration, director James Mangold says Voller is different to previous antagonists that have faced Indy.
"I’d say he’s more sophisticated,” said Mangold. “He’s already been working in the United States on our moon projects and helping put us on the moon, so he’s been kind of part of life in the States. But he has another agenda – and that one would be familiar.”
Other new supporting cast-members include Antonio Banderas and Toby Jones as new allies of Indy’s allies, plus Boyd Holbrook (“I’m a lapdog to Mads, and a crazy one at that,” Holbrook says) and Thomas Kretschmann as a Nazi colonel.
As for other returning cast members, John Rhys-Davies appears in the teaser trailer for the film, reprising his role as Sallah from Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.
Karen Allen also returns as Marion Ravenwood, the Raiders of the Lost Ark character who married Indy at the climax of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
One character who definitely isn't back is Indy’s son, Henry “Mutt” Jones III, played by Shia LaBeouf in the fourth film.
Mutt was written out in the earliest drafts of the film when Spielberg was still attached to direct. It’s since been confirmed that LaBeouf’s character is not in The Dial of Destiny.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny's plot
Early on, we discovered that Dial of Destiny takes place in 1969, with an older Indiana Jones nearing retirement and pitted against the Nazis once more after a former goose-stepping adversary winds up working for the Americans during the space race against the Soviet Union.
Read more: Dial of Destiny Easter eggs and cameos
Speaking to Empire, Jez Butterworth explained: "The simple fact is that the moon-landing program was run by a bunch of ex-Nazis. How 'ex' they are is the question. And it gets up Indy's nose…"
It wouldn't be an Indiana Jones movie without an all-important McGuffin — the object at the centre of all the action — and in Dial of Destiny, it takes centre stage, right in the movie’s title. It turns out, Dr Jones is on the hunt for an ancient dial that has the power to change the course of history (and possibly the past) and is determined to get his hands on it before his Nazi enemies do.
While fictional, the movie’s titular Dial of Destiny does have roots in reality, much like previous Indy McGuffins. It’s based loosely on the Antikythera, an ancient Greek object that’s often described as the first example of a computer that reportedly had the power to predict future events using astronomical data.
Joining Indy on his quest for the Dial is his goddaughter Helena, played by Waller-Bridge, and along the way, he’ll cross paths with colleagues old and new - including John Rhys-Davis franchise favourite Sallah and newcomer Renaldo, played by Antonio Banderas.
Toby Jones joins the cast as a character named Basil, who we glimpse in the movie’s trailers. He’s the father of Waller-Bridge’s Helena and Indy's old pal.
Another key aspect of Dial of Destiny is the use of digital imagery to bring back a younger Indiana Jones. We know that the film’s traditional prologue will be a flashback set in 1944, with a de-aged Indy battling Nazis during wartime.
Filming took place at Northumberland’s Bamburgh Castle in June 2021 and we got our first glimpse of the dazzlingly de-aged Ford in the first trailer for the film.
Filming also took place in Glasgow, with the city centre transformed to resemble a ticker-tape parade for the Apollo 11 astronauts in New York City. The event in question took place in August 1969, weeks after the moon landing.
Despite the advent of digital imagery and AI creations, it looks like this is the last time we'll see Ford don the fedora and crack the whip.
Speaking to Yahoo, Ford wasted no time assuring fans that an AI-generated Indy movie or series was "Never gonna happen."
He elaborated, saying: I don’t think [AI] is ever going to be successful in producing the results that human interactions, and real relationships, push through minds of people with an artistic impulse and an experience that they’re trying to emotionally transmit.
"I don’t think that can be reproduced. And if so, I don’t think it would be of the quality that we all have an ambition to be part of.”
Okey dokey, Dr Jones!
Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny is out on digital now and will be streaming on Disney+ from Friday, 15 December.