The following contains spoilers for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, in cinemas now.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny's opening flashback "mostly" used the real Harrison Ford, according to production VFX supervisor Andrew Whitehurst.

Whitehurst confirmed that the sequence, which uses AI-powered technology to recreate Ford's 40-year-old likeness, only used a body double sparingly in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "Whenever possible, it's Harrison," he said. "There were times where, for either shoot timing issues or because it was a more of a stunt type scenario, we had to use a stunt performer. So the body there would be the stunt performer. And there's a couple of times where it's a [digital] body, but it's mostly newly shot Harrison [footage]."

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Director James Mangold's decision to kick off Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny with one of the younger Indy's escapades was met with a mixed response. Notably, some critics and fans complained that the visual effects used to de-age Ford wasn't convincing and argued that Mangold should have started the film differently. The filmmaker has since pushed back on this criticism, though, opining that Dial of Destiny's opening flashback serves an important storytelling purpose. "The goal of the opening sequence of the movie was to give the audience a blast of the classic golden-age Indy I missed, and they miss... Then as that sequence ends, to land in the sobering reality of where we are in 1969 with our hero, who is now in his 70s."

Harrison Ford Discusses Indiana Jones 5's Digital De-Aging

Ford himself has also repeatedly given Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny's de-aging CGI his backing. In February 2023, the Hollywood icon recalled how Mangold and effects house Industrial Light & Magic turned him from a skeptic to a believer regarding the digital de-aging process. "I never loved the idea until I saw how it was accomplished in this case -- which is very different than the way it's been done in other films I've seen," Ford said. Ford added that ILM's recreation of his younger visage is so accurate that it's effectively the genuine article. "It's bizarre and it works and it is my face," the star raved.

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Ford doubled down on his praise for ILM's work in a more recent interview, once again labeling his digital doppelganger "real." At the same time, Ford also offered a mixed appraisal of modern visual effects technology in general, warning filmmakers to avoid the pitfall of prioritizing sweeping scope over "human scale."

Source: THR