Indiana Jones Back on Shelf
Indiana Jones can hang up his hat and put the whip back in storage because it doesn’t look like he’s making a return to the big screen any time soon.
The Indiana Jones triumvirate of Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas all have other commitments on their rosters that rank above the long anticipated Indy 4.
While the fourth installment in the franchise was initially targeted for release by Paramount on July 4, 2005, the script was sent back for a rewrite after Lucas decided he was displeased with the material. Production is now slated to begin in 2005, with a release date in 2006.
All three men are keeping themselves busy in the interim.
Ford has signed on to star in The Wrong Element, an action film in which the graying actor will play the earnest hero-type he’s well known for–a security guard whose family is kidnapped.
As the story unfolds, the kidnappers order Ford’s rent-a-cop to steal $37 million from the bank where he works in exchange for the return of his brood. Meanwhile, the conniving kidnappers set things up to make the hapless security guard appear guilty of embezzlement. Many furled brows of concentration and impassioned claims of innocence ‡ la Fugitive are sure to ensue.
Spielberg’s Indy interval oeuvre will be a feature film focusing on the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics, where 11 Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian extremists. Schindler’s List star, Ben Kingsley is attached to a lead role.
The film’s title remains a secret, but Spielberg and his production crew have reportedly already traveled to Europe to begin locking down locations. The new film will mark Spielberg’s first European shoot since Saving Private Ryan.
After the Munich film, Spielberg will direct the DreamWorks drama, The Rivals, about the legendary rivalry between 19th-century stage divas Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse. He’ll then move on to team with Tom Cruise in the Paramount/DreamWorks venture, The War of the Worlds, an adaptation of the classic H.G. Wells alien invasion tale.
Spielberg’s most recent film, Terminal, starring Tom Hanks, opens in June.
Lucas, meanwhile, has been keeping himself occupied with another pet project–Star Wars: Episode III, which is slated for release in May 2005.
The Indiana Jones postponement may actually be a boon for Lucas, as its original projected release date came just a scant five weeks after the final Star Wars installation is due to hit screens–meaning that the two films could have wound up competing for box office dollars.
Though the title of the latest Indy flick has yet to be unveiled, one thing’s for certain: Ford’s not getting any younger. Unless they’re planning to call it Indiana Jones and the Quest for Trifocals, they better get a move on.
Let me be the first to say “Here’s hoping they never, ever make this film. The time has passed!”
Indiana Jones Back on Shelf