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Jason Bortz

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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Baal_T'shuvah wrote:

: Does anyone know if there's any truth to the rumor that Die Hard with a Vengence was

: originally intended to be Lethal Weapon IV?

First I've heard of it. As you can see above, Die Hard 3 began as a spec script called "Simon Says", and then Fox decided to turn it into a Die Hard sequel. I was first made aware of this when I read the press kit in 1995 (I had been the entertainment editor at a campus newspaper for about a year by then), and I believe they talk about this on the two-disc DVD as well. On the DVD commentary, I believe the writer says the first 30-40 minutes is pretty much exactly what he wrote in the spec script, and then the rest of it is the result of rewrites to make it a "John McClane movie".

: And would anyone like to toss in the Lethal Weapon series for comparisons to the

: Indiana Jones/Die Hard debate?

Man, I haven't seen any of those movies more than once, and I saw them all pretty much when they were new (though I had to wait for VHS for the first movie, being under-age and all). So my memories of those films are pretty hazy. But I vaguely recall thinking the first film was too serious, weighted down by all the Vietnam War references (which are completely absent from the sequels, right?); the second film was more out-and-out fun; the third film made no narrative sense whatsoever; and the fourth film... huh, the only thing I remember about it is that Mel Gibson couldn't even be bothered to grow his hair out for that one. And without the hair, he just ain't Martin Riggs.

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Indiana Jones on the Big Island

While secrecy has surrounded the project, the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones adventure series will film here for three weeks in August. Location shooting will take place along the Hamakua Coast and Lucasfilm has opened a production office in Hilo. There is no word yet on any casting call or other local production hires.

Hawaii Tribune-Herald, June 21

- - -

'Course, this doesn't mean the movie TAKES PLACE there. If memory serves, the South American sequence at the beginning of Raiders was shot in Hawaii, too.

Hmmm, rumour has it that Indiana Jones and the City of Gods is supposed to take place in South America, doesn't it?

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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You know how John McClane is supposed to be an "analogue" man in a "digital" world? I wonder if they're going to come up with something similar here. The fashions are still 1930s, but the setting is 1957, so...

Hmmm, how should we fill the blank: "Indiana Jones: a _____ man in a nuclear world"?

(And yes, rumour has it there WILL be a nuclear explosion in this film. Who have they got directing this thing, James Cameron?)

Or wait, 1957 was the year Sputnik was launched, right? Hmmm, "Indiana Jones: a _____ man in a space-age world."

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"Indiana Jones: a _____ man in a space-age world."

Jazz Age?

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Learning: Aging Action Franchise Invades the Ivy League

Filming of the four-quel, tentatively titled Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods and directed by Steven Spielberg, begins June 28. "It's the opening scene of the movie," Ms. Dunn burbled excitedly. "[Harrison Ford] is teaching a class and he hears some noise outside, which turns out to be an anti-Communist rally, and he goes out to investigate and he recognizes one of his old rivals from one of the other movies and he jumps on a motorcycle and ends up being chased by some guys in a car." That's not all. "I've heard rumors that the archeological artifact that they're looking for is the fountain of youth," Ms. Dunn said. "But I don't know."

New York Observer, June 26

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"I've heard rumors that the archeological artifact that they're looking for is the fountain of youth," Ms. Dunn said. "But I don't know."

They're impinging on potential Pirates of the Caribbean sequels...

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From AICN: "The Russians are trying to find it in order to one-up the American military might."

If that doesn't sound like a rumored plot development from the Temple of Doom era, I don't know what does. Can we really take seriously a rumor about a film with the Russians as villains? I know Putin has gone half-mad, but still.

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Christian said:

Can we really take seriously a rumor about a film with the Russians as villains? I know Putin has gone half-mad, but still.

Probably not. But this idea is almost appealing compared to the Indiana Jones' Close Encounters of the Third Kind direction that more rumors seem to support.

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Christian wrote:

: Can we really take seriously a rumor about a film with the Russians as villains?

If it takes place in the 1950s? Absolutely! I, for one, will applaud if Spielberg treats the Commies as every bit as villainous as he treated the Nazis. That ain't the way it normally happens in Hollywood.

Personally, I'm beginning to wonder if at least one of these rumour mills is a Blue Harvest-style diversion set up by Lucasfilm itself to distract us from what's really going on. (Y'all remember what Blue Harvest was, right?)

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(Y'all remember what Blue Harvest was, right?)

Yeah, the on location, deflection name for Revenge of the Jedi (and all that that title implied). But then its name was changed too... and look at what we were left with.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

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Alan Thomas wrote:

: Surely, you're joking...

No, I'm not. Spielberg is a particularly interesting case in point, given how he gladly demonized Nazis in all the Indiana Jones films and in Schindler's List (and arguably in Saving Private Ryan, too), whereas he pushed things in a more sort of moral-equivalence direction when he had to deal with the (Marxist-influenced?) Palestinian terrorists in Munich. So I would be genuinely surprised -- pleased, but surprised -- if he treated the Commies in Indiana Jones IV the same way he treated the Nazis in the first and third films.

And what examples do we have of anti-Communism in mainstream films? Not a whole lot. Even the James Bond films went out of their way to tone down the anti-Communism of Ian Fleming's books, at the height of the Cold War. (Those early films with Sean Connery? Russia acted alone in the books, but in the films, SPECTRE was the culprit and using Russians as a front. Would anyone even DREAM of creating an alternate imaginary villainous organization to deflect audience antipathy away from the Nazis??)

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Alan Thomas wrote:

: Whatever "softening" of communism there has been is likely more attributable to (1) a backlash against McCarthyism . . .

And of course, McCarthyism itself was a response to the fact that there were pro-Communist sympathies in Hollywood to a degree that there were never pro-Nazi sympathies. (Emphasis on "to a degree"; I'm sure Hollywood had its Lindberghs, too.)

: For some reason, in my mind, Hollywood's portrayal of commies is represented by things like The Last King of Scotland, Die Hard 2, The Hunt for Red October, The Sum of All Fears, Dr. Strangelove . . .

Hmmm. The first two examples don't concern Russians, so they are not quite in the same league as this Indiana Jones movie -- and in any case, I think everyone recognizes that Idi Amin was in a class all his own. The next two examples are Tom Clancy films, one of which actually REPLACED the book's villains with neo-Nazis! (And by the time the film came out, the Russians in the story weren't Soviets any more.) And Dr. Strangelove, of course, mocked EVERYONE mercilessly.

: . . . Gorky Park, etc. That is, unless you're basing your analysis on films such as Spies Like Us.

Never seen those ones.

: It will be more interesting, if produced, to see how Spielberg handles communism in a TinTin movie.

True, though rumour has it Spielberg might be basing his film on one of the more "escapist" stories.

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Not related to Indy 4, but to the entire existing trilogy, comes this survey, which includes a related question -- with numerous responses from online film writers. Bound to get certain A&Fers all fired up! :):

20) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom-- yes or no?

JIM EMERSON: YES! It's the best one, by far! Scarier, creepier, and captures more of the faux-exotic b-movie serial atmosphere. And it has that meta-rollercoaster ride through the mine.

SETH: Best of the three, by far. The first has a better co-star (big time), but neither of the others can compete with the purity of the chase at the end of Temple of Doom. Racist? Yup. Stupid? Beyond belief. But it manages somehow to top the first, which is a major accomplishment. The less said about the third, the better.

PAUL C: Yes, although with one big reservations. Simply put, Willie is a terrible match for Indy. After Marion, an adventuress in her own right who could fight alongside the boys, Willie has little to do but scream and grate on the nerves with every line she utters. But the scenes between Indy and Short Round make up for this, and I can

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20) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom-- yes or no?

Um, no.

It would make a great triple bill with Young Sherlock Holmes and The Goonies. The theme: Even great filmmakers like Spielberg have periods of making bad, derivative films ... but Spielberg made bad, derivative films that ripped off his own bad, derivative films ...

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Some people think the image on the IndianaJones.com home page -- also available as a wallpaper -- is hinting something:

IJ4-WP-01-800.jpg

Oh, yeah, and then there's this:

070726-photo.jpg

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Slashfilm says Lucasfilm has registered six possible titles with the MPAA:
  • Indiana Jones and the City of Gods
  • Indiana Jones and the Destroyer of Worlds
  • Indiana Jones and the Fourth Corner of the Earth
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Indiana Jones and the Lost City of Gold
  • Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Covenant
My comments and speculations on the possible meaning(s) of these titles.

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Wow. I just noticed these pics taken at Comic-Con a week or two ago. Note the presence of the Ark of the Covenant AND a Mayan temple.

con2.gif

This page also gets into some of the intriguing possible viral marketing that has been done with websites based on the two serial numbers that appear on the various crates: There is 9906573 on the crate that currently appears on the IndianaJones.com home page, as seen in one of my posts above, and there is the similar but not exactly identical 9906753 on the crate in which the Ark of the Covenant was deposited at the end of Raiders. Typo? (In which case maybe the two crates are supposed to be one and the same.) Or not? (In which case... who knows?)

9906573_01.jpg

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Short Round turns 35 today. 35!! You know what that means?!?! It means I'm 40... something!! It means he's probably the same age Indy was in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom! 35!!!! This guy.......!

46.jpg

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Says a friend:

"The best part about the whole trip was that I peeked into an enormous sound stage where they had built a set for the new Indiana Jones movie. There were tents and jeeps and jungle things and tents and vines and tropical, flowering shrubbery. So, get ready for that."

He's in L.A., finishing his last semester of college as part of the Los Angeles Film Studies Center (via Geneva College, in PA). Seems like a neat program...they had to read Jeffrey's book before the semester started. Regardless, the quote seems to hint at jungle-y environs. Hmmm....

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The photos posted at http://www.harrisonfordweb.com/ seem to indicate there will also be a mix of Egyptian and Mesoamerican elements in this film -- which either confirms the existing rumours, or just shows you how far Lucas and Spielberg are willing to go to throw people off the scent.

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Looking at those pics, I'm still thinking along the lines of a plot related to alien visitation:

1) Ancient hieroglyphics depicted the "chariots of the gods," didn't they? And those statues with the paper over their faces have suspiciously Roswell-ian dimensions.

2) That crater is just oozing Close Encounters potential.

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