January 2, 2008 - Director Steven Spielberg is currently deeply immersed in post-production on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the highly anticipated fourth installment in the screen adventures of the eponymous globe-trotting archaeologist.
"I'm in my second cut, which means I've put the movie together and I've seen it," Spielberg informed VanityFair.com, which also boasts exclusive new on-set Indy photos taken by celebrated photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Spielberg explained, "I usually do about five cuts as a director. The best news is that, when I saw the movie myself the first time, there was nothing I wanted to go back and shoot, nothing I wanted to reshoot, and nothing I wanted to add."
George Lucas, the film's executive producer and series creator, spoke about the arduous task of plotting a fourth Indy movie. (Be advised of PLOT SPOILERS.)
"I'm the one that has to come up with the story, and the MacGuffin, the supernatural object that everyone's going after," Lucas said, referring to the Hitchcockian term for the plot gimmick that propels the narrative forward. Lucas stuck with his long-gestating idea even when Spielberg and series star Harrison Ford continuously rejected it.
"So this went on for 15 years," Lucas recalled. "And finally we got to a point where everybody said, 'Look, we're not doing that movie.' And I said, 'Well, look, I can't think of another MacGuffin. This is it. This works. I know this works.' And then we stopped. I just said, 'O.K.,' and that's about the time I started Star Wars again. But then Harrison was kind of interested. And I said, 'I won't do it unless we can have that MacGuffin. Without the MacGuffin, I will not go near this thing.'"
The filmmakers finally found an approach to Lucas' MacGuffin that they all agreed on when David Koepp turned in his screenplay. "What it is that made it perfect was the fact that the MacGuffin I wanted to use and the idea that Harrison would be 20 years older would fit," Lucas told the magazine.
"So that put it in the mid-50s, and the MacGuffin I was looking at was perfect for the mid-50s. I looked around and I said, 'Well, maybe we shouldn't do a 30s serial, because now we're in the 50s. What is the same kind of cheesy-entertainment action movie, what was the secret B movie, of the 50s?' So instead of doing a 30s Republic serial, we're doing a B science-fiction movie from the 50s. The ones I'm talking about are, like, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Blob, The Thing. So by putting it in that context, it gave me a way of approaching the whole thing."
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opens May 22, 2008.
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