With Marion Ravenwood herself, the enchanting Karen Allen, making the rounds for the release of Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-Ray Set (buy from CHUD) she was of course prepared for the requisite Indiana Jones 5 question. In fact, she consulted Stephen Spielberg on exactly the status of the potential sequel. In a chat with Movies.com, Allen recounts this terrifying exchange:
“…I, in fact, just talked with Steven Spielberg recently – we e-mailed back and forth, and I said, “What should I say? I’m doing this publicity, what should I say if people ask me that question?” And he said, “It’s in George’s [Lucas] hands! I’m game, Harrison’s game, and now it’s up to George to write the script or to get the script organized, and the story.” And so I think it’s – they want to do a fifth, from what I understand, but they don’t want to do it just to do it, they want to do it if they can come up with a story that everybody is happy with and that everybody likes.”
Sigh. “It’s in George’s hands!”
I don’t doubt for a second that Spielberg wants to do another Indiana Jones. He wants to prove he can still do right by that character. But as I surmised in this week’s review of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy belongs to an era of filmmaking far removed from the one we’re currently experiencing. The fact that this beloved character’s future is “in George’s hands” couldn’t be more disheartening, as the elements that really didn’t work came primarily from George.
The good that comes out of dreadful endeavors like Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls or the prequels is that perhaps we’re finally learning to appreciate what we have again; and leave these excellent films to their respective places in history. Aside from being heinous abominations, the disconnect between the Star Wars prequels and the originals suggests it’s more than filmmaking technology that has changed with time. So too, for better or worse, have the storytellers.
The question “Do we need a fifth Indiana Jones?” can only be answered with another question:
Did we ever need a fourth?