The Trouble City Forums
INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Printable Version

+- The Trouble City Forums (http://citizens.trouble.city)
+-- Forum: Main Street (http://citizens.trouble.city/forumdisplay.php?fid=4)
+--- Forum: Focused Film Discussion (http://citizens.trouble.city/forumdisplay.php?fid=94)
+--- Thread: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion (/showthread.php?tid=155331)



- Stale Elvis - 03-23-2016

AGet The Beard on the phone!!!


- MichaelM - 03-23-2016

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post

Nope - it has to be set in real antiquity - a real god from either our own or another world culture. It has to have that sense of thousands of years of legend.



Nothing made up in Spielberg's office or cribbed from another author. It has to be a real-world religious relic.



Yeah, I'm nodding with this. ALL of teh Indy movies have used real-world beliefs and sites as the basis for Indy's adventures. There's enough fantastic bullshit and artificats in humanity's history that there shouldn't be a need to make anything up.




- agentsands77 - 03-23-2016

ATo be fair, the CRYSTAL SKULL stuff came from outside sources, including Akator itself. It's just all from relatively obscure New Agey bullshit and ancient aliens books.

But, entirely appropriate or not, my point is that the crystal skull MacGuffin could have been done a lot better than it was. I don't think it could have convincingly evoked a sense of the sacred, but on its own terms it could have been mysterious and dramatically compelling.


- fraid uh noman - 03-23-2016

ATwo biblical artifacts, one magical (not sure how much basis the stones have in actual history....though I'm familiar with Thugees and Shiva and all that)....so, something extraterrestrial in origin was a cool new angle (to me). I liked the idea of it and the desire to do something different. It's just the unfortunate movie that it was featured in has tainted it..


- fatherdude - 03-23-2016

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post

To be fair, the CRYSTAL SKULL stuff came from outside sources, including Akator itself. It's just all from relatively obscure New Agey bullshit and ancient aliens books.


Yup, it's a non-subtle riff on the mythological city of Akakor.  The concept of melding that with the Nazca lines and El Dorado is pretty great and as strong a basis for any Indiana Jones movie yet, in my opinion.  The problem is there's a step between the brainstorming session and the first day of production where you actually have to turn it into a cohesive script with structure, narrative momentum and engaging characters, and I guess they figured they'd just skip over that part.  It's tempting to pick at the edges of CRYSTAL SKULL, but its issues were fundamental -- fundamental at the script level, not the conceptual level.



Like, it's not the concept's fault that there's no tension, stakes, or pacing and that the third act has Indy deprived of many great opportunities to be proactive.  That's the province of the screenwriter, or at least one allowed to do his job.  (I don't like Koepp's work in general but he was probably not working under ideal circumstances here.  However, why was Darabont able to do much better with his own - however different - story outline?)  I blame Spielberg for not lending more energy to the proceedings and for signing off on the ugly diffusion filters, but mostly for approving that script.




- Belloq87 - 03-23-2016

My preference would be for a MacGuffin along the lines of Excalibur, because it's a legendary object that carries at least some weight with most people, which allows the story to either play with or subvert that.  I also think seeing Indy exploring dilapidated medieval castles, fog-shrouded moors, and the like would make for cool imagery that we haven't seen in the series yet.



But really, I'm not too concerned about that the artifact is going to be.  My only real concern at this moment pertains to the visual look of the film and Kaminski's cinematography.  Lip-service was paid last time around to Kaminski going back and "studying" Slocombe's lighting, but you'd never tell based on what Kaminski ended up doing, which had a blown out, artificial sheen that felt really out of place.  It certainly didn't help the CGI look more convincing, either.




- agentsands77 - 03-23-2016

A[quote name="FatherDude" url="/community/t/155331/indiana-jones-and-youre-actually-fucking-serious-pre-release-discussion/420#post_4035955"]
Yup, it's a non-subtle riff on the mythological city of Akakor.  The concept of melding that with the Nazca lines and El Dorado is as strong a basis for any Indiana Jones movie yet, in my opinion. 
[/quote]
Yep. It's clear Lucas had a blast bringing all these elements together. It's all pretty conceptually strong, but Lucas didn't have any idea how to turn it into drama. So, instead, we just get enormous exposition dumps that stop the movie dead in its tracks.


- fatherdude - 03-23-2016

Reading the Darabont draft and the Koepp shooting draft (both available) is a mind blower.  Yes, you have to account for the fact that the story outlines that the screenwriters were working with were different, but the stuff that makes Koepp's material weak has nothing to do with story ideas, but with...screenwriting.  He just doesn't make it work; the script's got the same weird, episodic lethargy that the movie does.  Maybe by the time he came on board he was saddled with one requirement too many, I don't know, but Darabont still had to include:



-The 50s


-Ruskies


-Area 51


-Doomtown


-Red Menace angle, with Indy under suspicion and fired


-Crystal skulls


-Nazca lines


-Return of Marion


-Oxley (albeit in much different form)


-Lost city in the Amazon


-Man-eating ants


-Jungle/river chase


-Aliens



and he came up with something that had such better structure, such better momentum, such better characterizations, such better dialog, so much more invention.  It astonishes me to remember that there was ever even a debate on these boards about whether Darabont's work was better.  And the variable here is the screenwriter, not Lucas.  You can point to the excessive callbacks or the goofy shit in Darabont's script, but let's not pretend that "some goofy shit" was the fatal problem with the final product.  It was the fact that it didn't even operate on the base level as a compelling story.



I'm turning this into a CRYSTAL SKULL thread, and for that I apologize, but good gravy will I be forever hungry for the answer to the question: What was Lucas's beef with Darabont's work?  Darabont claims to not know.  Contrary to suspicion (and this comes from that big, glossy, Making Of book published back when CRYSTAL SKULL was released) Koepp did not work any more closely with Lucas than Darabont did.  He worked almost exclusively with Spielberg, who was the one who filtered Lucas's input to Koepp.  Koepp actually insisted on this dynamic before agreeing to the job, because he didn't want to be positioned between these two powerful dudes (which seems to be what scared M. Night off).  By all accounts, this was how Darabont worked as well -- with Steven Spielberg.



So what was the deal killer for Lucas?  Did he just really want a son for Indy?  Supposedly an earlier Darabont draft had a daughter for Indy -- a Lucas idea that Spielberg nixed.  Did he feel the alien angle needed to be more emphasized and come earlier (the corpse in the warehouse)?  Or was his motivation more petty?  Did he feel left out of the process because he was heavy into the prequels at the time?  Was it payback for Spielberg vetoing the script he liked (Boam's final draft of SAUCER MEN) years earlier?



There's something more to this story.  Laurent Bouzereau conspicuously doesn't address it at all in his (puffy but well-done) making-of featurettes for the movie.  They discuss Spielberg's issues with the Saucerman concept pretty openly, they discuss Nathanson coming aboard, but no acknowledgment is made of Darabont, arguably the most high-profile of the rejected screenwriters.  I can't wait for the deathbed memoirs that clarify all this.



So what makes any of this germane to this thread?  Well, Koepp is back.  A number of you have reacted to this news with a sanguine, shrugging, "Lucas was probably the toxic element last time out" response, which I certainly sympathize with in the same way I sympathize with someone hoping to spot a passing freighter while stranded in the ocean, but I feel like comparing those two screenplays kinda hurls a wrench into at least the neatness of that narrative, no?  Lucas is to blame for passing on a solid Indy4 screenplay and hitting reset on the project, yes, and for co-endorsing the final script.  But he's still not actually the one who wrote the script.


EDIT: Corrections.




- carnotaur3 - 03-23-2016

ARather than point out the differences between the two drafts, let me reiterate the overall problem with both scripts.

They're just boring. These ideas were worked and reworked to death. It was probably Spielberg and Lucas who had probably dulled the knife down to where nothing could be cut down the center. By the time cameras rolled, the energy was gone. Yes, Darabont put more ideas in and Koepp stripped it down, but the underlying issue is that neither filmmakers were that excited when production rolled around. It became ultimately just requirement.


- Belloq87 - 03-23-2016

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post
 

Reading the Darabont draft and the Koepp shooting draft (both available) is a mind blower.  Yes, you have to account for the fact that the story outlines that the screenwriters were working with were different, but the stuff that makes Koepp's material weak has nothing to do with story ideas, but with...screenwriting.  He just doesn't make it work; the script's got the same weird, episodic lethargy that the movie does.  Maybe by the time he came on board he was saddled with one requirement too many, I don't know, but Darabont still had to include:



-The 50s


-Ruskies


-Area 51


-Doomtown


-Red Menace angle, with Indy under suspicion and fired


-Crystal skulls


-Nazca lines


-Return of Marion


-Oxley (albeit in much different form)


-Lost city in the Amazon


-Man-eating ants


-Jungle/river chase


-Aliens



and he came up with something that had such better structure, such better momentum, such better characterizations, such better dialog, so much more invention.  It astonishes me to remember that there was ever even a debate on these boards about whether Darabont's work was better.  And the variable here is the screenwriter, not Lucas.  You can point to the excessive callbacks or the goofy shit in Darabont's script, but let's not pretend that "some goofy shit" was the fatal problem with the final product.  It was the fact that it didn't even operate on the base level as a compelling story.



I'm turning this into a CRYSTAL SKULL thread, and for that I apologize, but good gravy will I be forever hungry for the answer to the question: What was Lucas's beef with Darabont's work?  Darabont claims to not know.  Contrary to suspicion (and this comes from that big, glossy, Making Of book published back when CRYSTAL SKULL was released) Koepp did not work any more closely with Lucas than Darabont did.  He worked almost exclusively with Spielberg, who was the one who filtered Lucas's input to Koepp.  Koepp actually insisted on this dynamic before agreeing to the job, because he didn't want to be positioned between these two powerful dudes (which seems to be what scared M. Night off).  By all accounts, this was how Darabont worked as well -- with Steven Spielberg.



So what was the deal killer for Lucas?  Did he just really want a son for Indy?  Supposedly an earlier Darabont draft had a daughter for Indy -- a Lucas idea that Spielberg nixed.  Did he feel the alien angle needed to be more emphasized and come earlier (the corpse in the warehouse)?  Or was his motivation more petty?  Did he feel left out of the process because he was heavy into the prequels at the time?  Was it payback for Spielberg vetoing the script he liked (Boam's final draft of SAUCER MEN) years earlier?



There's something more to this story.  Laurent Bouzereau conspicuously doesn't address it at all in his (puffy but well-done) making-of featurettes for the movie.  They discuss Spielberg's issues with the Saucerman concept pretty openly, they discuss Nathanson coming aboard, but no acknowledgment is made of Darabont, arguably the most high-profile of the rejected screenwriters.  I can't wait for the deathbed memoirs that clarify all this.



So what makes any of this germane to this thread?  Well, Koepp is back.  A number of you have reacted to this news with a sanguine, shrugging, "Lucas was probably the toxic element last time out" response, which I certainly sympathize with in the same way I sympathize with someone hoping to spot a passing freighter while stranded in the ocean, but I feel like comparing those two screenplays kinda hurls a wrench into at least the neatness of that narrative, no?  Lucas is to blame for passing on a solid Indy4 screenplay and hitting reset on the project, yes, and for co-endorsing the final script.  But he's still not actually the one who wrote the script.


EDIT: Corrections.


There's lot to unpack in this great post, but I'll just focus on three things...



First, the merits of Darabont's script vs. Koepp's script are subject to interpretation.  I don't particularly feel that one is better or worse than the other; Darabont's narrative feels more cohesive, but for me there are also several moments in there that are far more cringe-worthy than almost any of the most cringe-worthy elements of Koepp's screenplay.  My point here is that Lucas - in good faith - might have just not liked Darabont's work for any number of reasons.  I doubt his rejection of it was a petty calculation.  We can't look into the man's head, so we'll never know for sure, but I'm inclined to believe it didn't sit right with him for genuine reasons.



Second, going forward, Koepp won't have to balance a series of mandated elements from Lucas.  If we accept that that's one of CRYSTAL SKULL's major failings (and I certainly think it is), then the idea that the storyline might be arrived at through more organic avenues will possibly play more to Koepp's strengths.  He won't need to toss in a bunch of arbitrary bits and pieces unless pushed in that direction by Spielberg, which I doubt is what will happen.



Third, and on a slightly tangential note, I really want to get a look at Jeff Nathanson's draft(s).  He came in post-Darabont, I believe, and yet he's the one sharing "Story by" credit with Lucas alone; Darabont - whose script had many elements that carried over into the finished film - gets no credit at all.  I have a feeling his work might better illuminate exactly what kind of situation Koepp ended up walking into.




- carnotaur3 - 03-23-2016

AIt may just be as simple as Lucas liking his ideas for the story better than Darabont's. I don't think anybody should be envious of Keopp's juggle. And for sure you can put blame where blame is due, but in the long road of what ifs, too many cooks were definitely in the kitchen.


- fatherdude - 03-23-2016

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post

Yes, Darabont put more ideas in and Koepp stripped it down


Darabont had a lot of elements to wrangle (I imagine all the writers did), but I'm honestly surprised you find the final version less stuffed.  It goes back to what I said earlier about the movie lacking considered ideas.  It's got ideas - good ones - in spades, but with so many of them competing with each other, none are allowed to sing.



I think Darabont's take on Indy/Marion is the perfect reference example.  Say what you will about the likelihood of Karen Allen being able to pull it off, but Darabont handles their relationship wonderfully.  And he's allowed to do great things with it because it's designed as the relationship at the heart of the movie.  It's the focus.  What relationship is CRYSTAL SKULL centered on?  There's a great movie about Indy and Ray Winstone trapped somewhere in this soup of untapped potential.  The Indy/Marion movie is lurking there somewhere, the Indy with a greaser sidekick movie pokes out briefly, as does the movie about Indy and his son, or about Indy on a quest to rescue his old college buddy from psychic insanity.  If they had settled on one or two of these, they could have actually been given weight.  Because they decide to do all of them, they really succeed with none of them.



Darabont's version has a ton of peripheral characters, but that's the thing - they're peripheral, and because Darabont isn't infected with whatever virus prevents you from writing in character deaths, he's able to cull the herd throughout the adventure.  It's really his motley gang of antagonists who make up an ensemble.  CRYSTAL SKULL goes for a real ensemble piece where Mutt, Marion, Oxley and Mac are all treated as roughly equivalent in importance (at least if importance is an extension of screentime), and as result every one of those characters get underserved at best, and are sucky redundancies at worst.  You could make superficial connections to LAST CRUSADE, which brings Sallah and Marcus along for the ride, but there's no mistaking that the father/son dynamic is the movie's anchor.  CRYSTAL SKULL is too thematically confused to have a similar core relationship, so it just gives Indy hollow relationships with damned near everybody -- even worse, it expects us to be emotionally invested in the relationship between characters we have zero history with (Shia getting teary-eyed about Oxley).




- carnotaur3 - 03-23-2016

AI'm not arguing the problems in the film current or if Darabont had better solutions I just think Keopp will have a better time coming up with a script that isn't trying to wrangle everybody's ideas. And I suspect he'll have greater freedom this time out to do so.


- fatherdude - 03-23-2016

Quote:

Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post


Second, going forward, Koepp won't have to balance a series of mandated elements from Lucas.



But again, given my perspective that Darabont pulled that same trick off dramatically better, that would make Koepp suspect.  (Not in place of Lucas, but in addition to.)  Of course, since I'm getting push-back on my foundational idea that Koepp vs Darabont is not comparable from a quality standpoint, I can't really do more than express my extreme surprise and respect that opinion.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post


Third, and on a slightly tangential note, I really want to get a look at Jeff Nathanson's draft(s).  He came in post-Darabont, I believe, and yet he's the one sharing "Story by" credit with Lucas alone; Darabont - whose script had many elements that carried over into the finished film - gets no credit at all.  I have a feeling his work might better illuminate exactly what kind of situation Koepp ended up walking into.



Agreed.  I've been curious about the Nathanson version, called INDIANA JONES AND THE ATOMIC ANTS (!), for years, and as you say, it was the missing link between Darabont's and Koepp's work.  I've often wondered what elements he introduced.  Did he bring in Mutt?  Spalko?  Did he make the leap to showing aliens right in the first reel?  I think the aforementioned Making Of book has more details but I recall it being still relatively cagey.  I only read it the one time in the bookstore upon release.



As far as the credits thing...the WGA arbitration process is infamously nonsensical under the best of circumstances.  It was probably just determined that as the second-to-last screenwriter involved, Nathanson broadly had been responsible for enough elements to get some kind of acknowledgement.  It's also possible Darabont just wasn't interested in fighting for a shared story credit.  He claims to have never seen the film, so there's bad blood there.



It's hard to know what story ideas originated from screenwriters versus the Beards given the large amount of crossover concepts between Darabont's version and the finished film, or between Jeb Stuart's and Darabont's, for that matter. We can't just assume that every element not in Darabont's version came from Nathanson or Koepp.  The story outline from the Beards would have kept evolving too.  Indy having a kid was an early idea that was rejected and then brought back (with a change of gender), for example.



The only story idea I recall Darabont explicitly taking credit for was reprising Marion.  Spielberg liked that enough that he insisted that it carry over to the subsequent drafts, which is kind of tragic, because she's not something you can just plug into a version of story that wasn't as carefully tailored for her as Darabont's.



By the way, there's yet another script that would be fascinating to read, and that's Lucas's revision of the Darabont draft immediately after Darabont's dismissal.  It was titled "Phantom City of the Gods" and was promptly rejected by Spielberg.  I suspect that Lucas didn't really intend his draft to be the produced one, and likely decided to articulate his issues with Darabont's work in the form of a revision.  For that reason, it would be a very valuable document.  And the fact that it implicitly means Lucas saw Darabont's issues as solvable with a mere revision (rather than starting over, which is what happened) kind of begs questions as well.




- agentsands77 - 03-23-2016

ANathanson's drafts had the daughter, I believe.

Also, Darabont's draft is enormously better than the finished film. It's sillier than the finished film in a lot of ways, and the endless callbacks are grating, but it has more narrative momentum, clearer stakes, and stronger character arcs. It would have still meet with a mixed audience reaction, but I would have liked it much more than what we got.


- dilla7 - 03-23-2016

AThanks this answers my question if Indiana Jones had a kid other than mutt in story form


- fatherdude - 03-23-2016

The rumor I heard was that the daughter was in one of the earlier Darabont drafts, but who knows.  I've also heard it claimed that Darabont's first draft featured the much speculated ex-Nazis hiding out in Venezuela as villains, but that could just be the internet extrapolating based on the one or two ex-Nazis he has in the leaked draft (supposedly the third and final one).  The Soviets and their sympathizers were still the primary baddies.



I wonder if Nathanson was the one who first made the Soviets the singular antagonists.




- agentsands77 - 03-23-2016

AI don't think any of the Darabont drafts featured a daughter. He was strictly focused on the Indy/Marion thing.


- fatherdude - 03-23-2016

You could be right, but I do remember the daughter rumors springing up during the 2002-2003 era and maybe even pre-dating Darabont getting the gig.  That and the Kevin Costner as Indy's brother stuff.  But of course, everything under the sun was rumored so it doesn't mean anything.  Plus giving Indy a daughter is an easy thing to speculate since it ties in with the Young Indy canon.  Considering CRYSTAL SKULL acknowledges the lore of the show with the Pancho Villa reference, that freshly married elderly couple had better get to work.



Oh yeah, another thing Darabont took credit for was the suggestion to cast John Hurt, but it's unclear if he meant him for Oxley (who's quite different and a bit minimized in the Darabont story).  Hurt could have easily been one of Darabont's many colorful villains.  Argh, it hurts to think of who Spielberg could have gotten for some of those roles...




- dilla7 - 03-23-2016

AI always thought that Indiana Jones should have a daughter certainly not a bad idea


- fatherdude - 03-23-2016

Somebody's draft has a daughter because Lucas brought up in an interview that he wanted it, and Spielberg didn't.




- agentsands77 - 03-23-2016

A[quote name="FatherDude" url="/community/t/155331/indiana-jones-and-youre-actually-fucking-serious-pre-release-discussion/420#post_4036051"]Somebody's draft has a daughter because Lucas brought up in an interview that he wanted it, and Spielberg didn't.
[/quote]
Yep. It was Nathanson. Then Koepp brought in the son.

The drafts Darabont did all had a ROBIN AND MARIAN angle with Indy and Marion. Drafts before that were focused on a romance with an original character.


- fatherdude - 03-23-2016

I would also like to read the definitive SAUCER MEN script.  I know a lot of people dismiss that story idea on general principle, but the version that's been on the web forever is not the final one that got Lucas's approval.  After a year with Jeb Stuart he approached LAST CRUSADE's Jeffrey Boam (originally unavailable due to another project) to continue the process.  It was Boam's final SAUCER MEN draft that made Lucas think the whole thing would work, so it would be nice to see.



I think there's some evidence that even Spielberg agreed that the final script was solid, but he never cared for the concept in the first place, and INDEPENDENCE DAY was the dealbreaker (or the much wanted excuse?) to tell George "Definitely not."  That said, who knows what may have happened if Emmerich's movie had not come out.  Spielberg claims that at the time he was thinking of only producing the fourth movie (he was waffling on TEMPLE as well, leading up to it), so we could have well gotten the Boam draft directed by some kid circa, what, 1997-1998?




- blunt - 03-23-2016

I haven't read Koepp's draft so can't compare the style but one thing that hit me when I read Darabont's is how much fun he seemed to have writing it. There's a bit early on in the area 51 scene where he writes about the truck chase and he puts in something that goes like "Mr Spielberg can shoot one of the most exhilarating chase scenes put to film" or some such and you can feel how positively giddy he is to be writing an Indiana Jones movie and this enthusiasm comes through to the reader.



As for the callbacks, I don"t recall that many of them but I felt he handled the fact that Indy and Marion's romance arc was a reverse of Raiders (ie he saves her in the climax of Raiders and it's her, or his love for her rather, that saves him at the end of the script) really well.




- avian - 03-23-2016

So does Indy get to use a gun this time around?



ETA: And not to like, shoot a paint can so it falls on a guy's head and knocks him out. To murder someone. With bullets.




- fatherdude - 03-24-2016

This article from 2011 gives the cliff notes overview of the fourth movie's script development.  Broadly speaking, I'm sure it has nothing new to offer anyone here, but it's interesting the way Lucas acknowledges that Nathanson was put in an impossible position.  I wonder if he had to work directly with both Beards?  It sounds like Darabont and Koepp had Spielberg as the "primary contact."


Quote:

“When I was working on Young Indy [ABC, 1992 to 1993] with Harrison [Ford], the obvious occurred to me,” recalled George Lucas who had a breakthrough idea for a fourth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise, “If I did it when Indy was older, I could have it be in the 1950s.” In order to tailor the action adventure to the period shift, the California filmmaker asked himself a particular question. “‘What is the equivalent of a 1930s Saturday matinee serial in the 1950s?’ Science fiction B-movies. I thought, ‘That’s the MacGuffin: aliens.’” Harrison Ford (Regarding Henry) was less enthralled with the concept. “I didn’t like it at all,” said Ford. “There’d always been a mystical element in the stories about an archeologist who wrestles with the mysterious of past cultures. But I felt that this new angle didn’t’ really take advantage of what we had done before.” Lucas persisted and hired a screenwriter who composed a script titled Indiana Jones and the Saucermen. “With Jeb Stuart [Die Hard] we did a draft and it did kind of work out,” revealed the creator of the series. “It had the additional element of Indiana Jones getting married – that was going to bring the father into it. Indy meets this amazing woman who deciphers codes and studies ancient writings.” The arrival of the alien invasion blockbuster Independence Day (1996) derailed the project; however, the solution to the problem arrived in the form of an abandoned small screen story. “We’d actually written an episode for Young Indiana Jones about a crystal skull, which was found in Guatemala. The series ended, so the script got put on the shelf, but we had done all this research on it. I thought it was kind of cool, because it’s a supernatural object. So we started to say, ‘Well, what if it was an alien skull? And instead of having calcium bones, it had crystal bones?’”


“The idea was, the aliens came here hundreds of thousands of years ago and set up the human race,” stated George Lucas who recruited writer-director Frank Darabont (The Mist) to compose Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods. “Then we came up with a twist. The aliens didn’t come from outer space but from another dimension. It’s an antigravity issue to get them from dimension to dimension, or at least that’s the theory. Then I combined that with the Nazca Indians. The idea was this whole cult was built around these Indians that existed in this lost city on the Amazon, which was called at one point El Dorado, the city of gold. But the gold that they were talking about is the knowledge that the aliens created the human race.” After completing three drafts and obtaining the approval of Steven Spielberg (Catch Me If You Can), the Oscar-nominated filmmaker found himself being replaced. “George Lucas had issues with the script,” remarked Darabont, “and slammed on the brakes in order to rework the material himself.” Other scriptwriters were brought in including Jeff Nathanson (The Terminal) who wrote Indiana Jones and the Atomic Ants. “Jeff was caught between Steven and me,” admitted Lucas. “He’d do my draft, then he’d go off back to Steven and do Steven’s draft.” After the departure of Nathanson, Spielberg decided to call upon a veteran collaborator David Koepp (Stir of Echoes). “George is a fountain of ideas,” said Koepp who completed the final draft which was christened Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). “He knows so completely the backstory of where those ideas came from, because his research is so thorough; he reads widely and he’s interested in a lot of things. So you can have a meeting, start talking, and go for about an hour into just the background before page one – which is great, because you can’t really do anything until you know what happened before.”


“When Frank Darabont did his draft for me, he introduced the idea of bringing back Marion [Ravenwood],” revealed Steven Spielberg. “When David Keopp came in, Marion was one of the ideas I tenaciously held on to.”




- carnotaur3 - 03-24-2016

Just thought of something... if they really want to bring up the fact that Indy is now old, that could be a good lynch pin to bring back the ol' underdog, vulnerable Indy. He's actively put in situations that he shouldn't be able to survive. That would up the cliffhanger aspects a great deal.




- Nooj - 03-24-2016

It would start that way... and then suddenly become LIVE FREE OR DIE UP.




- carnotaur3 - 03-24-2016

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

It would start that way... and then suddenly become LIVE FREE OR DIE UP.


See that's the thing, it really needs to sustain it. Have it be part of the story. And have Indy be constantly thrown into places he can't rely on anybody else to help him escape out of. We'll feel he's done for a gazillion times. Speaking of the original Die Hard, McClain struggles to live through his ordeal because he's under serious constraints, like walking around without shoes and cut feet. Now, just replace that with a bad/broken hip and you have the next INDIANA JONES. Have it become part of his pathos.




- Nooj - 03-24-2016

A lot easier said than done.



Something people see more as action adventure romps... will be more tense thriller.  Which I'd be all for, just to see them pull it off.



Indy has been an underdog in terms of physicality, but it was never because he himself wasn't physically able.  It was more due to the insanity of the situation or because of a big cartoony goon to fight.  I think him being more vulnerable due to age strikes a very different tone that would be very difficult to get right while still being a FUN adventure movie (because that's what these are obligated to be).



As I said, I'd love to see it.  For the thriller aspects and to see Indy still think his way out of a jam.




- carnotaur3 - 03-24-2016

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

A lot easier said than done.



Something people see more as action adventure romps... will be more tense thriller.  Which I'd be all for, just to see them pull it off.



Indy has been an underdog in terms of physicality, but it was never because he himself wasn't physically able.  It was more due to the insanity of the situation or because of a big cartoony goon to fight.  I think him being more vulnerable due to age strikes a very different tone that would be very difficult to get right while still being a FUN adventure movie (because that's what these are obligated to be).



As I said, I'd love to see it.  For the thriller aspects and to see Indy still think his way out of a jam.


I really don't think it would have to turn into a thriller.  It's just a twist on constraints, really. That moment in Last Crusade where he's hanging off the tank's pipe is nail biting. That would be a wonderful use of cliffhangers featuring his age.



Raiders is simply full of cliffhangers, which is one of the biggest reasons the KOTCS script is deep in dullsville. Check out this analysis I did on Raiders when I was doing research for Carter Shay:



Quote:

 

 Raiders of the Lost Ark – An Outline by Chase Kuertz


Opening shot – Immediate iconic image of Indiana Jones’ silhouette


The opening scene lingers on revealing too much about our main character other than an obvious explorer. He’s kept in the shadows. It’s leaving the audience in suspense. This is our first cliffhanger.


Cliffhangers (suspense) and Payoffs


Jungle Scene (0:10 – 3:23)


  1. Indiana Jones’ silhouette to his full reveal.
  2. Betrayer pulls out gun. Indiana Jones whips it away.

Temple Scene (4:11 – 9:41)


  1. Through the webs. Indy swipes spiders off backs.
  2. “Stop! Stay out of the light.” Hand to light reveals spikes and dead bodies.
  3. Branch nearly breaks. Satipo nearly falls. Indy grabs his pants and saves him.
  4. Torch on diamond floor. Dart in torch. Which sets up…
  5. … Indy trekking across floor to idol.
  6. Idol weighing. False payoff, then real payoff with temple falling apart and darts.
  7. “Give me the whip.” “Throw me the idol.”  to “Adios, Senior.”
  8. Indy on the edge. Grabs weed. Indy makes it under closing wall.
  9. Indy hears crack. Boulder coming his way. Indy jumps out of temple.

Jungle Scene 2 (9:41 – 12:15)


  1. Indy keeps falling. Looks up to reveal Havitos having Indy in their arrow sights. Betrayer falls down dead.
  2. Indy pulls out gun. Havitos get ready to fire arrows. Indy gives up gun.
  3. Indy runs for it. Havitos follow. Indy makes it on the plane.
  4. Also a humorous cliffhanger/payoff sandwiched  in the last one, where Jock wrestles with wanting to catch a fish and saving Indy’s life. Fortunately he chooses the latter.

Marion’s Bar Scene (23:31 – 33:14)


  1. Marion back and forth out drinking customer. Marion wins.
  2. Toht enters Marion’s bar. Ominous music. Small, but effective.
  3. Toht’s men hold Marion down. Toht holds a hot stick in her face. Indy saves the day.
  4. “Let her go.” Tense moment. Indy fires.
  5. Toht lights the bar on fire. “Whiskey?” Indy breaks a bottle over the man holding him down, escaping the line of fire.
  6. Man holds him down again. “Shoot them. Shoot them both.” Indy grabs the man’s gun and shoots the other henchmen who is about to fire at both of them.
  7. One henchman from the bar raises his gun to shoot Indy. A gun shot sounds. Indy thinks he has been shot. Henchmen falls down dead, revealing Marion is the shooter.

Market Place (39:04 – 42:12)


  1. Maniac Egyptian chases Marion with a knife. Marion enters a building. Maniac follows. Few seconds later the maniac falls over unconscious.
  2. Monkey screams over Marion’s basket, signaling the others where she is. Payoff not seen until after the swordsman scene, when Indy hears Marion getting carried away in the basket.
  3. Swordsman shows off his tricks. Indy guns him down.
  4. Marion screams for Indy in the basket. Indy stops. We see the confusion on his face. Payoff is the reveal of all the baskets he has to upturn.
  5. Indy shoots the truck driver. Truck falls to its side and blows. Payoff comes later when we realize Marion is still alive.

Restaurant Scene (45:32 – 46:00)


  1. Indy draws his weapon. Everyone in the restaurant draw theirs. Kids save Indy by rushing in to get him.

Sallah’s Place Scenes (46:38 – 49:29)


  1. Nazi pirate enters kitchen. Poisons dates. Young servant enters to find door open and closes it.
  2. This one suspends all through the scene. Indy grabs a date. Almost eats it once but is stopped by exposition. Then finally, throws it in the air to land in his mouth before Sallah grabs the date. “Bad date.”

Map Room Scene (51:35 – 54:41)


  1. Sallah is found out by the Nazis as Indy discovers the location of the ark. Payoff comes when Sallah returns with a way out of the map room for Indy.

Belloq’s Tent Scene (55:07 – 56:07)


  1. Indy sees Marion. Begins to untie her.
  2. “If I take you out now, they’ll start combing the place for us.” Indy ties her back up. Kisses her goodbye. “Jones!”

Tanis Dig Scene (57:32 – 1:12:30)


  1. Indy studies the ground. Whistles for the diggers. And begins digging himself. Payoff is the silhouette shot.
  2. “Why does the floor move?” Torch is thrown down revealing snakes. “Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?” “Asps… very dangerous. You go first.” Indy descends.
  3. Indy falls. Cobra gets ready to strike. Indy gets up, sprays gasoline all over the snakes and sets them on fire.
  4. Indy and Sallah lift the stone top off of the confines of the ark, which is very heavy. They then lift the ark out of the confines.
  5. Belloq notices the dig. Nazis rush to the site. The rope falls. Indy looks up to see Belloq. “Hello. Hello. Why, Dr. Jones, whatever are you doing in such a nasty place.”
  6. “But I do not wish to leave you down in that awful place all alone.” Marion is thrown in by Toht. She hangs on for dear life on a snake statue.
  7. Marion is still hanging on when the tooth gives way and Marion falls. Indy catches her.
  8. Marion jumps off Indy. Cobra jumps up ready to strike again. She jumps back on Indy.
  9. They cover the hole. Marion screams of “Noooo…” are snuffed. Back inside, Indy and Marion swat at snakes with torches.
  10. Indy sees a snake in front of him. The torch is in his mouth so he swings his head over to set it on fire. The dead snake plummets down on Marion.
  11. The torch is going out while Indy is swinging the snake statue with his body. Torch goes out completely. Snake statue is pushed into the wall.
  12. Dead bodies trap Marion. Indy finds her and takes her away.
  13. Indy shows there is light up ahead. They push themselves out to freedom.

Belloq’s Tent 2 (1:07:06 – 1:08:07)


  1. Marion  takes the knife while drunk. Payoff is Belloq laughs and Marion backs up to the tent’s exit. Toht grabs Marion. She ditches the knife.
  2. Marion runs into Belloq’s arms. Toht pulls out something that looks like a weapon but ends up being a coat hanger.

Nazi Wing Scene (1:18:00 – 1:20:19)


  1. Small one. Pilot gets ready to shoot Indy. Muscular Nazi gets in the way.
  2. Wing knocks off top of gas tanker. Gas spills. Later in the scene a fire breaks out which causes the wing to explode.
  3. Blades approach Muscular Nazi. Indy smiles and ducks. Muscular Nazi is obliterated.

Truck Chase Scene (1:24:05 – 1:28:13)


  1. Truck runs into scaffolding on a wall being constructed. Workers fall, one of them onto the truck. Indy and Soldier share a laugh before Indy knocks him out of the truck.
  2. Nazi truck is run off the road. Soldiers scream. Wide shot reveals the cliff.
  3. Indy sees men on side of truck. Brushes them off by palm trees.
  4. Indy is shot. Man hangs on truck door.
  5. One Nazi soldier climbs on top of the truck. Swings in and beats the shit out of Indy, throwing him out of the truck’s windshield.
  6. Indy hangs on to front of truck, seemingly falls, but is revealed to be hanging on to the grill.
  7. Soldier drives the truck toward Belloq’s car. Indy climbs underneath the truck.
  8. Indy hooks his whip underneath the truck and falls back. He is dragged for a while until he climbs back onto the truck.

Boat Scene (1:34:02 – 1:34:24)


  1. Nazi Ark crate creates a funky electronic sound. A hole burns threw the Swastika.

Canyon Scene (1:41:56 – 1:44:00)


  1. Indy pulls a rocket launcher onto the Nazi group carrying the ark. “Jones? Joooones?!” The payoff is when Indy gives it up because he can’t commit to blowing up a piece of history.

Ritual Scene (1:44:47 – 1:48:19)


  1. The ark is opened. Everyone gathers to look inside to find… nothing but sand.
  2. Spirits appear, flying out of the ark and floating around soldiers. “It’s beautiful!” Toht looks at one that turns its face into a terrifying skull. He screams.
  3. Everyone commences to melt, cave into themselves, and explode. Fire consumes the area. Indy and Marion are alright.

Ending Scene (1:50:25 – 1:50:55)


  1. Ark is boxed and rolled into a warehouse. And the film ends.


Main Protagonist and Main Antagonist


An interesting note is that both Indy and Belloq realize who they are in the story. They are on opposite sides of the spectrum. One who is a pure adrenaline archeologist, the other obtains his relics in a very scummy way. But both look at the relics the same sense: a piece of history. Indy doesn’t share any religious feelings toward the ark throughout much of the film, the way Belloq does, but he does come to believe its power at the end.


Another interesting point to make is that Belloq has just as much emotion and passion as Indy. He even cares for the same girl.



Henchmen and Soldiers


Many, what most people would consider, background extras are given whole scenes at times up against Indy. They have no character development, but some are distinguished by look and personality. Even without names, these characters serve a huge role in the story and really challenge our hero in tough feats. Even a monkey becomes integral to the story.


McGuffin that Lead to the McGuffin


First they’re after the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra. Then they’re after the Ark. This is sort of something that can get lost in translation when someone thinks back on the film. Sure, Nazis just want the headpiece so that they can find the Ark. But the Nazis for the most part are just out to please De Fuhrer anyway.


Exposition


Most of the exposition, whether said in discovery or historical context, is usually underscored by ominous noises and happenings or images directly relating to that historical exposition.  One scene also has a cliffhanger and payoff built into it to keep the scene interesting. This really reminds me of The Terminator in that James Cameron does a really nice job of letting the action and exposition blend together so that the pace doesn’t seem to let up while delivering important and vital information.


Intercutting


Found it interesting that Spielberg and Lucas chose to have the discovery of the Ark intercut with somewhat comical scenes with Marion and Belloq in the tent. Of course, the scene does go on to become more threatening.


This is also the only time where there is parallel cross cutting, save for the market place action scenes in Cairo.


Warnings & Red Herrings


Marcus and Sallah warn Indy of the Ark, both of which are somewhat responsible for Indy obtaining it. Marion is the only “good guy” that does not warn Indy. This is because she does not look for the Ark out of necessity. She simply sticks around to get paid the remaining money so she can get back to the states.


The images depicting in the book Indy opens for the Suits blatantly acts as a red herring to what will happen. The scene where they decipher Headpiece to the Staff of Ra offers a red herring as well when after decoding what it says, a gust and howl enters the room to Indy and Sallah’s ignorance as if they are about to cross a mysterious and dark threshold. This is followed by a revelation: “They’re digging in the wrong place.”


The last Red Herring is not even seen by our characters, but intended more to the audience’s suspense. It is the scene where the crate burns the Swastika.




- Nooj - 03-24-2016

Age if a fine thing to tread in terms of emotion, but when it comes to mining it for delicious steaks in action... I think it really shifts things in a way that is different from past Indy cliffhangers.  I mean, if the movie to REALLY want to go for it and not just pay it lip service.



I can't think of any contemporary action movie featuring old people that hasn't started with such intentions and have eventually succumbed to the usual action derring-do for the finale.  Especially when all these big movies eventually get overblown in terms of the situations in order to feel like its giving the audience their money's worth.



Even something like Rocky Balboa (which was all about wanting to have one last round before age really caught up) started that way, but one awesome training montage and the guy is fighting as cinematically as ever.



SKYFALL too... starts out with Bond supposedly all out of he game.  But never do you take that all that seriously.  Especially by the end.




- carnotaur3 - 03-24-2016

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

Age if a fine thing to tread in terms of emotion, but when it comes to mining it for delicious steaks in action... I think it really shifts things in a way that is different from past Indy cliffhangers.  I mean, if the movie to REALLY want to go for it and not just pay it lip service.



I can't think of any contemporary action movie featuring old people that hasn't started with such intentions and have eventually succumbed to the usual action derring-do for the finale.  Especially when all these big movies eventually get overblown in terms of the situations in order to feel like its giving the audience their money's worth.



Even something like Rocky Balboa (which was all about wanting to have one last round before age really caught up) started that way, but one awesome training montage and the guy is fighting as cinematically as ever.



SKYFALL too... starts out with Bond supposedly all out of he game.  But never do you take that all that seriously.  Especially by the end.


I think Spielberg has it in him, ol' chum!




- Nooj - 03-24-2016

I kinda don't think he does!



But he should go for it!




- carnotaur3 - 03-24-2016

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

I kinda don't think he does!



But he should go for it!


I want Spielberg to fall off a toilet, hit his brow hard, and find the picture in his head.