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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

He's back!

Spielberg and crew are hard at work on the latest piece of the Indiana Jones saga. At the last VMA awards, actor Shia Lebeouf revealed the title of the film to be "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull". Shia has been linked to Spielberg in two previous films, Transformers and Disturbia, both Dreamworks productions. Shia joins Harrison Ford, John Hurt, Ray Winstone, and Karen Allen who returns as Marion Ravenwood, her character from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Shia Lebeouf is described on the website as "one of the fastest rising stars in the world of film." Steven Spielberg himself has said about Shia "His talent has impressed not only his audiences throughout his young career but the directors, producers and fellow actors who have worked with him in his television career and now his film career." Despite the huge buzz surrounding this rising star, he still gets a little starstruck as seen in the video clip HERE. I find it especially endearing that he is so overwhelmed and touched at the thought of the opportunity he has been given.

The trilogy of films that lead up to this anticipated finale are some of my absolute favorite films of all time. "Last Crusade", starring Sean Connery as Indy's father, is a perfect film, touching on all nerves, and rounding out the trilogy very well. The Indy trilogy earned 11 Oscars and grossed more than 1 BILLION dollars at the box office alone. Think about that for a minute, a billion dollars just at the theater. Then you consider all of the video sales and then the people who had to get the trilogy on DVD, which contains a bonus disc with the making of all three films. Then you have to think of Harrison Ford, who has now been a huge part of the two biggest film series of all time, including Indiana Jones and the original Star Wars trilogy. To think that Tom Selleck nearly got cast is almost unthinkable although he may have done just fine. Tom was cast but unable to accept the role as he was previously under contract for a television series called Magnum PI, which ultimately became very successful.

I am confident in assuming that Spielberg and Lucas would not have touched this project unless the script was magnificent. They turned down scripts from Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption) and M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs, Lady in the Water) before giving the green light on a script from David Koepp (War of the Worlds, Spiderman, Panic Room).

Unfortunately for those who loved Sean Connery's part in this story, he will not be returning and made the announcement that "if anything could have pulled me out of retirement, it would have been an Indiana Jones film" and goes on to say "in the end, retirement is just too damned much fun."

The film is set for release on Memorial Day of 2008 which will give filmmakers a hard act to follow for creating a summer blockbuster. I'm hoping that a film of this magnitude sets the tone for a great summer at the movies, rather than casting a shadow over all that follow.

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