Why Indy IV Should Be Made

By S.L. Nobrega (a.k.a Canyon)

It all started on the 8th September 2003 when I posted on an Indiana Jones message form a post entitled "This ought to even up the odds" (inspired by one of Indy’s very cool lines in the game, Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb!) It was getting to the stage where I was fed up of the amount of negative comments about our hero returning to the silver screen, something which I have wanted to see ever since I became an Indy fan when I saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in cinemas back in 1989!

Below is the following post that I put out, and I have edited this for essay purposes and have also added more to this. At the beginning of my post, I mentioned that I “have been thinking a lot about Indy 4 lately” and how I “cannot believe how negative most of people’s comments are, whether the discussion is about the quality of the film, or if it is about the most discussed thing of all, Harrison Ford's age”. I also stated that “I just feel that most people are being far too harsh about this film, even before it has been made.” I would just like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed receiving various replies from different board members and would just like to thank everyone concerned (you know who you are, Monkey, Fisk, Cain, Fatima, Attila, Indygirl21 etc!) Some of these guys suggested that I had written an essay, which gave me the idea to actually turn my post into an essay and post it on The Indy Experience so here goes. I have several reasons why I, Canyon, believes that Indiana Jones 4 is going to work...

Reason #1: George Lucas

Okay, I know that there has been a lot of negativity surrounding the new Star Wars movies and it seems that a lot of people so far hate the new films, but I think that there have been far too many unfair comments made about this filmmaker. Once upon a time, a promising young film director called George Lucas brought out a film called THX 1138, which went down pretty well with critics. A few years later, he brought out another film, which some of you may have heard of. A film called Star Wars. As all of you know, this film blew everyone away and the world could not stop talking about this cinematic phenomenon. In the same decade, Lucas came up with a fantastic idea about an archaeologist adventurer who searches in exotic, foreign lands for ancient artifacts, a man who faced danger and excitement at every turn. Today, we all know and love this character as Indiana Jones, the world's greatest screen hero and adventurer!

I am well aware that Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was not very well received by the cinema going public and many even disliked Attack of the Clones. I will admit, the new Star Wars film can never measure up to the originals, and not even Star Wars Episode III will be able to do that, but I do believe that George Lucas has come back on form with Episode II and I also believe that Episode III will be blow everyone away. Please bear in mind that he has a helluva lot to live up to. Imagine if over twenty years ago, you brought out a film like Star Wars, something which not only blew everyone away, but something that people treated more like a religion than a film. If you go back to Episode I, you will see that minus Jar-Jar, you have a fairly entertaining film. If you go back to watch Episode II, I believe that you have a great film. I think that the casting was excellent, the story and script were very good, and lastly, because I know that special effects do not just make a film by themselves, the effects done by Industrial Light and Magic were nothing short of spectacular. My first reason: George Lucas has come back on form, he will come back to Indy 4 and I believe that he is going to surprise a lot of people.

Reason #2: Steven Spielberg

Spielberg has to be one of, if not, the best directors that has ever lived. Not only did he direct the original Indy trilogy (and it's always great to see a director return to his original project) he has also directed some great classics namely, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, ET, The Color Purple, Schlinder's List etc. He is also, in my opinion, one of the most gifted directors around today. I remember a few years ago during an interview, he said that he actually missed making big epic movies, and I felt that he was hinting towards the Indy films. That comment stayed with me, as I knew at that point he was dying to direct another Indy film. Spielberg is an extremely talented director. He has the most wonderful visual mind, and he is able to transfer his ideas onto the big screen, which is a great thing to be able to do and something that is not possible for many to do. He has successfully managed to instill a kind of wonderful magical feeling to his movies, and that, together with his innovative style and excellent direction give me faith that he will come up with some visually stunning direction in the new Indiana Jones movie. Even now, he still manages to direct with a sense of wonder, and enthusiasm (as seen in his recent projects i.e. Minority Report), which is vital to an Indiana Jones film. It's going to be great to have the original team back and I feel that Spielberg is a crucial part of that team.

My second reason: Steven Spielberg is a fantastic director and someone who thoroughly enjoyed directing the Indiana Jones trilogy. He is also someone who I am sure will do an amazing job of directing Indy 4.

Reason #3: Harrison Ford

To me, Harrison Ford is probably not only one of, but quite possibly the greatest actor the world has ever seen. When Harrison was in Star Wars, critics loved his performance as the sexy scoundrel, Han Solo. His performance was hailed by critics as brilliant. One reviewer wrote that "Harrison Ford is outstanding as the likeable mercenary pilot" and the film was described by another as "an escapist masterpiece" and "one of the greatest adventure movies ever made."

Four years later, he starred in the first Indiana Jones film, Raiders of the Lost Ark. He became an international superstar, and his performance was hailed by critics by being similar to that of Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart etc. Indeed, I can honestly say that Harrison was absolutely wonderful in Raiders. I have a great admiration for the great performance he gave, as not only did he suffer quite badly with sickness during most of the scenes filmed in Tunisia, but he was playing a new character for the first time, so he didn’t have anywhere to go for inspiration, but nonetheless, he was magnificent in his portrayal of the globetrotting archaeologist Indiana Jones!

The great thing about Harrison's performance in the Indiana Jones trilogy is he is an everyman playing someone who is also an everyman. At the end of the day, Indiana Jones, although brave, daring and heroic, is also just a man. He does some of the most amazingly fantastic things and goes on some of the greatest adventurers, and the best thing about Indy is the fact that he is mortal, therefore making it lot easier for him to die, thus making the character more interesting. Harrison's performance as Indy was, in my opinion, the greatest portrayal of a character that I have ever seen in the history of cinema. He successfully portrayed the 'heroic one' with just the right amount of charm and humor, and the fact that he did most of his own stunts added to his successful portrayal of this wonderfully popular character.

I know why many of you have doubts about Harrison in Indy 4 and it comes down to one thing. His age. Yes, I am well aware that Harrison is now 61, and he will be 62/63 when he makes Indy 4 and when the film comes out. What you have to understand is that after Last Crusade Harrison did not give up doing action roles. He went on to make, Patriot Games, The Fugitive, Clear and Present Danger, Air Force one, Six days Seven nights etc. Now if he had not done an action film since the last Indy film (say for instance the last one was twenty years ago) then yes, it might be time to move on, but the fact is that Harrison is STILL doing his own stunts (and this can be seen in Hollywood Homicide). He was once described as being "physical to a fault." I am more than aware that in the new Indy film, our beloved archaeologist will not be able to move as fast has he did in the 1930's, but to be fair that is part of life. People get older, and I can't help but think that people cannot handle the fact that their favorite actor is no longer a 'young' man. I also feel that there is too much emphasis put on age and people like to use the word 'old' far too much. If it's the fact that Harrison has now got gray hair that bothers people, he'll probably be wearing a fedora most of the time in this new film, and if that is all everyone is concerned about, then I have to say, I think that people have very little to worry about.

I believe that Harrison Ford will be wonderful in Indy 4 because he is the one who wanted to come back and play Indy in the first place! The fact that it is his idea, and also the fact that he seems extremely enthusiastic about playing Indy, is enough for me to believe that he WILL indeed be great in Indy 4. Spielberg recently reported that “about three years ago, Harrison got kind of nostalgic for the character and suggested that if we were interested in another one, he'd be interested, and I think that started the ball rolling”.

Ford is a very intelligent man, someone who has not just been lucky in his film career, but someone who has made some great film choices. Granted, he has made some mistakes in the past, but he is only human. I believe that it is his enthusiasm for the project that means he will give the film 110% and indeed for all the reasons above, I believe that 'The Three' will do a wonderful job of making Indy's fourth screen adventure! I think people need to understand that Harrison would not be making another Indy film if he didn't a) feel up to it and b) didn't want to do it. It's has nothing to do with money, it's about the enjoyment of making another Indy film. There are other factors that I feel contribute to this being a great film and lets take a look at other reasons:

Frank Darabont

I have seen Darabont’s work on the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and understand that he directed and wrote the screenplays for The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption I feel that he is an extremely good writer and I feel that he will no doubt come up with a wonderful script, and a script that everyone will love. I do not know a lot about Darabont, but something tells me that he is the right person for the job. It would have been interesting to have M. Night Shyamalan involved in the project, but alas, that was not meant to be.

Industrial Light and Magic

What can be said about ILM? For over twenty-five years, they have been making the most amazing film and special effects that I have ever seen in the history of cinema. Their work includes Indy, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek, Willow, Terminator, and Young Sherlock Holmes, to name but a few. Their recent work on Star Wars: Attack of the Clones was nothing short of brilliant, and like their name, I know that they will work their magic for this new film. There is no doubt in my mind that these guys will bring us some fantastic special effects to Indy 4. The three films had elements of supernatural fantasy in them and I feel that a little of this in the new film would be needed, just as long as it is not overused.

John Williams

John Williams has to be my absolutely favorite living composer. He was the man who created Indy’s theme (the Raiders March) as well as writing music for Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jaws, Jurassic Park and Close Encounters to name but a few. I am thoroughly looking forward to hearing the new film score for Indy’s fourth screen adventure and I am absolutely certain that Williams will create an absolutely wonderful soundtrack, and I am sure that the new Indy 4 soundtrack will indeed be as great as the soundtracks for Raiders, Temple of Doom and Last Crusade.

Drew Struzan

In my opinion, Struzan is an absolute genius and is probably the greatest artist around today. Of course, he drew posters for the Indy trilogy, and as many of you will know, he has been drawing film posters and album covers for a great many number of years and there is no doubt in my mind that he will once again provide us with some mind blowing artwork. I for one cannot wait to see those first lot of Indy pictures, not only on the internet but when I am out and about as well. Of course, no film would be complete without the rest of the cast and crew who will no doubt be great as ever!

I would just like to end by saying it is a shame that many people (including Indy fans) already seem to have a lot of pre-conceived ideas about this film, and it has not even been made yet! It's a lot like taking a driving test. If you tell yourself before that you are no good and that you will fail, you probably will. What I am trying to say is, if everyone makes up their mind that the film is already rubbish, when the film comes out they will go to the cinema and will have already made up their minds about the film. In turn, they will not enjoy the film because they have already made their minds up.

Lastly, I think that having Indy in the 1950's has great potential. The era of the 1950's for me still holds a mystical feel to it and I consider the first half of the 20's century to be a very special time. I really think it's about time that people cut George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford some slack. Here are some of the greatest men to ever be involved in the history of filmmaking and when these three men get together, the magic starts. So don't worry about it, let these three men get on with it, and more importantly, trust them...

This ought to even up the odds