Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin doesn’t arrive stateside until Christmas, but it’s already out in Europe and enjoying rave reviews. Indeed, many are calling it a return to form for Spielberg after the disappointing (to say the least) Indiana Jones 4.
Recently, while promoting Tintin, Spielberg also discussed the upcoming Jurassic Park 4 and Indiana Jones 5 – as well as the widely-criticized Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
“The screenplay is being written right now by Mark Protosevich. I’m hoping that will come out in the next couple of years. We have a good story. We have a better story for four than we had for three…”
Hey, at least three was better than two.
On the status of Indiana Jones 5:
“You have to ask George Lucas. George is in charge of breaking the stories. He’s done it on all four movies. Whether I like the stories or not, George has broken all the stories. He is working on Indy V. We haven’t gone to screenplay yet, but he’s working on the story. I’ll leave it to George to come up with a good story.”
Wait, what? ‘Whether [he] likes the story or not’? Is Steven Spielberg hinting that maybe he didn’t like a story (or stories) from the previous Indiana Jones films?
Actually, this isn’t the first time that the man has said less than glowing things about Crystal Skull. Previously, he talked about how he originally didn’t want to make the film and wasn’t in love with the idea of Indiana Jones and aliens (or, in Crystal Skull‘s case, extra-dimensional beings) being in the same film.
On his own feelings about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, almost universally considered to be the worst Indiana Jones film:
“I’m very happy with the movie. I always have been… I sympathize with people who didn’t like the MacGuffin because I never liked the MacGuffin. George and I had big arguments about the MacGuffin. I didn’t want these things to be either aliens or inter-dimensional beings. But I am loyal to my best friend. When he writes a story he believes in – even if I don’t believe in it – I’m going to shoot the movie the way George envisaged it. I’ll add my own touches, I’ll bring my own cast in, I’ll shoot the way I want to shoot it, but I will always defer to George as the storyteller of the Indy series. I will never fight him on that.”
It’s certainly interesting that Spielberg disliked Lucas’ MacGuffin (much like everyone else on the planet), but the truth is, those little “touches,” the “cast,” and the way Crystal Skull was shot and written (on a micro level) were just as much to blame for its quality – or lack thereof – as Lucas’ basic story was.
At times, the cinematography felt like something out of a way-too-glossy soap opera TV show. The CGI, which was already unwelcome, was also very bad. Shia LaBeouf was hired for a role he’d already been cast in far too many times – “smart-mouth teenage sidekick” – Karen Allen was way past her prime, and Cate Blanchett as the psychic villainess was about as intimidating as the computer-generated gophers from the beginning of the film.
Speaking of gophers, Spielberg responded to specific criticisms of the film, saying:
“The gopher was good. I have the stand-in one at home. What people really jumped out was Indy climbing into a refrigerator and getting blown into the sky by an atom-bomb blast. Blame me. Don’t blame George. That was my silly idea. People stopped saying ‘jump the shark.’ They now say, ‘nuked the fridge.’ I’m proud of that. I’m glad I was able to bring that into popular culture.”
Most people didn’t hate the gophers as an idea so much as they hated the fact that they were computer-generated cartoons in what was supposed to be an old-fashioned adventure film. In fact, many Indiana Jones fans had hoped that CGI would be mostly absent from the fourth film — in spite of it being released in one of the more CGI-drenched film periods – as a means of harkening back to the originals. Alas, the CG gopher in the opening frames of Crystal Skull made it immediately evident that that would not be the case.
Are you looking forward to Jurassic Park 4 and Indiana Jones 5, Screen Ranters? Do you agree with Spielberg about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? Let us know in the comments.
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The Adventures of Tintin hits theaters December 21, 2011.