Spielberg Talks ‘Jurassic Park 4,’ ‘Indiana Jones 5,’ & ‘Crystal Skull’

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Steven Spielberg Talks Jurassic Park 4 Indiana Jones 5 and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Spielberg Talks Jurassic Park 4, Indiana Jones 5, & Crystal Skull

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.

On the status of Jurassic Park the fourth – courtesy of Empire – Spielberg said:

“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.


Sam Neil in Jurassic Park 3 Spielberg Talks Jurassic Park 4, Indiana Jones 5, & Crystal Skull

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.

The Cast of Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Spielberg Talks Jurassic Park 4, Indiana Jones 5, & Crystal Skull

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.”

CGI Gopher in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Spielberg Talks Jurassic Park 4, Indiana Jones 5, & Crystal Skull

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.


Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

The Adventures of Tintin hits theaters December 21, 2011.

Source: Empire

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  1. Hmmmm. Interesting. I’m cautiously optimistic, but a part of me thinks maybe the Spielberg/Lucas collaboration has run its course???

  2. Jurassic Park 3 was not better than 2. 3 is bad.

    • Oh, well, okay then.

      • 3 was decent enough. It brought back Alan Grant,and is a simpler, leaner film. I find them all enjoyable. As for Indy 4, I was just happy to have a new film. It is the worst though.

      • I like you Ben. You seem like a standup guy!
        Your comment made me laugh.

        • And I will assume, based solely on this comment, that you, too, are a standup guy.

    • JP3 was better than JP2. Everyone knows that. JP2 was HORRID! HORRID! HORRID!!! Ugh, I can’t even watch it!!!!!

      • You tell that to the talking dream dinosaur in JP3.

        The fact remains that the first two were based (somewhat loosely) on actual Michael Crichton novels. The third was cheesily pushed out for a quick buck and that’s that.

        • Exactly, MrMiyamoto. There was a novel for the first two to follow. Even though they screwed up “The Lost World” by condensing two characters into Vanessa Lee Chester’s horrible presence and made many other mistakes, Jurassic Park 3 by comparison was *beyond* reprieve. It was just a cheap, dinosaur slasher flick. All the miscellaneous characters killed early, and the audience is left with the weak theme of an annoying family trying to unite again for a child’s sense of security. The writers were even too scared to actually kill Alessandro Nivola’s character…

          I don’t get why people could like the 3rd more than the 2nd, but then I also know that people liked Batman Forever more than Batman Returns.

    • agreed, i loved 2, i think its right on par with 1, but 3…. idk they gave up a little, it still had a few cool area but overall was not fantastic

      • Any film without jeff goldblume is a better film.

        • Any film WITH Jeff Goldblume is a better film.


          • He plays the same part in every film.

            • Yes! The part of *awesome*
              Rest in Peace, Jeff Goldblum.

              • Jeff Goldblum is NOT DEAD! This was a hoax on Google quite a while ago now.

                • He may not be but his carear died a long time ago. WAKA WAKA!

                • Sorry Bleaz, Jeff Goldblum is died. Rest in Peace.

  3. I really enjoyed the first two acts of Indiana Jones and the Kingdon of The Crystal Skull. The problem for me was when the plot flew out the window, probably because Lucas and Spielberg got bored and wanted to just end it! There was no “kingdom”, the Mayan people were simple filler and the so-called double agent just flew away in the end… What??? They could’ve made an awesome fourth chapter for Indy, but gave up the third act. What a shame! Spielberg, however, has to blame himself as well. If they aren’t going to do the best films possible, then please don’t make mediocre adventures for our hero. Make it worth our while. John Williams i to blame as well for a re-hash of a soundtrack. No original hemes at all.

    • What if Indy were to rescue Mutt from a poisonous cobra trap and battles that which he fears most in order to save his son. It would be a badass way for him to go out.

      • No, screw that. Indy dies battling a deadly anaconda. Now, that would truly be badass.

        • Nope indy dies BIG! like flying a plane head first into the bad guys blimp. kinda like the movie flyboys. go out with a bang.

          • OR flying a plane into a huge pit of giant deadly anacondas!!!

            • Awesome awesome awesome

      • Indy should absolutely *not* die for his son — NOT if they cast Shia Labeouf again, anyways. They’d have to find a way to make Brad Pitt work or something. Or Viggo Mortensen dressed as Aragorn. NOT Shia LaBeouf. Shia should die for Indy, if anything. Horribly.

        If Indy dies, it should be riding a missile into Russia like in Dr. Strangelove or something.

        • Shia could get eatn by snakes in a horrible slow OFFSCREEN death for all i care. but for indy, he has ti ride something into something causing something to explode. all while yelling something awesome. rough guidelines. Either way there cant be anything left of him. man law

        • Also what happend to Data? “BOOTIE TWAPS”

  4. People need to have a little faith, Crystal Skull wasn’t the best in the series but I still really enjoyed seeing Harrison back as Indy and the film was entertaining. I think Indy 5 has a good shot at being great, they can learn from their mistakes. A great example is the Rocky franchise. Rocky 5 sucked and people thought Stallone was crazy for making Rocky Balboa, but it turned out to be the best in the series behind the original 30 years before.

    Jurrasic Park 3 was the worst in the franchise. They wanted the audience to believe that a cell’s ringtone could be heard from a half mile away while swallowed be a T-Rex?, then for it to be still be usable after it was **** out later in the film, I still can’t get passed that.

    • And yet you could get past the little girl who flunked out of gymnastics doing an expert routine and kicking a raptor to its death?

    • Yes, the cell phone ringing inside the T-Rex’s body was what made that film terrible.


  5. Ben, you mean JP 4 and IJ 5, not 5 and 5 (see the last paragraph).

    • Thanks! Fixed.

  6. Crystal skull is so much better than Temple of Doom. It does grow on you. And what else can you expect? They are Old now! It’s been twenty years– nothing will deliver as fresh as it was twenty years ago. Do you think Pink Floyd could relaese an album as good as dark side of the moon today? think about it and your expectations. It’s great for what it is. i like it a lot

    • Are you serious?

    • You are probably the ONLY person on this planet who thinks that. Crystal Skull was entertaining until the last act. The aliens were just bad, man. The order of Indy greatness: Lost Ark, Lost Crusade, Temple, Skull.

      Maybe the next Indy film needs to have the word “LAST” in the title.

      • agreed with bowieno. Call me crazy but I even enjoyed the aliens. The refridgerator thing was perfect. Spielberg captured the vision of the 50′s in classic Indy form. Shia LaBeouf did indeed playteen sidekick, but that’s what was so entertaining about him in this film. First of all, instead of watching giant robots beat each other up he sword fought cate blanchett! That was awesome. I’ll never forget himgetting hi in the balls by branches andhim covering his crotch. NEVER. Also,the only thing that bugged me was the stupid Close Encounters type spaceship destroying the temple. LAME. And the aliens should have stayed dead. They could overheat and burn the russians, but sucking them into another dimension? Please. Having said ALL that, here’s the radical statement: Raiders of the Lost Ark is the best, but for some wierd reason I enjoyed Crystal Skull BETTER than Last Crusade. And now I prepare to be trolledfor my obviously hated opinion.
        and btw, Temple of Doom sucks. A lot.

        • I thought the nuked fridge sequence was great, myself, but that yeah, the aliens were a misfire.

          Think this guy’s being a little hard on Karen Allen.

      • It’s “LAST Crusade,” not “Lost.” So your wish is only partially realized.

    • Butters? Is that you?

  7. I think Indiana Jones 5 and Jurassic Park 4 should be crossover films, and Shia LaBeouf’s character should be eaten. Or neither film should be made. That’s my personal opinion, rant on.

    • I could get down with that. I wish I could like your comment. Come on screenrant, give us that like/dislike button =p

      • Like

  8. George Lucas has had far too many chances to come up with anything good in the last ten years. He has failed every one miserably.

  9. Ok The Lost World was way better than JP3. The story was better; the characters were better; the visuals were better; basically everything was better in the TLW. The thing that I liked the most about JP3 were the pterodactyls. Othere wise from the opening scene you knew JP3 was going to be bad. IMO.

    As for Indy 4 I didnt mind that the MacGuffin was a crystal skull. I just wish it hadn’t been about aliens or interdimensional travellers. Plus the cgi was horrible. Hopefully they’ll go back to using as much live action shots as possible and use highly detailed minatures for the rest.

  10. A girl kicking a raptor is possible even if its small, a cells ringtone being heard from a half mile away while swallowed is not.

    • Really? because they are extinct. cell phones are not.

    • So if Cujo can kill a mailman, and a little girl can knock a Raptor out, then Cujo could tear a raptor to peices with its bare teeth. thats whats your statement says to me.

      • In the context of a fictional film like Lost World yes its possible for a girl to kick a raptor, its still not possible for a cells ringtone to be heard a half mile away while swallowed. However, a cell phone with a ringtone that powerful and still able to work after being ****ed out is one durable cell phone, I must find the company that makes those lol.

  11. I think one thing that some people seem to forget about the Indy films is that they’re all over the top and stupid. Regardless of quality, they’ve always been like that, it’s not just 4. It’s kind of nice to see Steve defend his opinion of the film (while also admitting to the flaws of it), regardless of the harsh criticism from fans and critics.

  12. I guess I’m also in the minority that liked Indy 4. From beginning to end, I took it as an adventure film similar to the over the top serials of yesteryear. Even the fridge scene didn’t bother me, it was like jumping out of a plane with only an inflatable life raft (Indy 2), all part of the rollercoaster ride adventure you would expect from a Indiana Jones film.

    • Thanks,couldn’t have said it better !

  13. I think it’s time to retire both franchises for good. I can’t think of anything that can happen in JP4 that hasn’t happened already. And as much as much as I loved the 1st 3 Indy movies 4 just confirmed everyone’s fears that Ford was to old and Lucas has lost his touch. I wanted to love it and I lied to myself for a while saying I did. But when I watched it again a year or so ago I had to stop and admit that it’s pretty bad. And I don’t ever want to see someone else play Indy or have him hand the whip down to someone else.

  14. I didn’t hate Indie 4. Didn’t love it. But wasn’t as annoyed as I was with Indie 2.

    • I can never understand the hate Temple Of Doom is getting. I saw it with my friends back in the 80′s when I was about 11 and to us it was just this kick ass non stop rollercoaster adventure movie. And so much fun! That’s all the Indy movies are meant to be. We can all anylise them and point out the faults (though Raiders is faultless in my opinin) ay adults, but these movies are basically for 11 year olds. I still love alot of the sfuff I loved when I was 11, and seeing Indy 4 as an adult made me aware of it’s shortcomings, but my 10 year old (at the time) nephew saw it and adored it! I showed him the three old ones afterwards and Temple was immediatley his favourite. Kids don’t care about cgi gophers. They just get lost in the adventure. Remember what that was like?

  15. Ok so im kinda sick of ppl complaining about the aliens in Indy 4. It was set in the 50′s. It had to be Russians, paranoia and aliens. Well either aliens of giant radioactive bugs. But that have been going too far. It made sense, it fit the time period. The problem with the film wasn’t the aliens, it was everything else…

    • The monkeys were bad. Shia swinging through the jungle with them was even worse.

      • Agreed. It was the Tarzan scene with the monkeys choosing to attack the Nazi’s that made me want to get up and walk out. Not the aliens. There was an interesting story there, but Lucas stuffed it up, just like he did with the Star Wars Prequals.

        • But…the aliens were George’s idea? And the everything else was Spielberg’s.

          • I have to agree. It was a total garbage movie, but the aliens thing could have worked with better direction, casting, effects, and writing… better handling for everything really.. but the aliens themselves were not to blame, just the delivery.

  16. *or giant radioactive bugs

  17. Great article, Ben. I had similar toughts after reading his quotes. I am looking forward to IJ4, though. I’m sure they’ll rectify their mistakes… Spielberg needs to open his mouth when an idea from Lucas is terrible, which he seems to have often.

  18. @X
    Why did it have to be aliens? Just because it was the 50′s does not mean that the had to go all scifi. The film would have worked just fine if Indy had to race the communist to find a crystal skull without there being aliens.

  19. I personally loved all the Jurassic Park movies and I have been looking forward to the 4th ever since the credits rolled on JP3. I mean it’s FREAKING DINOS ON THE BIG SCREEN!! Who the heck CARES about a few inconsistencies in the plot, they were minor. Bring on the dinos, I’ll be there opening night with my popcorn!

    • Michael Bay is sending his next 5 generations to college because of people like you.

      • Fine with me. At least I can sit and enjoy a movie for what it is instead of picking apart every last aspect of a film and ruining my enjoyment of films.

        • That implies that I can’t enjoy any movies, but I can! :D
          .. just not soulless CGI-fests of explosions over content like Indy4, Thor, Transformers, etc.. I have preferences. I don’t just love whatever random thing that’s in front of me ;)

    • “Ok man The Lost World is a GREAT film, if you seriously have a problem with the gymnastics raptor kick scene then i have no idea why you dont have a problem with Lex solving the parks maintence problems in the first movie.”

      First of all, I don’t like that scene. It’s stupid. I’m really unsure as to why you assumed I liked that scene when I never said that ever. Secondly, I used the raptor gymnastics scene as an example of strained plausibility in 2 because somebody (LW?) referenced strained plausibility in 3 (the cell phone in the t-rex) as a reason for why 2 was better than 3. Neither examples (girl doing advanced hacking/deus ex machina and girl doing advanced gymnastics/deus ex machina) are enough reason to dislike either film. It just so happens that there’s a lot more to like in 1 than there is in 2 to motivate me to disregard the stupid hacking when judging 1 as a whole.

  20. Personally, I kinda enjoyed Indy 4. I must be the 1%. I felt that the first act was very reminiscent of the Indy films before it, which were all about the crazy fun action, and Indy winning despite overwhelming odds stacked against him. The rest of the film showed that they were willing to try things a little differently and, ultimately, it didn’t pay off.

    Also, considering the Indy 4 dislike in these threads, I’m actually kinda surprised no-one brought up the ‘Fridge Theory’. Essentially, the theory is that Indy suffocates to death after becoming trapped in the fridge and hallucinates the rest of the movie as he becomes oxygen deprived, which I feel actually kinda fits.

    Though I suspect that would be a debunked theory if they make an Indy 4 starring Harrison Ford, but hey. If they ever made Indy 4, I’d totally go with that. The rest of the movie seemed so out of place that I’d go with the theory.

    Jurassic Park 4, on the other hand.. I enjoyed the first (who didn’t?), and I wasn’t too keen on the second, but I took it at face value. I actually kinda liked the third. It wasn’t spectacular, but it was still a fun movie.

  21. Shia was the worst part of the movie, not that he was bad just really unnecessary.

  22. I thought that the majority of people liked Indy 4, which is what shocks me. I’ve always felt like I was in some minority that thought everyone else was crazy. The movie did do quite well in theaters. I don’t even understand liking the film better than Temple of Doom. I can definitely understand the criticisms of TOD. One could make a solid case that it’s the worst of the original three (though I obviously love all three). But it still baffles me that the majority of fans seem to think that the 4th movie came anywhere near to approaching the quality of the original three.

    And often, those who criticize the 4th movie are told that they’re seeing the originals through a nostalgic filter, and making them out to be better than they were. (I’m sure this isn’t the case for everyone who defends the 4th movie.) I can live with people liking the 4th movie in spite of its problems. I mean, it’s hard to blame them for it. Seeing Ford as Indy again was pretty awesome. Even I enjoyed certain aspects of the 4th movie (and as problematic as it was in the first half, the second half is what truly destroyed the film). But I cannot respect someone who has to degrade the original three in order to defend the 4th film.

    By the way, it was interesting to hear that Spielberg originally came up with the fridge thing. I suppose Lucas and Spielberg both sit down with the scriptwriters and have them integrate all their ideas into the script. The fridge/nuke scene originally appeared in the Jeb Stuart “Saucer Men” script, but it became progressively more over-the-top with each new appearance in subsequent scripts. If I remember correctly, Indy simply climbs into some sort of underground fridge that remains stationary for that first script. Then in Drabont’s script, the fridge actually skids/skips along the ground quite a ways. It’s even more ridiculous in the David Koepp script, obviously. Maybe Spielberg never intended for it to be modified to the extent that it was.

    In some ways, I do prefer the third Jurassic Park movie to the second. It had its share of humor, but overall I found it easier to take the movie seriously than I did the second one (that gymnastics kick was incredibly cringe-inducing). I think what people most dislike about the third movie is that the story didn’t really add anything to the Jurassic Park mythos. It was just Grant going back to Isla Sorna and then trying to escape it with a group of people. I think the addition of the Pterosaurs and the development of the Velociraptors was interesting. But I do understand the complaints. I have problems with all three films (usually relating to the godawful kids), but I think the good generally outweighs the bad (particularly when it comes to the first film). The special effects are amazing, and the movies are full of likable characters, suspense, and exciting set pieces. I hope that a fourth film would, at the very least, have decent special effects. The integration of CG and practical effects (which force the CG artists to step up their game) is one of the most appealing aspects of the movies to me, so I hope they continue to utilize this approach for the 4th film. I can forgive a lot in the 4th film if they at least get the effects right.

  23. Let’s just say i watch Star Wars episode one more than i do Jurassic Park 2

  24. Gopher?

    Well, I suppose that’s fine if you never leave the city, but outside of Hollywood we call ‘em prairie dogs.

    • I’m from Iowa originally where we use the term gopher quite frequently.

      • There may be gophers in Iowa, but the CG creature pictured is specifically a prairie dog (which makes the desert its home).

        Whew! Glad we got that cleared up.
        Who says Screenrant doesn’t have thought-provoking discussions!


              • Yeeeaaah … but I never said prairie dog wasn’t an applicable name for those animals. I only said that so, too, was gopher, and that that word (gopher) is used outside of Hollywood. All true things!

                • Okay. Okay.
                  No harm done. Let’s just call a truce before this thing gets out of hand and someone says something about someone’s momma.


                  And so ends the great gopher/prairie dog debate of 2011. Check back next week when Ben and I will discuss Hollywood, Planet of the Apes, monkey actors, and the women who love them.

  25. i don’t want to see anymore kids in any of these movies. it killed crystal skull like it killed star wars.
    the aliens in crystal skull shouldn’t have been revealed, they should have been left more unknown..
    if you want to make a movie with kids try something like goonies, monster squad or the gate.
    monster squad vs. a zombie invasion would be good.

    • I maintain that the character roles of children in movies should be played by midgets exclusively.