Who does Mads Mikkelsen play in Indiana Jones 5? Villain Jürgen Voller explained

Chris Tilly

Mads Mikkelsen plays the villain in Indiana Jones 5, so who is Jürgen Voller? And how does he factor into the plot of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny?

Having made his name in the brilliant Pusher trilogy, Mads Mikkelsen hit Hollywood and become one of the industry’s go-to guys for villainy.

Mikkelsen played Bond bad guy Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, the evilly vengenful Kaecilius in Doctor Strange, and replaced Johnny Depp as the villainous Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. While on TV, he played Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal, who most definitely isn’t a good guy.

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Now, Mikkeslen is joining the Indiana Jones franchise and guess what? He’s playing the villain. This is everything we know about his character, Jürgen Voller.

Who does Mads Mikkelsen play in Indiana Jones 5?

Mads Mikkelsen plays a Nazi called Jürgen Voller in Indiana Jones 5. He’s the villain of the film and after the same historical artefact as Indy in the movie – the titular Dial of Destiny.

In the film’s official synopsis, he’s referred to as “Indy’s old nemesis… a former Nazi now working as a physicist in the U.S. space program, [who] has his own plans for the Dial, a horrifying scheme that could change the course of world history.”

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That means Voller appears in the film’s early 1944 sequence, working for the Nazis. While when the bulk of the movie plays out – in 1969 – he’s working for the American government by putting men on the moon. Making Voller a multilayered antagonist.

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“We tried to avoid the cliché of the German or the Nazi with the extreme accent and the extreme madness,” Mikkelsen explains. “We wanted him to be a man who kind of blended in once he moved to America because he’s predominantly a scientist. Voller’s pragmatic. He’s a restrained character. He’s a man you would pass on the street.”

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Why Jürgen Voller is a Nazi in Dial of Destiny

There have been scores of villains across the five Indiana Jones movies, but the most memorable antagonists have something in common, as co-screenwriter John-Henry Butterworth explains:

“The best villains in Indy movies are Nazis. If you write down a wish list of what you want to see in an Indy film, it’s Indy slugging it out with Nazis, and eventually prevailing. It was kind of like a crossword clue to try to work out how to fit that into the time frame that we wanted the main story to take place in.”

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We’ve got much more to reveal about Jürgen Voller and his plan, but those details are spoiler-filled, so we’ll update this biography once Indiana Jones 5 goes on general release.

For more Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny info, check out the below articles:

Indiana Jones 5 review | Cast and characters | What is the Dial of Destiny? | Number of Indy movies | Helena Shaw explained | Soundtrack and songs | Indiana Jones streaming details | Dial of Destiny runtime | Lance of Longinus explained | Where is Indy’s son? | Filming locations | How to watch the Indy movies in order | Is Short Round in Dial of Destiny? | Ranking the Indiana Jones movies | Villain explained | Does Dial of Destiny have a post-credits scene? | Best Easter Eggs | Ending explained | Deaths in Dial of Destiny? | Will there be an Indiana Jones 6?

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About The Author

Chris Tilly is the TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He has a BA in English Literature, an MA in Newspaper Journalism, and over the last 20 years, he's worked for the likes of Time Out, IGN, and Fandom. Chris loves Star Wars, Marvel, DC, sci-fi, and especially horror, while he knows maybe too much about Alan Partridge. You can email him here: chris.tilly@dexerto.com.