Thursday, December 29, 2011

Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are true architects of the imagination.  To say that they helped shape a generation does not really scratch the surface as to the sphere of their influence on culture; both ‘pop’ and otherwise.  People’s lives changed after viewing their work and it struck a chord.  These people now wanted to be a part of the magic of film, of mythmaking, of storytelling.  I was one of those people.  

But this is not about me; NO.  It’s about Mr. Frank Darabont and how his script was almost the fourth Indiana Jones movie.  Now if you are a movie-geek then you know the name.  He is the man responsible for films such as “the Shawshank Redemption”, “The Mist”, and TV shows like, “The Walking Dead”.  He is a writer, he knows what he is doing, and back when the script was being circulated it caused a lot of excitement in certain circles (geekdom).  For whatever reason in 2008, Lucas and Spielberg passed on Darabont’s script and instead went with David Koepp, who is a fine writer as well.  Now the way that Indy movies work is that George Lucas (and please stop me if I’m wrong here, Mr. Lucas) comes up with a story and then farms it out to writers to connect the dots.  It has been a brilliant strategy and has been more than a successful formula since, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1981.

Now a lot of people snipe at the fourth movie.  I’m not going to do that here.  I had a good time at the movies when I saw Indy 4 and, at the end of the day or when the credits roll, that’s the experience I want to have.  There will never be another “Raiders” and that’s ok.  “Raiders” is pure, transcendent magic – lightning in a bottle.  The sequels are icing on the cake and if you approach them expecting to have a good time at the movies - that is exactly what you will have. 

Well, this morning I’m horsing around on Twitter (at OMG Facts to be precise) and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a link to the Frank Darabont script!  I threw on my trusty John Williams score, sat back with a few cups of coffee and read it.  I encourage you to do the same, Gentle Reader, if you are a fan of the craft that is.  Some of it will seem familiar and some of it will not.  It is the Indiana Jones movie that didn’t happen.  Here it is in its entirety:  It is interesting to see how Darabont approached Lucas's story verses how Koepp did.  The big plot points are there but there is no Mutt and Marion is married to some other archeologist who is not Indiana Jones.  I loved the explanation as to what happened to Willie Scott.  Read it.  It's the script that never was now available for consumption. 

THAT being said, Mr. Spielberg, Mr. Lucas, and Mr. Ford, adventure still has a name; that name is Indiana Jones and I would LOVE to see him on the big screen one more time.  From one member of the generation that you helped to shape to you three gentlemen, I’m ready for Indy 5!  I don’t think I’m alone. 


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