It took nearly two decades, but swashbuckling archaeologist Indiana Jones is finally back with bullwhip and fedora in hand, ready to blast his way back into movie theatres.
The 19-year delay in returning the iconic adventurer to the big screen in the series’ fourth installment, Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, has occupied fans of the series who have spent years begging for Indy’s return.
His delay, it seems, was due in large part to quality control concerns on the part of his creators.
Producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg originally envisioned a trilogy which they completed in 1989 with Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, according to Raiders Of The Lost Ark star Karen Allen (Animal House, Starman).
But when she got the call to reprise her role as the strong-willed Marion Ravenwood in Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, Allen learned that a solid story idea, not a lack of will, had been stopping Lucas and Spielberg from bringing Indy to life once again.
“I think the real problem, as I know from conversations with George and Steven, is that they didn’t see a point in doing one unless they could come up with a story that was really going to be great and worthy of continuing,” Allen recalls.
This installment of the series pits Dr. Jones against evil agents of the Soviet Union led by the villainous Irina Spalko (Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett) and includes a new sidekick, Mutt Williams (Transformers’ Shia LaBeouf), who helps the adventurer in his quest to find the highly-coveted crystal skull.
While the film is probably the most hyped of this summer’s blockbusters — and perhaps the most highly-anticipated movie in years — the 56-year-old Allen admits that when shooting began on Raiders Of The Lost Ark, she had no idea she was part of what would eventually become a cultural phenomenon.
“I had never seen those Saturday afternoon serials and I thought we were making Casablanca,” Allen says of the short films upon which the Indiana Jones series was originally based. “I was too young an actor and had no sense of the experience of a blockbuster type of film.”
But the question looms, why, after such a long hiatus, was Indiana Jones worth revisiting?
“I think it comes down to good storytelling,” Allen explains. “(The stories are) mythic, there’s suspense, there’s humour and at the centre of the whole thing there’s Harrison playing Indiana Jones who is a real, iconic hero.
“As George Lucas says, he’s like you and me. He’s not a superhero, he’s a human hero. He has all kinds of foibles, all kinds of flaws. He can laugh at himself and make us laugh with him and I think there’s something unique about that.”
Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull opens Thursday.
Indy’s back after 19 years
It took nearly two decades, but swashbuckling archaeologist IndianaJones is finally back with bullwhip and fedora in hand, ready to blasthis way back into movie theatres.