If Lucas and Co. aren’t that concerned about abrogating the “Last Crusade,” Indiana Jones IV is going to have to be better than the three films combined without looking as though it’s trying to be better than the preceding chapters, and I mean trying in an ironic, referential and self-aware kind of way — like the soft-cock and familial “Lethal Weapon 4,” which tried to tie up the entire “Lethal Weapon” series with a neat little bow, and failed.
Last week, in an interview with “The Calgary Sun,” Spielberg’s long-time producer, Kathleen Kennedy, gave eager fans an update on the progress of Indiana Jones IV, and in the process, revealed exactly why some fear — and some hope — that the “Last Crusade” is odds on favorite to maintain its status as Indiana Jones’ final film foray — as it was intended to be. Kennedy said, “The truth is there has been a lot of discussion amongst all of us connected with the film but to be honest there is no script because there isn’t even a writer in place. It sounds like a slam dunk to do another Indiana Jones, but you have to get everyone available and committed and then you have to get a screenplay that excites everyone. In reality that could probably take years.”
The subtext underpinning Kennedy’s quote is there for all to see: no writer so far invited to turn in their vision of an Indy IV has been able to lick it. When you consider that the escalating costs associated with making movies in the 21st century makes it hard for good writers to really flex their muscles, and when you consider the great, inescapable fact that George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Lawrence Kasdan and the late Jeffrey Boam engineered an impossible ask by turning in two towering film achievements, including a great — and purposeful — send-off for Herr Jones, the likelihood of a fourth Indiana Jones that packs a knock-out punch becomes remote. On top of all that is the compounded greatness of the series’ bookends and the crushing weight of the reverence reserved for the films that must be considered, and, overcome. Even thinking up a great storyline, I’m sure, will challenge the most mercurially talented scribes.
Get the whole story in the final part of INDIANA JONES AND THE IMPOSSIBLE SEQUEL>>>
Posted on July 20, 2001 in Features by Matt Holcomb
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