Let the rumors fly!
JoBlo kicked off a new season of Indy IV rumors by saying that Spielberg offered a role in the new film to Clint Eastwood.
I don't believe it.
Then came the rumor (found here) that Harrison Ford was told his whip would have to be computer generated because of new safety regulations. Ford reportedly said that the rule was "ridiculous" and he'd pull out of the film if he couldn't "wield his whip." (Hey, guys, here's your chance to save yourselves!)
Another rumor - both Aint It Cool News and Latino Review have reported that the SON of Indiana Jones will be played by Shia LaBeouf. Ugh. For God's sake, Harrison SAID, "Hey, there's only one son in these movies and I'll always be Sean Connery's little boy."
But that was in 2002. Sigh...
You can, however, believe this rumor: Janusz Kaminski, the man who has lensed all of Steven Spielberg's films since Schindler's List in 1993, confirmed that his next project as DP will of course be Indy IV. Not only that, he will be lensing the film "all over the world," which includes "jungle locales." Woo hoo!
Let's start a rumor of our own with a damn good theory.
A friend sent me this link where a fan posted his theory on Indy IV. And ya know, I remember having a conversation with a close friend of mine years ago about this very same artifact. It's still a good theory. Follow me here. In every movie, Indy always went after an object from a different religion, right? In the first film, it was Judaism with Ark of the Covenant. The second film was Hinduism with the Sankara Stones, and the third film was Christianity with the Holy Grail. And thus, the fourth movie may involve an Islamic artifact. Perhaps The Black Stone?
According to Wikipedia, The Black Stone "is one of the cornerstones of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building towards which all Muslims pray. The Kaaba is located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, where it is surrounded by the enormous Masjid al-Haram, the Grand Mosque. The Black Stone is comparatively small, being roughly 30 cm (12 in.) in diameter. However, it can be recognized instantly by the large silver band surrounding it. When pilgrims circle the Kaaba as part of the ritual of the Hajj, many of them try, if possible, to stop and kiss the Black Stone. The Stone is actually broken into several pieces, damage which occurred when it was stolen in 930. Qarmatian warriors sacked Mecca and carried the Black Stone away to their base in Bahrain. It was returned twenty-two years later. In the process, the Black Stone was cracked. It is now held together by the silver band, which is fastened by silver nails to the Stone."
I like this theory and I'll tell you why. As many of you know, I spent over a decade chronicling all the sordid rumors of Indy IV. From about '94-'97 we heard rumors about Indy going after an artifact from the Garden of Eden. Spielberg SAID it "had to do with Adam and Eve." The title "Indiana Jones and the Garden of Life" was being tossed around Paramount. So tell me. What possible artifact could be obtained from the Garden of Eden? The apple? Fig leaves? Tree of Life? No. It's something different.
Many Muslims believe that the Black Stone fell from Heaven at the time of Adam and Eve, and that it was once pure and dazzling white but turned black because of all the sins it absorbed. Some Muslims also believe that at the Last Judgement (Qiyamah), the Black Stone will speak for those who kissed it. "Allah will bring it forth on the Day of Resurrection, and it will have two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will testify in favour of those who touched it in sincerity." Hey, this hot little item contains all the elements you need for an Indiana Jones adventure - mysterious powers, and better yet, the promise of salvation or eternal damnation.
Of course, it may not be the Black Stone. The Topkap Palace, which is located in Turkey right by the beautiful Bosphorus waters, has a Chamber of Sacred Relics full of Islamic items like the Gold Chest containing the Holy Mantle of Muhammad, the Swords of Muhammad, and the Lock of Kaaba.
Everyone is clearly nervous about this movie. (Lucas admitted that they're going to "take a hit from the critics and fans." Koepp said "I'm going to get my ass handed to me.") I wonder - are they nervous because the storyline will involve Muslim beliefs? Is this really an appropriate time to be going after an Islamic artifact? Would these same Muslims who rioted over cartoons in Norway be equally upset over a comic-bookish action adventure film that they might view as dishonoring their beliefs?
Because let's face it, the artifacts really don't mean much in these films. It's just an excuse to have really cool special effects. The story is always about the people going after those artifacts.
And it's also about bugs and snakes.