Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny producer teases time travel elements of the movie

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Indiana Jones may not be the first franchise you associate with science fiction (flying saucers in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull aside), but the upcoming fifth installment, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, is here to prove you wrong – the titular dial can be used for time travel.

"The Dial of Destiny is perfect for us because it’s about time," producer Frank Marshall tells SFX magazine in the new issue, which features The Witcher on the cover. "It’s math and time. We always try and have some sort of archaeological connection and there was certainly that – there’s a mythology to the Dial of Destiny that exists. It turned out to be the perfect thing for this movie."

Playing with time feels even more of a departure for Indy than the interdimensional beings of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – and they were controversial enough. Is this film pushing the parameters of what an Indiana Jones story can be, genre-wise? Are we going full sci-fi here?

"Well, yes and no," Marshall smiles. "It works in the plot because it is scientific." He catches himself. "Well, I guess it’s scientific! It really works for what we are doing and it sets up a whole lot of great plot points. The question is, if you can control time, like in Back to the Future, would you change things? And what would that mean? That’s a big question for everybody, and certainly is in the movie."

Out to twist history is Mads Mikkelsen as Voller, a deeply sinister mathematician with a Nazi past. Inspired by real-life scientist Wernher von Braun, the German rocket specialist recruited by America as part of the secret Operation Paperclip intelligence program after the war, Voller aims to reverse the past in the name of the Third Reich.

"It’s a plot point that drives the story," says Marshall of the return of Indiana Jones’s goose-stepping natural enemy. "The character wants to go back and change time, change what happened, and obviously it turns out to be in Nazi Germany. The Nazis are kind of a thread we’ve had through all of the movies. I think it definitely works this time."

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny hits the big screen on June 30. In the meantime, check out our guide to the rest of this year's most exciting movie release dates

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That's just a snippet of our interview, available in the latest issue of SFX Magazine, which features The Witcher season 3 on the cover and is available on newsstands from Wednesday, June 14. For even more from SFX, sign up to the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.

Nick Setchfield
Editor-at-Large, SFX Magazine

Nick Setchfield is the Editor-at-Large for SFX Magazine, writing features, reviews, interviews, and more for the monthly issues. However, he is also a freelance journalist and author with Titan Books. His original novels are called The War in the Dark, and The Spider Dance. He's also written a book on James Bond called Mission Statements. 

With contributions from