By Miranda Murray
CANNES (Reuters) -Harrison Ford was in Cannes for the much-anticipated premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” on Thursday evening, 15 years since the actor last picked up the adventurous archaeologist’s iconic bullwhip and hat on the big screen.
The new film, which also stars Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen and Phoebe Waller-Bridge of British TV dramedy “Fleabag,” is the fifth in the series and the first not directed by Steven Spielberg. The director this time was James Mangold of “Ford v Ferrari.”
Celebrities and fans turned out on the Croisette boulevard en masse for the film. Among those walking the red carpet for the chance to see it first were British director Steve McQueen, actor Charlie Heaton, and Raoni Metuktire, a Brazilian Indigenous tribal chief and environmentalist.
A visibly-moved Ford, 80, received an honorary award for his cinema career ahead of the premiere. “They say when you’re about to die, you see your life flash before your eyes, and I just saw my life flash before my eyes, a great part of my life,” he told the audience, which included Disney CEO Bob Iger.
The film received a roughly five-minute ovation. Early reviews were generally positive, with Total Film magazine saying there was “a nostalgic, old-fashioned feel to the film.”
In the fifth and latest installment, set in 1969, Indiana Jones sets off to find a dial that can change time. He is accompanied by his goddaughter, played by Waller-Bridge, and must face off against Mikkelsen as a NASA employee who is a former Nazi.
Ford first played the character – a fedora-wearing, bullwhip-wielding archaeologist and globe-trotting adventurer with a fear of snakes – in 1981. He told Total Film last month that this would be his last time in the role.
The newest movie’s release date had been postponed several times after it was announced in 2016. It follows 2008’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” which received mixed reviews.
The “Indiana Jones” franchise, created by George Lucas of “Star Wars” fame, grossed nearly $2 billion at the global box office with the first four films. It also inspired a TV series, “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.”
“Dial of Destiny” is the first “Indiana Jones” movie the Walt Disney Co has made since buying the distribution rights for the franchise from Paramount Pictures in 2013.
The film will be released to wider audiences late next month.
(Reporting by Miranda Murray; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Rosalba O’Brien)