Thursday, June 18, 2009
INDY 5: The Search For More Money?
Over a year ago, the summer movie season that spawned The Dark Knight and WALL-E started off with everyone's favorite geriatric archaeologist and his band of terrible supporting characters. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull premiered to much anticipation and perhaps too much hype. We all hoped for something along the lines of the Last Crusade; a film that embraced the spirit of the Indy films before it while giving us a fresh take on the Indy character. What we got instead was the result of 20 years of George Lucas pouting til he got his way.
Which Crystal Skull viewers were more pissed off, those that had a feeling it would be about aliens (and spent half the movie wishing it wouldn't actually happen), or those of you refusing to suspect something so laughable and then getting blindsided with a flying saucer. I was firmly in the camp of Alien Suspicion. Frankly, it seemed like the world's worst kept secret. You take the director responsible for E.T., Close Encounters, and War of the Worlds and put him in the room with the brain behind the life (and death) of the Star Wars franchise, you just knew George would eat that shit up with a side of Tantan guts. Lucas wanted Aliens from the beginning, everyone else did not. A stand-off occurred, and it looked like no side would cave. Lucas was busy becoming uber-rich by milking every last cent from his baby, and Spielberg was enjoying lots of continued success with his projects. Something tells me if it were up to just those two guys, the movie would never have been made.
Sadly, a third party had a say in it also. Harrison Ford was once the most bankable man in Hollywoodland, and when the 90's left us, so did his ability to pick good scripts. Turd after turd found the man quickly losing his loyal audience. Those who lined up in droves to see Air Force One found it more entertaining to play the Sims in their mom's basement than see Hollywood Homicide. Who can blame 'em? He needed a hit, something to remind everyone that yea, he eats bad guy's faces. It seemed his last gasp grasp came at the Indy franchise, and while he once steadfastly refused to touch anything related to aliens, he found himself not only considering the option, but agreeing to it faster than George Lucas can fuck a gungan. Ford put the carpenter squeeze on Spielberg and thus, Indy 4.
I've seen Crystal Skull a lot, and while I love a good bit of it, I really really hate Mutt, the fridge, the aliens, and the ending. The most satisfying part of the movie, however, is the fallout: the person the fans blamed for it. No one blamed Spielberg, we figured he did the best with what he had and is only guilty of being Georgey Boy's doormat. Ford was considered by many to be the lone shining light of the movie, pushing it beyond 'merely watchable' to 'rather enjoyable'. Yes, Fat Neck Lucas takes the most blame. And rightly so.
Through it all though (and this is where my post creeps into relevance), Indy 4 managed to snake in serious dollars. And any time that happens, Lucas awakes from his stormtrooper-filled wet dream with thoughts of s e q u e l on the brain. Uh oh. The talk began immediately, with Lucas coming right out and saying "well, if there's gonna be another movie, it falls to me to come up with the story, because if I didn't I wouldn't have any association with the movie at all." He rightly flip flopped on his previous stance and said that Mutt would continue to sit on the sidelines sucking dick, and that the focal point in an Indy movie would forever be Indy (I know, a no-brainer right?)
Now everyone's favorite douche has chimed in. Shia LaBeouf claims that he talks with Sir Spielberg now and then, and in their last conversation Steven says he's 'cracked the story' for Indy 5. Apparently, everything is rolling along. Paramount Pictures have come out and said that they won't be the studio behind a new Indiana Jones movie (a bit shocking), letting their pals at NBC-Universal to do it instead. The latest bit of news happened today. Frank Marshall, producer for all four Indy films has come out with this interesting bit of info:
"It's really about the script," said Marshall. "Once we see that, we'll see. We're not going to wait another 20 years. We'd all love to make another one. I'm anxious to hear the idea!" I guess he doesn't even know what idea LaBarf is talking about. "Until there's a script, nothing's definite. I haven't heard the idea." Marshall confirmed that the three heavyweights are all in for another Indy film. "Yeah. We had a great time making the last one and, as Harrison said, we need to make this one soon. We're not getting any younger."
And there you have it. The sequel we expected but hoped against (similar to the aliens) is making some progress. How do we feel about this?
Well, Indy's married with a step-child now. The ONLY way and I mean the absolute ONLY way that Indy 5 will be any good is if Indy leaves the weak links at home and goes off adventuring without them. We've had enough of Shia. Let him stay at home wanking to James Dean posters. He killed Crystal Skull, he will kill again...
Marion, she's alright, but is now too old and too ugly to keep up with Indy. Let Doc Jones ride off to the Mid East or something, reunite with Sallah, find the mother of all artifacts, and kick it old school. He can find some new flame there and flirt with the idea of infidelity. Heck, he can give some young girl the business for all I care. The worst thing they could've done was handcuffed him at home with a wife, so just let him run around being Indy Jones for Christ's sake. The fans demand nothing short of a full-fledged return to classic Indiana Jones. I'm all for a good sequel. Harrison is up for it still, but once he hits 70 it's all over. Jesus, he's almost that old? He can still play younger, as he's done his whole career, so I'm not too worried about passing him off as The Man With The Hat. Follow these simple instructions and the fans will return.