Bob Iger has seen ‘Dial of Destiny’ five times — and says more indie franchise extensions are possible

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At the Cannes premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” Disney CEO Bob Iger watched the film for the fifth time. Harrison Ford, 80, before a Lumière Theater screening received an honorary Palme d'Or from the festival and received the loudest applause of the night. However, in his introduction to the tribute before the film, Fremaux, the artistic director of Cannes, singled out Iger for his praises. “CEO, or whatever,” Fremaux said, interrupting himself. “The legendary Bob Iger!”

Fremaux's strange wording may reflect Iger's unusual path at this time. A year earlier, when the big American studio chief was in attendance for “Elvis” at Cannes was newly minted WarnerMedia Discovery chief David Zaslav, Iger was a retired Disney executive whose next move was unclear.

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In November, he made a surprise return to the role with the sudden exit of successor Bob Chapek, whose indifference to talent ties rubbed Hollywood the wrong way. In contrast, Iger spent years building the opposite reputation, and his earl appearance reflected as much. After Thursday night's “Indiana Jones” premiere, he told IndieWire that the studio may consider further expansion of the “Indiana Jones” franchise, even if a fifth edition allows Ford's portrayal a graceful exit.

“The last film was here 15 years ago,” he said, referring to Steven Spielberg's “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” which premiered at Cannes in 2008. “Then we'll see.”

Disney's presence at Cannes goes beyond “Indiana Jones,” which opens theatrically June 28. The festival also selected Pixar's “Elemental” for its closing-night slot, marking the first time a Pixar film has premiered at Cannes since “Inside Out.” 2015. Specialty division Searchlight is also on the ground, with several executives scouting the lineup and market for acquisitions.

Disney will see 7,000 layoffs in 2023 and when we asked Iger about Searchlight's future, he declined to comment. (Specifically, he said, “You're asking too many questions” and then walked away.)

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On Disney's second-quarter earnings call, Iger said that Hulu will receive a tile on Disney+, suggesting that Searchlight's adult-audience dramas will have a strong home within the studio's streaming future.

For “Indiana Jones,” the film was a hot ticket, with many reporters fighting for spots until the last minute and the industry shying away from other festival responsibilities for a blockbuster indulgence. Among the figures seen discussing the party were TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey, Academy President Janet Yang, Netflix film executive Adam Del Deo and director Steve McQueen.

Beyond Cannes, the film's commercial prospects are unclear. It's unlikely to enjoy the same history-making success as last year's Cannes premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick,” grossing over $1 billion, but the launch follows a similar template. In 2022, Tom Cruise was honored with a tribute ahead of his high-profile premiere; This time, it was Ford's turn, and the star was visibly shaken after surveying his work in an extended montage of clips before the film.

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”disney

In a special Cannes twist, the highlight reel opened with the actor's unique connection to French cinema, with Ford appearing in Agnes Varda's 1995 documentary “The World of Jacques Demy,” recalling how he met Demi Los Angeles went to sex shop to play a role in the director's “Model Shop”. That was in the mid-'60s, and instead Ford became one of America's most iconic leading men, appearing in “American Graffiti” before cementing his stature as Han Solo in 1977's “Star Wars.” Like the 70s looked after the standouts. By the time he picked up a fedora for Spielberg with “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1981, he was one of Hollywood's most dependable stars.

Spielberg and George Lucas maintained tight control of the franchise for decades, but for what would be the final entry, the director and handed the reins to James Mangold. “Wolverine,” a blockbuster director in his own right thanks to Mangold's even-handed approach can't please the critics But it works overtime to be a nostalgic tribute to the character. It's likely to resonate with fans the same way Disney resurrected the “Star Wars” fandom in 2015 with “The Force Awakens.” Way to track down an ancient artifact from the Archimedes era. The film is Waller-Bridge's first major role since the end of two seasons of her hit show “Fleabag” in 2019, but it's mostly focused on payoff for “Indiana Jones” fans who found the whole “fridge edgy” . Entrance very off-putting.

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Cannes, France - May 18: Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Harrison Ford "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny"  Red carpet during the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 18, 2023 in Cannes, France.  (Photo by Mike Coppola / Getty Images)

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Harrison Ford on the “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” red carpet in Cannes on May 18.

That sequel grossed $790.7 million on a $185 million budget; “Dial of Destiny” is said to be priced at $300 million, which means the pressure is on this time around. Still, Mangold — who first came to Cannes in 1995 for the Directors Fortnight premiere of his debut film Heavy — told IndieWire he was satisfied with the results.

“It was the least stressful film I've ever done,” he said, adding that he insisted the studio take the Cannes route. “We wanted it.”

He was still fuming about the rumors that re-shoots had started last December. “That's what the Twitterverse bullshit is about,” he said. “This film was done six months ago.” (Though, he said, he was doing it on color-time until earlier this week.) Asked about his current Twitter habits, Mangold said, “I'm trying to tone it down.”

While the filmmaker has a writing credit on the film, he said he did not expect any issues promoting it at or after the festival due to the WGA strike. “I'm going to end with the writing aspect of it,” he said.

Whatever happens next, Mangold and Ford certainly seem satisfied with their first taste of public reaction. At the end of the screening, Mangold was in tears when Fremaux handed him the mic.

“This movie was made by friends,” he said, with Iger, Ford and other cast members. “Maybe it's hard for you to believe that such a big movie could be made by friends, but it was. It was made out of love, it was made out of devotion for what came before it, and it was made by both sides of me.” Made with tremendous belief from both guys let's play and let us make something weird and hope you find this amazing one you can enjoy, and let's carry on the legacy of these great movies that came before us . He stopped himself and looked at Ford. “Not in your case, certainly,” Mangold said.

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Ford has been honored at festivals several times over the years (he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Locarno Film Festival in 2011), but the scale of the Cannes tribute seemed to elicit genuine emotion from the actor when he took the stage.

“They say when you're about to die, you see your life flash before your eyes, and I've just seen a big part of my life flash before my eyes,” he said, referring to the montage. said while doing he told the audience. After humming to wife Calista Flockhart in the audience and telling her that he loved her, he went back into the room. “I love you too,” he said. “Thank you for giving my life purpose.”

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