Monday, February 19, 2007

Indiana Jones & The Wacky Rumors

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.



mcwads said...

Yeah but it helps when the artifact Indi's trying to get is something known to the audience, no? Maybe that was part of the reason 1 and 3 worked but 2 sucked? I'm sure there were other reasons...

Mystery Man said...

Oh no, I agree with you, man. If it was up to me, I'd probably go for the Sword of Arthur story. Who cares if it was some illegal fan fiction? That's a cool artifact, man!

I'm not saying this is the RIGHT DECISION, either. I'm just trying to understand what they're doing and why they're nervous. This is an artifact that Steven and Harrison initially rejected and then years later, they agreed to do it. It's weird. And it's an artifact that Steven and Harrison said was "too connected." To what exactly? Current events, perhaps?

The Black Stone was, to me, the best clue as to what the famous "Garden of Life" script was all about. They may still be clinging to that idea.

But I'm open to all theories.

Thanks for the comment.


James said...

It's not the artifact that makes it weaker than 1 and 3. It is the lack of Nazis. There is no global threat.

1 and 3 the entire world is at stake. In 2, it is just a little Indian village.

Also keep in mind, the artifacts are maguffins ... for the most part.

In the third movie Indy didn't even want to pursue the Holy Grail. He wanted to save his father. Notice that at the midpoint in 1 he finds the Ark. In the midpoint in 3 he finds his father. It isn't until his father is shot with ~ 11 minutes left in the movie that Indy's objective is the Holy Grail. And even then, his objective is really, to save his father.

1 isn't as altruistic. He basically chases the relic to kick butt and get the girl. Very James Bond.

2, he does it for the kids and a small village. And gets the girl. And so does Spielberg.

3, he does it because he has something to prove to his father. That's really why 3 is the best.

Mim said...

I think that's a great idea. The Black Stone sounds like a very timely artifact. Maybe it isn't well known, like the Ark and the Grail, but when people find out what it is and where it's from, they'll jump all over it.

It's got great potential for imagery and symbolism through the use of myth.

Carl S said...


Mickey Lee said...

3 is the best? Hmmm. I could probably write a treatise on why I disagree, but I guess I'm in the minority....

Anyway, the Muslim artifact -- meh, that means we're going to see Indy in the desert. Again. Doesn't thrill me.

Say what you want about "Temple of Doom", but they didn't constantly recycle ideas from "Raiders" (unlike "Crusade", but I digress)

I'd like to see something involving Greek mythology.

James said...

I like 2. It was the one that stuck with me as a kid. I also tend to like smaller, darker stories.

But in terms of audience satifaction, doing the same thing only different is usually the formula. 3 did that. And expanded on it.

Also, as for recycling ideas... most of the story of Temple of Doom are leftover bits that didn't fit into Raiders. The mine cart chase. Hong Kong.

Orignally the Amulet Marion has is in two pieces. Indy has to retrieve a half from Hong Kong to later be reunited when he meets up with Marion. The two halves of a whole, lover's medallion thing.

Mystery Man said...

Hey guys, I updated this post with yet another rumor:

"...the SON of Indiana Jones will be played by Shia LaBeouf."

Just kill me now.


Mystery Man said...

I mean, shit. If they HAD to do such a thing, what's wrong with Natalie Portman as a daughter? I'll take Natalie over Shia any day of the week.


There were scenes in the old TV series, The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, in which we saw a 93-year-old Indiana Jones with his daughter. Those scenes were cut out of the 1999 video release.

Mickey Lee said...

James, you're not going to make me write my treatise right here and now, are you??? lol

Yeah, I knew that TOD was made up of bits and pieces leftover from the Raiders brainstorming process... but those ideas we hadn't seen before.

The tank chase in Last Crusade was too reminiscent of the truck chase in Raiders, and having the Nazis as villains again was just kind of lame. Donovan's death was too similar to the baddies at the end of Raiders.

Mystery Man said...

All right, well, you'll have to put me down for Raiders in this debate. I watched all 3 movies again a couple weekends ago. I have to admit, I walk away more satisfied with 1 than the others.

I have trouble sitting through 3. I just never liked the look of the production, ya know? The sets look staged and cheap, particularly in the final climax. There are a lot of continuity errors. Nothing bugs me more than that scene in the desert where Indy falls off the tank and hangs on to that gun turret only to discover that his strap somehow got wrapped AROUND the splintered gun barrel. Do you know what I'm talking about? Please. The dialogue is really dry, clunky, and on-the-nose more often than it should have been. Raiders was just an all-around more entertaining, better production, I think.


Mim said...

The second and third never quite lived up to the first one. Raiders for me.

There were individual scenes in two and three that I enjoyed, but Raiders was just more of a cohesive whole.

Mickey Lee said...


I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. That thing with Indy's manbag strap has always bugged the hell out of me. Along with the there it is/now it's gone bird poop on the brim of his Fedora.

For the most part, the action scenes in Last Crusade were incredibly lame. I mean, that boat chase in Venice has to be one of the most botched executions of an action scene in recent memory. Who the hell edited it?? (I know, Michael Kahn....)

The only action scene worth the price of admission is the motorcycle chase, which was obviously added after the intial production wrapped. And even that is incredibly contrived, as one must ask themselves -- why didn't Indy just stay hidden in the crate until the Germans sped away in the boat?

They sacrificed the menace and danger of the first two films for light-hearted, family fun. Last Crusade is the Return of the Jedi of Indy films.

Mickey Lee said...


I totally agree with you. Although I love Temple of Doom, I love it more for the fact that it's just a string of some of the best action scenes assembled in one film rather than a cohesive or gripping story.

Raiders is by far the best of the bunch.

Mystery Man said...

Oh, yeah, that's very true. Let's face it. The action's going to be even lighter in the fourth film.

It bugs me when that tank goes over the cliff, too. When it impacts the ground, you can see the gun turret fall off. But then it somehow miraculously reattaches to the tank as it's rolling on the ground just before it blows up.

The boat chase sequence - it just kills me that Indy's boat is shot up, the engine stalls, black smoke coming out of the back, and Indy jumps onto the bad guy's boat, which gets crushed by the propellers. Well, then Elsa drives up in Indy's bad boat, no more smoke, the boat's suddenly working beautifully, and they just take off down the canal. Did she get a new boat? Is Elsa a BOAT MECHANIC? Hehehe...

And I completely agree with you about the action scenes. The flight sequence with Indy and his dad bugs me more than all the other action sequences. It's a cut above cheap blue screen. Not only that, there's the continuity of the blown tail rudder. In one shot, it's blown to hell, and in another, it's only partially ripped. Just like the movie. Hehehe...


I'd rather he adopted Short Round.


Mystery Man said...

To follow up on your new comment, Mickey, when I watched the movies again a couple weekends ago, I actually enjoyed 3 less and 2 more.

I just love that bridge sequence.


Mickey Lee said...

You gotta watch Temple of Doom like this: Watch the Shanghai intro scene all the way to the boat falling out of the airplane.

Skip up to the part where they are in the room with the spikes coming down from the ceiling ("We are going to DIE!"), and watch the rest from there. And yes, the bridge sequence is the best ending in ANY Indy movie (I mean, c'mon, all he did in Raiders was keep his eyes shut.)

I don't know much about Shia LaBeouf except that he's in the Transformers movie, which, God willing, Michael Bay won't screw up too much.

Carl S said...

Indiana Jones and the Lasst Canolli.

Indy battles the forces of evil to see who will get to eat the last, cheese-filled delight!

Carl S said...

Did I develop a lissp?

Mim said...

Shia LeBoeuf is a good dramatic actor, but I'm not sure how he'd do in an action movie. He's always seemed very subdued to me.

But then Toby Maguire is very subdued also, and people seem to like him as Spiderman. Myself, I'm meh on Toby as Spiderman. I guess Peter Parker is supposed to be very self-effacing, but Toby and Spiderman just don't go together for me.

I think it's the same with Shia and Indy.