The man with the hat is back and this time he’s bringing his McGuffin.
Empire Magazine is still the best in the business (though imagine what Movie Insider would have been after four years of growth and weep) and their recent Indiana Jones extravaganza issue has yielded some fruit in regards to the working relationship and conceptualizing process of Indiana Jones IV directly from the bearded mouth hole of Mr. George Lucas. Here’s a quote from their article you may be interested in:
"We’re basically going to do The Phantom Menace”, says
Lucas (stay with him here, he’s making a point). “People’s expectations
are way higher than you can deliver. You could just get killed for the
whole thing…We would do it for fun and just take the hit with the
critics and the fans."
Now, The Phantom Menace part is what most people are going to cling to. It’s obviously the elephant in the room at LucasFilm, the movie seemingly everyone but Lucas considers a speedball of turd [Empire gave it four stars and we were kind to it in 1999 as well] injected directly into the nostalgia center of cerebullum. I actually find it the least annoying of the prequels in retrospect but even so, it’s obvious that Mr. George knows exactly which of our buttons to push. The Phantom Menace. It’s almost like a poisoned dart. It’s in the air and you’re just waiting for someone to collapse.
The great thing is that you can pin any filmmaker down and they’ll publicly tell you that the prequels "are my kid’s favorite movies" but there’s something in their eyes that sparkles to the contrary but this is an Indiana Jones article so press on I must…
People are going to respond to the mention of the dreaded first prequel, but the line that scares me is where Lucas says they’re going to take a hit from the critics and the fans. If you take away the critics AND the fans, who is there left to make a movie for? The R&D budget at ILM? George Lucas has more revenue streams than Bill Gates, so it’s not like the movie represents some sort of imperative business decision. To intentionally scuttle the goodwill of the fans of two giant franchises borders on lunacy, and the Empire article goes on to illustrate that Lucas had to sell Spielberg and Ford on the "incendiary McGuffin" he wanted to use, apparently not caring about the supposedly brilliant Frank Darabont script the other two were ready to make. And hey, didn’t Tommy Lee Jones play Incendiary McGuffin in Blown Away?
This is all speculation until Indiana Jones and the Missplaced Priapism arrives but I just long for a time when there were certain things you could rely on in cinema, at least mainstream cinema. The only thing I can rely on in regards to this project is that logic doesn’t matter and that the main man behind the project gives fuck-all about you and I.