There were a lot of slips, pratfalls, heartbreaks (Darabont’s), heart-takes (Mola Ram’s), and tied-together shoes on the path to bringing the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise to the big screen. But none of those hiccups are reflected in the film’s gigantic (and still growing) box office take. People the world over happily paid all sorts of currencies to see Pitfall Harry Ford lose and then reclaim his travel-beaten hat over and over again. Nostalgia is to humans as catnip is to kittens, it seems. Ford certainly looked great back in that classic get-up, but the actor had to bob and weave through a screenplay that constantly wanted to elbow him to the side of all the special effects. Done with any measure of confidence, the movie could have been a really nice reestablishment of a beloved franchise. Instead…well you saw the movie. Everyone did according to its incredible haul. I mean, it’s even made more worldwide than Kung Fu Panda!
George Lucas recently stroked his weird-beard and revealed to The Sunday Times that the possibility of fifth entry was not out of the question. And with the money from that movie blanking out the sky like a plague of Lucasts, how could it be?
“If I can come up with another idea that they like, we’ll do another. Really, with the last one, Steven wasn’t that enthusiastic. I was trying to persuade him. But now Steve is more amenable to doing another one. Yet we still have the issues about the direction we’d like to take. I’m in the future; Steven’s in the past. He’s trying to drag it back to the way they were, I’m trying to push it to a whole different place. So, still we have a sort of tension. This recent one came out of that. It’s kind of a hybrid of our own two ideas, so we’ll see where we are able to take the next one.“
I know hybrids are all the rage right now, but go back to the Model-Indy Ford, Lucas! Or, better yet, don’t go back at all. Just let sleeping mutts lie. If the friendly friction between the two legendary filmmakers leads to something as hollow as Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Steve and George need to disengage from each other pronto. Spielberg especially should be wasting his time on other projects. By the way, how is it that Sylvester Stallone is the one person that seems to know how to breathe life into defunct properties? This past weekend saw the restart of The X-Files franchise sadly whiff. And the Lost Boys sequel somehow hits DVD this week. At least Devin has recently had some hopeful words for the Friday the 13th reboot. Still, it looks like nothing but rough waters ahead for all of this habitual revisiting.
If Indy 5 is to move from notion to motion, things are going to have to come together fairly quickly. Darabont frankly had the right idea in his passed-over script for the movie – he wrote a story about Indiana Jones, not about Team Indiana Jones. It would be nice to see that iconic character adventure his way through one final great exploit without Lucas’s minions digitally de-aging Ford’s face. However, with the actor on his way to seventy, it stands to reason that he may not want to do all the heavy lifting anyway. And that would be too bad. Despite what Lucas believes [insert LaBeouf here], I don’t think anyone wants to see the torch passed. They want to see it raised brilliantly one last time and then snuffed out. But if Lucas goes the other route, I imagine we’ll all be back watching again anyway.
Oh Han Piano.
If you’d like to read the rest of the Lucas’s interview with The Sunday Times, click here.