Entertainment gambling is a thing. Folks can bet on the Oscars (betters are probably the only ones watching), reality TV shows, and more. Whoever made a prop bet that Will Smith would slap Chris Rock is driving a solid gold race car right now.

A new Indiana Jones movie should be a sure bet. Alas, if Disney is involved, Indiana Jones is already starting behind the eight-ball. If Kathleen Kennedy is involved, the eight ball is an immovable object screeching body positivity.

Gambling is about predicting. I thought it would be fun to make predictions about Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and see how close I get. This creates a problem where I would have to actually watch it to find out, though. I’m not sure I want to ride this train that far.

I’ve read spoilers on Dial of Destiny because I don’t care about spoiling the movie for myself. The franchise is already spoiled, and I say that as a person who has Raiders as their number-one movie. Nevertheless, there are probably people out there who don’t want spoilers, so none of my predictions will be based on what I read of the general plot. Rather, my predictions will be about non-plot things that I bet will be in the movie.


Indiana Jones

This is the real Indiana Jones…

Prediction #1:

Indiana Jones Will Be Gentler And Kinder

Indiana Jones will not directly kill any characters. Crystal Skull started this neutering, and Dial of Destiny will complete it. Action scenes will be overly choreographed to make sure that if anyone dies, it is their own fault for pestering Indiana. In fact, I might go so far as to predict Indy doesn’t even point a gun at anyone.

For example, if a car chase happens, Indiana will not draw his pistol and simply shoot other drivers. Rather, Indiana will use his whip to do something like turn a stop sign sideways, so any pursuing drivers will get T-boned by cross-traffic at an intersection because they didn’t see the sign.

Big mistake, Indy!

Indiana Jones is not a white-hat hero. He solves problems with bullets, fists, whips, and even airplane propellors. Corpses litter his path. The series lost sight of this as it went along.

“Character growth,” a nerd shouts from the back row!

Yes, nerd. I accept that answer to a degree but understand this — character growth can go too far. Indiana Jones is not a rousing action-adventure character. He is a rousing action-adventure killer. If you pull all of his teeth, he ceases to be viable. Rewatch the good Indiana Jones movies and take note of how much the body count contributes to the proceedings. Enjoying this doesn’t make a viewer bloodthirsty either. The bad guys are clearly bad, and Indy is their agent of punishment. It’s morality violence.

Prediction #2:

We Will Wonder Why Dial Of Destiny Is Rated PG-13

Temple of Doom helped invent the PG-13 rating because a guy got his heart ripped out. Crusade probably got the PG-13 rating because of the rapidly-aging dude at the end. Meanwhile, ants earned Crystal Skull a PG-13 rating. Truth be told, I’m guessing on that one. I can’t remember much about Crystal Skull. I watched it once and burned it.

What will earn Dial of Destiny a PG-13 rating? I can’t say the violence because I predicted Indy won’t kill anyone. I can’t say the intense action because I predicted the action will be CGI fluff.

We know time travel is involved. Are they going to do the rapidly-aging gag again? That’s weak…and that’s also my answer. Weakness is why Dial of Destiny will be PG-13. It’s because the ratings board considers all of you weaklings who don’t have the emotional intelligence to separate fantasy from reality, and your feelings will be hurt if something makes it onto the movie screen that hasn’t been fully sanitized of all offense. Thanks a lot, soy people.

Prediction #3:

Indiana Jones Will Be The Damsel In Distress

If Indiana Jones is about to be rubbed out by a gaggle of henchmen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge will do something wacky and contrived to save him. Let’s say Indy is under a tent at a carnival. (The location is unimportant; we are merely laying out concepts to illustrate general ideas). The henchmen have their guns pointed at our hero.

“I’m not worried,” Indy says.

“Why not?” Head Henchman asks.

“My goddaughter has me covered.”

“Girls can’t cover anyone.”

A lurking Pheobe ties a length of rope from the tent to a merry-go-round. As the merry-go-round turns, the rope tightens, and the tent down is pulled down on top of the henchmen. Phoebe grabs Indiana by the arm to lead him to safety. On the way, she kicks the tent-covered Head Henchmen in the buttocks to give the audience a laugh.

“Who’s covered now?” Pheobe quips.



This is not Indiana Jones…

Prediction #4:

Nobody Will Laugh At The Woke Humor

Phoebe makes capitalism and indigenous-people jokes in the trailers. The jokes aren’t funny because woke humor isn’t funny. For example, do you find any of the following funny?

Scene: Pheobe settles her 80-year-old godfather, Indy, down in his chair for a nap. He asks for his favorite blanket to keep his old bones warm.


“Nice blanket,” Phoebe says as she covers Indy. “Are you going to infect it with small pox and gift it to Native Americans?”


Scene: Indy whips a stop sign sideways to thwart his pursuers.


“Nice whip,” Phoebe says. “Did you get it from your great grandfather after he used it on slaves?

See…none of that is funny. Okay…it’s kind of funny to make fun of it…

Prediction #5:

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s CHaracter Will Go For Woke Bingo

She’s as stronk as any man. She’s independent. She rebukes capitalism. She champions indigenous people. What else is left on the agenda? Her sexuality, of course.

They pretty much have to make her a lesbian, don’t they?

Prediction #6:

Seeing Indy Doddering Around Will Be Depressing

People once dogged Stephen King about clunky endings, and he defended himself by saying something like, Real life doesn’t have neat endings.

I wanted to jiggle King like a shake weight and scream. “People don’t read your books because they want more real life! They read your books to escape real life!”

Indiana Jones movies are supposed to be rousing action-adventures. No one wants to see fun characters lamenting the passage of time and looking as old as a twenty-year-old Daniel Craig. We get enough of that in real life. We watch time pass every day. We watch things fall to ruin and fade away. We watch loved ones grow old and die. We watch ourselves grow old and die.

Why do we want to watch Indiana Jones remind us of mortality? Indiana Jones shouldn’t get old. He should exist forever young in our imaginations, going after valuable treasures and punching out Nazis. Sentimentality and melancholy don’t belong in these movies, especially the on-the-nose variety. You should leave the theater with a skip in your step and not feel like you just consumed a bowl of obituaries covered in syrup.


Indiana Jones

This is the real Indiana Jones…

Prediction #7:

The Big Bang Theory Will Be Referenced By Many People

Everyone knows how The Big Bang Theory famously ruined Raiders of the Lost Ark by pointing out that Indiana Jones made no difference to the outcome of the story. If he wasn’t there, the Nazis would have found the Ark, opened it, and melted anyway.

Far be it from me to question characters wearing geekface, but The Big Bang Theory misses the point completely. Indiana Jones is not trying to stop the Nazis from getting the Ark. He is trying to get the Ark for himself. The Nazis just happen to be in the way, so he kills them by the bushel basket.

As stated above, Indiana Jones is not a white-hat hero. It is established he selfishly used and discarded a naïve Marion, and he showed up on her Nepal doorstep to use her again because she had something he wanted. It is only after Marion’s apparent death that Indy is confronted with the idea that maybe he isn’t the center of the universe, but even that doesn’t slow him down for long. He is back in maniac mode a short time later while the storm rages behind him and the Ark is discovered.

As the movie winds down, Indy himself admits he is no better than Belloq by backing down on his threat to destroy the Ark and forfeit his life. He still wants his part in the prize above his integrity.

Finally, Indiana Jones is presented as an unbeliever. He relies on his own wits and scoffs at the notion of the supernatural. At the end of the film, he is forced to acknowledge he is wrong and can do nothing but surrender all control to forces greater than himself.

Add all that up and you get a character arc. The Big Bang Theory claim that says Indiana Jones played no part in the outcome of the story is irrelevant. They are looking at Raiders of the Lost Ark like Indiana Jones is a traditional hero. He is not. He is an anti-hero.

Prediction #8:

Time Travel Will Not Work In An Indiana Jones Movie

Indiana Jones works best when the fantastical element is muted. The Ark in the first film is the perfect MacGuffin. The Ark is essentially a character in and of itself with its musical cue and the rat-killing scene. These simple elements create a genuine presence, and when the Ark is finally opened, it is a brief orgy of destruction and mystery, and then… poof. Gone.

The stones in Temple of Doom are not as effective. First, the concept is silly. Second, they look stupid on film. They would have been better off letting the stones be diamonds, which they are on the inside. That would have tied into the “fortune and glory” theme better on a visual level.

The Holy Grail is okay in Crusade, but the knight at the end is a bridge too far. He pushes the movie over the fantastical line, and one’s brain starts going, hey, wait a minute? This is too weird.

As for Crystal Skull, that movie can take a long walk off a short pier, make like a tree and get out of here.

Time travel is an extreme dive into the fantastical. Making it ancient technology pushes the envelope even further. I am aware that Indiana Jones offshoots have taken him to places like Atlantis, but that is more palatable to the brain. Weird stuff is found under the ocean. Out-of-place artifacts (OOPAs) exist. Yet, time travel is really, really out there.

Indiana Jones seeks treasure and kills bad guys. That is the bread and butter of the concept. Any MacGuffins need to serve that, not the other way around. Time travel is such a big concept that any movie that contains it is immediately labeled as a “time-travel” movie.

Prediction #9:

Dial Of Destiny WIll Be Lukewarm At The Box Office

Dial of Destiny is tracking low. Is it going to flop? Looking at Disney’s track record, one has to consider the possibility. It’s hard to believe that an Indiana Jones movie could flop, but the masses are getting tired of this stuff. I am a huge Indy fan, and I have zero interest in this movie.

Rumors of reshoots, a bad response to the original ending, and expensive effects pushed Dial of Destiny’s budget into $300 million territory. It needs to hit over $600 million at the box office to even start making money. Crystal Skull pulled in about $800 million.

Disney is not leaving itself much room for error. Early reviews have not been great. Dial of Destiny won’t have major competition, though. The Flash is out two weeks before it and Mission Impossible comes out two weeks after it. That’s its window.

I’m leaning toward a lukewarm box office. Harrison Ford is not the draw he once was. They should have recast if they wanted to continue the Indiana Jones IP. Bradley Cooper could be a passable Indiana Jones. Toss the hat to him, cut the budget in half, shoot a movie with a grounded, old-school concept, and see what happens. If I was a Disney executive, I’d be more comfortable with a $300 million break-even point than a $600 million break-even point.

Then again, do they even care? Converts seem more important than costs.

What’s interesting is how director James Mangold fits into things. Cop Land, Identity, Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma, The Wolverine (don’t hit me) and Ford v Ferrari are solid. Mangold also has a writing credit on Dial of Destiny. History seems to indicate that directors under Kathleen Kennedy’s watch either march to the beat of her drum or they get memory-holed.

Mangold also went at it with fans on Twitter when news leaked of the film’s iffy ending. This doesn’t seem to jibe with Mangold’s movie credits. They give the impression of a man above such things. All in all, it seems like the position is a pressure cooker. One wants to deliver a good Indiana Jones movie, but the gravity of The Message warps all that gets pulled into its orbit. If Dial of Destiny fails, will Mangold be the sacrificial lamb or will Iger go higher up the ladder?


This is not even close to the real Indiana Jones…

Prediction #10:

Kathleen Kennedy’s Fate Will Be Tied To DIal Of Destiny

If Dial of Destiny sinks, will Kathleen Kennedy get fired? Bite your tongue! Kathleen Kennedy is a stronk independent woman. She will be promoted. Her new position may be the equivalent of the knight’s job in Last Crusade — just hanging out in a cave in the middle of nowhere — but the pay will be great, and she won’t lose access to the Hollywood Holy Grail, which contains a heady mixture of adrenochrome, virgin blood, and delusion.

Indiana Blows and the Doldrum of Density

All my expectations for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny are bad. They’ve been bad ever since I heard the title. It sounds like the title of a Choose Your Own Adventure book.

Indiana Jones overcomes all his challenges by riding the coattails of his Mary Sue goddaughter. At last, he holds the Dial of Destiny in his hands! Does he…


Go back in time and stop George Lucas from selling to Disney? Turn to page 24.


Blame toxic fandom for his movie’s failure? Turn to page 27.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to call my bookie. If my ship doesn’t come in soon, they’re going to take my thumbs. I need some sure things, man. These predictions are as close as I’m going to get.


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