Tragedy has struck the Morocco production of Indiana Jones 5. Reportedly, camera department crew member Nic Cupac was found dead in his nearby hotel room in Fes with Walt Disney Studios confirming the news on Thursday. A cause of death wasn’t stated, but the 54-year-old is reportedly thought to have died of natural causes.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Nic Cupac, an incredibly talented colleague and member of the film community who will be greatly missed,” a Disney rep told the New York Post, noting that his passing wasn’t directly related to the shoot. “His sudden passing was not production related. Nic was a grip on 2nd unit.”
Cupac, who’d also worked on other blockbuster franchises including Harry Potter and Star Wars, had just recently flown into Morocco to start work on Indiana Jones 5. More than 100 crew members had gathered in the city to prepare for the filming of a major stunt scene which would have included the use of a rickshaw. Cupac was there to work as a grip to help build and maintain the rigging equipment for the cameras.
This news follows many other problems that have affected the production of Indiana Jones 5. In addition to pandemic delays, the movie shut down for three months this year when lead star Harrison Ford suffered a shoulder injury during filming. The production has also been plagued with local backlash over filming in London and a ban on Morocco flights to and from the UK. It’s not clear at this time if Nic Cupac’s death will delay the production any further.
At one point, the plan was to release Indiana Jones 5 in July of this year, but that was pushed back to July 29, 2022. Just recently, Disney announced that several big projects would be given more delays, and this sequel was on the list. It is now set for a release in the summer of 2023, so the long wait continues for fans to see what will probably be Harrison Ford’s final adventure with the whip as Indiana Jones.
Steven Spielberg was also planning to direct the feature, though he has since stepped back to serve as a producer. James Mangold (Logan) has filled in as the director with the screenplay penned by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and Mangold. Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, and Simon Emanuel also produced.
Of course, Harrison Ford returns as Indiana Jones. The new cast also features Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Kretschmann, Boyd Holbrook, Shaunette Renee Wilson, Toby Jones, and Antonio Banderas. After his casting was announced, Mikkelsen explained how he was drawn to the project because of the quality of the script, providing some hope to fans concerned that the fifth Indiana Jones movie won’t be quite as good.
“I’m very, very excited about it… I rewatched Raiders of the Lost Ark the other day, it is so well-done and so charming, and it’s such great storytelling,” Mikkelsen told Collider earlier this year. “So yes it’s a great honor to be part of that franchise that I grew up with… I’m in a lucky position where they let me read the script before. And yes, it was everything I wished it to be, so that was just great.”
Indiana Jones 5, which is not yet officially titled, will be released on June 30, 2023, as long as there are no further delays. This news comes to us from The New York Post.