Indiana Jones 5 trailer goes back to the series' roots – and I couldn't be happier

Indiana Jones grimaces as he cracks his iconic whip at some bad guys off screen in his Dial of Destiny movie
Indiana Jones 5 looks like a riotously good ride. (Image credit: Lucasfilm)

The first trailer for Indiana Jones 5 has landed online – and, thankfully, it looks like a welcome throwback to the movie series' iconic roots.

Released publicly on December 1 after being shown at Brazil Comic-Con, the film's teaser suggests it's leaning heavily towards classic Indy adventures (such as The Temple of Doom) rather than the maligned Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. And that's before we get onto the stunning de-aging technology used to make Harrison Ford's legendary archaeologist look like a young man again.

Check out the first trailer for the film – full title Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – below:

Impressed and excited? You should be. Indiana Jones 5 has the look and feel of the fan-favorite 80s film franchise down to a tee, and it's certainly galvanized my interest in the forthcoming movie.

What's so special about it? For one, that de-aging technology we mentioned earlier. 

Disney and Lucasfilm's attempts at recreating iconic characters in other franchises, such as Star Wars, has been... iffy, to say the least. In Star Wars: Rogue One, we got de-aged versions of Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin, who were previously (and iconically) played by Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing. Meanwhile, in The Mandalorian season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett, a more youthful version of Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker was also part of the cast.

However, the end results look slightly plastic and unnatural – and that's before you get into the debate about whether it was respectful for Disney/Lucasfilm to recreate Fisher and Cushing's likenesses in Rogue One. Cushing died in 1994, while Fisher passed away just two weeks after Rogue One was released in theaters.

Clearly, though, Disney and Lucasfilm's de-aging tech has come a long way in a short period of time. As part of Indiana Jones 5's plot, we'll see a de-aged Harrison Ford playing a younger version of Indy in a flashback scene or two – and the results are absolutely remarkable. Just take a look at the stunning still image below:

A de-aged Harrison Ford sits in a chair and stares at a bad guy off screen in Indiana Jones 5

Harrison Ford has been de-aged for a flashback sequence in Indiana Jones 5. (Image credit: Lucasfilm)

It's uncanny, isn't it? From Indy's messy hair and Ford's facial features, to how the lighting hits his face and even the minute detailing of his stubble, the results are terrific. Ford is 80 years old but, based on this tech, you wouldn't think he's a day over 41 – Ford's actual age when 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark was being filmed.

And this feat helps Indiana Jones 5 to simultaneously replicate the film series' first three installments and move it forward. Thanks to the flashback sequences, we'll get to see Indy in his prime one last time as he looks to thwart another world-conquering plot by those pesky Germans in the 1940s. That means plenty of high-octane action sequences, such as the thrilling train skirmish dotted throughout the teaser.

There are plenty of other nods to the movie series' roots. John Rhys-Davies makes an appearance as Indy's Egyptian sidekick Sallah, there's plenty of tomb raiding (sorry, Lara Croft) involving Indy and granddaughter Helena (played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge), and frenetic car chases – one that even involves Indiana Jones riding a horse through a subway tunnel.

Add in a slight reimagining of that immediately recognizable theme song, a crowd-pleasing throwback to that amusing gun-sword 'battle' in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and lots of shots of Indy using his whip and wearing his legendary fedora, and what's not to love?

As for moving things forward: there's no Shia Leboeuf in this one, which means we can completely skip over events from 2008's divisive Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Meanwhile, Waller-Bridge's Helena appears to be a shoe-in for the successor to Indy – that's if the franchise continues after Ford's final appearance.

Regardless of whether the Indiana Jones series carries on without Ford, The Dial of Destiny is shaping up to be a return to the beloved action-adventure franchise's roots. I don't know about you, but I couldn't be happier about that prospect.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny stars Ford, Waller-Bridge, Rhys-Davies, Mads Mikkelsen (Doctor Strange), Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro), Toby Jones (Captain America: The First Avenger), and Boyd Holbrook (The Sandman) among others. James Mangold (Logan) directed the movie, which lands in theaters on June 30, 2023.

For more Indiana Jones and Lucasfilm-based content, find out everything we know about MachineGames' upcoming Indiana Jones video game. Alternatively, read our exclusive chat with the cast and crew of Willow, another Lucasfilm property, about how "everything aligned perfectly" for the fantasy movie's Disney Plus sequel series.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.