Friday, June 13, 2008

Darabont's Indy IV Script

Where the hell is Mystery Man?

Well, I’m back and the big news of late was that Indy fans briefly had the opportunity to
download Frank Darabont’s Indy IV screenplay, which was titled, as it has been long rumored, Indiana Jones and the City of Gods. Thanks to everyone who sent me e-mails about it! I will personally respond to every single e-mail this weekend.

I loved the hell out of Darabont’s script. I think I fell in love with it by page 35, and the damn thing just kept getting better. His draft was undeniably superior to Koepp’s on every level. City of Gods truly was, as Spielberg was quoted as saying, “The best Indiana Jones screenplay since Raiders.” And readers familiar with my other article,
50 Flaws of Indy IV, will know exactly what I mean when I say that Darabont got right everything Koepp got wrong. What a cinematic travesty and injustice to Indy fans the world over to have produced such a vastly inferior story. There is no one to blame but George Lucas.

So I’ll be returning on Monday with a new article, 50 Strengths of Darabont’s Draft, and then I’ll open it up for discussion. I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts about it.

So read the script this weekend, and we’ll talk on Monday!

By the way, the pic above is one of eight pieces of Indy IV concept art that's being showcased here.



Mystery Man said...

If anyone knows of another place in which it's available, can you share that link here?


Scott said...

I downloaded it as well. AICN apparently has news and comments about it, do not know if they are hosting it.

But seriously, is it for real? Look at page 12, MM. He writes:

...while the jeeps hurtle along on parallel or intersecting
courses, trying to hem him in; one moment converging, the next
being forced to split off in different directions (giving Mr.
Spielberg the opportunity to stage the most breath-takingly
outrageous near misses every put on film!).

Is it just me, or does that line sound like a fan writer rather than a professional like Darabont? I want to believe this is the real script, but this line sticks in my craw too much.

Mystery Man said...

Believe me, it was the real deal.

Darabont could make comments like that, because he's writing this for Spielberg and he's friends with him. And you better believe Steven would have LOADS of ideas to contribute to that sequence.


Scott said...

Ok, fair enough. The script is still flawed, but I cannot say whether that is Darabont or Lucas. There is still the 'hiding in a fridge to escape a nuclear blast' bit. And the crystal skulls, they just do not work.

Looking forward to your thoughts, MM.

Carlo Conda said...

ad I can't download it. If only I knew someone who had it that could email it to me. :)


Burbanked said...

MM: what about the bit where Marion grills Indy about his involvement with Willie Scott? Didn't his Willie dalliance take place chronologically BEFORE he reunited with Marion in RAIDERS?

I felt pretty comfortable that this script was the real deal, but that bit really felt wrong to me. Did I miss something or is this a colossal blunder on Darabont's part?

Oh, and big time looking forward to Monday!

Tiny Writer said...

^The Willie reference is not a gaffe. Yes, "Doom" took place before "Raiders", but the line is vaguely written enough that Marion could just be referring to the fact that Willie was one of Indy's exes and could have been asking if they got back together.

Burbanked said...

I don't know, Tiny Writer - the line itself might be vague, but the context it's in - where Marion is talking about how she's gotten married SINCE the events of RAIDERS and CRUSADE - certainly implies that her question about Willie is within that timeframe. Marion says "still in touch?" and Indy replys "on and off".

I don't necessarily think the exchange is a gaffe; I think it's a useless throwaway, a rather pointless reference to Willie that Marion's only making for the sake of making it.

It just suggests to me that even with its strengths, the Darabont draft isn't a fix-all for this project, which must have been fraught with booby traps from a screenwriter's perspective.

Matt said...

I'll play... a book club for screenplays. I have a copy on my desktop, but haven't gotten a chance to get to it. But I will this weekend.

Joshua James said...


Do you have it? If so, can you email me?

James said...

"I think it's a useless throwaway, a rather pointless reference to Willie that Marion's only making for the sake of making it."


It's a useless throwaway, to say the line that follows...

"I heard she moved to Hollywood. Married some big shot director."

I figure you all know, Kate Capshaw (who played Willie Scott) married Spielberg. It was a setup for a self-reflexive joke.

Anyway, it got a smile out of me.

Burbanked said...

Good point, James. I must have been asleep to have missed that.

Fine, it's a decent enough joke, but it renders the point of Marion asking in the first place even more useless from a narrative standpoint. I realize I'm over-thinking this entirely too much, but to break the franchise's continuity simply for a throwaway gag seems, to me, a long road to hoe.

'Course, one could make the argument that the joke was between Darabont and Spielberg and not really meant to be filmed or distributed among us unwashed masses.

Unk said...

I got my copy here quite a while ago:


Mystery Man said...

Thanks so much for that, Unk.

Guys, I'm not avoiding you, just saving those points for Monday's article. I'll say this: I do agree that it was a bit too self-referential, but keep in mind that this was just a first draft. Most of those problems would've been fixed, I'm sure.


Mickey Lee said...


Actually what Darabont wrote is pretty typical -- action writers know that so much of the action scenes are ad libbed by the directors and the stunt crew that they dont even bother. If he had written out every last kick, punch and dodge, THEN I'd be concerned it was a fake.

Another example, from the "Live and Let Die" commentary, screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz said that when he wrote the centerpiece boat chase he simply put "The most fantastic boat chase ever seen on film." You have to love a screenwriter who knows his place!