||Web - Only a day after Paramount announced Frank Darabont as the long-awaited choice to
script Indiana Jones 4, the magazine Cinescape got some quotes from the man himself, Steven Spielberg, about the
project and Harrison Ford’s skills as maybe the ultimate action hero.
"The status is that Frank Darabont is starting – he's writing the screenplay,”
Spielberg told us about The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption writer/director. Darabont also wrote for the now-defunct
Young Indiana Jones series and just did an uncredited rewrite on Minority Report.
Young Indiana Jones is not defunct, he belongs to the big picture, The Complete Adventures of Indiana Jones.
“We just made Frank’s deal two weeks ago. We have the story, which is a story George
Lucas wrote. It's a wonderful story. We have Harrison Ford, who's approved
the story. He's ready to perform in the movie.”
That's it. It is official-official. Bring the champagne c|:)
He also confirmed the timetable for shooting the fourth chapter of the action-adventure series, “The movie's
going to be shot probably in May of 2004. When I say probably, it could be April or May of 2004 and the movie's
going to come out probably for the July 4th weekend of 2005, because the last STAR WARS is going to come out the
week before Memorial Day 2005. So we're coordinating this to be a one-two punch with the last STAR WARS coming
out in 2005 in May and INDIANA JONES 4 coming out 2005, probably June 29th or July 4th.”
Now this goes the way I expected it to be: The film will not be released on the weekend before July 4th, not July
4th (which is a Monday). This may be one of the best release dates possible: It will be an extra long starting
weekend (Friday - Monday!) plus the release day - July 1st - will be Indy's 106th birthday!
While that gives hope to fans of the highest grossing adventure series in history, more than a few fans wonder
about Ford's advancing years, given it will be almost 25 years since Raiders of the Lost Ark before Indy 4 hits
Rather 24 years, but I am not going to be picky here :)
What does Spielberg think?
"Harrison Ford can still kick the s**t out of most people half his age,” Spielberg told us. “I think he's
in great condition to put the fedora and the hat and the leather jacket back on and crack that bullwhip a few more
For the full interview with Spielberg, which ranges from Minority Report to Raiders and more, you might want to
pick up the July issue of Cinescape magazine.
Who is Frank Darabont?
Now that Frank
Darabont has signed to write Indiana Jones 4 based on a story by George Lucas, one might wonder who Mr. Darabont
is. The Cinescape article on the left already listed some of his well known works, but lets take a close look at
Mr. Darabont started his career with small jobs (production assistant, transportation captain, set dresser, art
department assistant) in horror and sci-fi productions. And horror and sci-fi film he made most of his life.
1983 he directed his first film, The Woman in the Room, four more followed. His third film was The Shawshank Redemption
(1994), an adaptation from a Stephen King novel. This film has the 2nd best user rating in the IMDb, only be beaten
by The Godfather. King's work also was the base for The Green Mile (1999), Darabond's fourth work as director.
His latest film The Majestic (2001) is the first non horror film he directed.
Mr. Darabont's main work over the years has been the writing and adapting of screenplays. His first screenplays
have been - one might have guessed it - horror and sci-fi: A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987),
The Blob (1988),
The Fly II (1989) and some Tales from the Crypt (1989).
That's when Darabont ended up writing for TV - and for the right man. George Lucas gave him a lot of Young Indiana
Jones adventures to pass: "German East Africa, December 1916", "Congo, January 1917", "Austria,
March 1917", "Young Indiana Jones and the Phantom Train of Doom" and "Palestine, October 1917".
Plus after some film horror again (Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)) he wrote "Young Indiana Jones Travels
It seems to me that Indy is in good hands when looking at the coming screenplay. Judging by the Young Indy episodes
he had done, we get action backed up by a story and character development (some rare combination in films lately).
He also knows how to write lighter scenes, so the Indy typical humor should be in it too.
Now what I really hope for is that Darabont's horror roots may bring some thrills and a bit gore back to Indy,
both have been played their parts well in Raiders and Temple of Doom. This may be hard to accomplish, since George
Lucas changed a bit over the years (he said about the not really dark Episode II that it is the darkest episode
of them all), but let's hope for the best.
sas | Cinescape