James Mangold is setting the record straight on the future of Indiana Jones.
The Walk the Line and Logan director, who most recently helmed Indy 5, took to Twitter to squash rumors that Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the fast-risen Fleabag breakout who costars in Dial of Destiny, will be the next Indiana Jones after 80-year-old Ford’s last hurrah.
“No one is ‘taking over’ or replacing Indy or donning his hat nor is he being ‘erased’ thru some contrivance. And he never was, not in any cut or script — but trolls will troll — that’s how they get their clicks,” Mangold tweeted on Friday.
The reliably frank Mangold is surely referencing a recent wave of gender-swapped projects in Hollywood (2016’s Ghostbusters, 2018’s Ocean’s Eight, the upcoming Margot Robbing Pirates of the Caribbean spin-off) and emergence of more female superhero leads in comic book properties (Thor: Love and Thunder, She-Hulk, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) that have drawn the ire of toxic fans online.
In a September tweet featuring photos of the two actors at Disney’s D23 Expo, longtime Indy producer Frank Marshall revealed that Waller-Bridge would be playing Jones’s goddaughter, Helena.
Rumors that Waller-Bridge, who also wrote and executive produced Killing Eve, appeared as a droid in Solo: A Star Wars Story and contributed to the Bond screenplay No Time to Die (all in the past decade), could be taking over as Indy have been swirling since at least spring, though sprang up again after Thursday’s trailer premiere.
Of course, the speculation isn’t entirely surprising.
The same was once said about Shia LaBeouf, who played Indy’s son Mutt Williams in 2008’s long-awaited but ultimately much maligned follow-up to the original trilogy