And here’s another from Den of Geek this morning, which at the very least seems/feels slightly more probable than the last one. They report that there’s been a clampdown on the Pinewood prop shop, but that the modelmakers are working on a Millennium Falcon (as frequently reported and possibly proved) and lightsaber hilts. The modelmakers also supposedly have seven-year contracts covering the new trilogy and three spin-offs.
They’re also reporting that the planning office has a listing for an Indiana Jones 5, which wouldn’t be all that surprising giving Disney and Paramount’s announcement regarding the franchise in December.
At a Variety event this morning, Disney’s Alan Horn said that they expect to get the Episode VII script in January and that the film will likely cost $200M. (Revenge of the Sith‘s production budget was $113M, per Box Office Mojo, but that was almost a decade ago.)
He also reiterated that we’ll be seeing Star Wars movies yearly, which has been the plan for a while now, but has been rumored to be in doubt.
As for Indy:
Graser is a reporter at Variety.
Disney and Paramount have reached an agreement regarding the Indiana Jones franchise, Variety reports today. Disney retains Lucasfilm’s ownership rights but gains “distribution and marketing rights to future films.” Paramount will continue to distribute the first four films and will receive “financial participation” on future ones.
There have been rumblings of an Indy 5 since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out, and actions on it have been rumored to be a part of Harrison Ford’s still unconfirmed Episode VII contract.
Drew McWeeny of HitFix speculates that this could lead to other actors taking on the iconic fedora:
…Only truly deranged and damaged people would take something as rich with potential as Indiana Jones and then just remake the movies that already exist. “Raiders Of The Lost Ark,” “Temple Of Doom,” and “The Last Crusade” should all be considered canon, and if you’re going to make new movies, then do it in a way that works around those films, not that tries to replace them.
Indiana Jones as the new James Bond? Well, as McWeeny points out, the character has already been played by four others besides Ford. I certainly prefer the idea to simply remaking Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Last Crusade, but it’s hard to imagine anyone stepping into Ford’s shoes. (Yeah yeah, Nathan Fillon, blah blah blah noshitcakes. At least try and think outside the box, fancasters.)
And our final word:
This morning, Jedi News‘ Jedi Master SQL reports on Lucasfilm’s negotiations with Harrison Ford. A verbal agreement has been in place for him to reprise Han Solo since before the Disney deal, and the financial matters were hammered out over the summer. The sticking points were apparently Ford wanting to see Solo’s development over the full arc of the films – not just Episode VII – and a commitment for another Indiana Jones film. A multi-film deal has now been agreed on.
Ford didn’t get a guarantee for Indy 5, but there will be an outline for the film by the end of 2014, with it going forward for a 2016 release if all parties agree. (Lingering question: Besides Ford himself, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas, as in the past? Or will Lucas – and possibly Spielberg – pass the franchise on to other filmmakers, as has been done with Star Wars?) There are so many questions (Shia LaBouf and his burned bridges?) that if this is anywhere near true, I don’t expect anything Indy to be announced when Ford’s involvement in Episode VII is confirmed. Ford has been very open recently about wanting to play Indiana Jones again, but remember, all this is just rumor at this point.
And yesterday, SQL pointed out that Lucasfilm named two production designers (officially) on Episode VII, a highly unusual move, and maintains that the November 11th, 2015 release date he reported earlier is still the target.
NYCC namesake corner. Tricia Barr nabbed a picture of the Kotobukiya Bishoujo Mara Jade on display. Thoughts?
Queue the eyeroll. Scott Mendelson asks if there’s Star Wars without George Lucas. To quote Brian, “Welcome to the most annoying question directed at EU fans, rest of fandom.”
Casting. On The Graham Norton Show, Harrison Ford says he “hasn’t decided yet” about Episode VII, but he’ll return to Indiana Jones “in a New York minute.” And Michael B. Jordan tells The Huffington Post that he has indeed auditioned for the film.
On that note, read this. Film Critic Hulk on why casting rumors are nonsense. None of this is a surprise, but it is definitely something to keep in mind, and one of the reasons we don’t take rumors particularly seriously around these parts. (Also: They amuse me.)
Your moment of zen Star Wars Joke-A-Day – perhaps better known as our own The Stooge – has hit upon a big scoop.
Already thinking about travel plans for the summer and rest of 2013? The traveling museum exhibitions for Star Wars and Indiana Jones are!
Announced on Thursday with Billy Dee Williams on hand with the mayor of San Jose (yes, San Jose!), alongside Pablo Hidalgo and members of the 501st and Rebel Legions, San Jose’s Tech Museum of Innovation will be hosting the final stop of the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibition from October to next February.
The exhibition has been traveling around the US since 2005 (see my pictures from when it was at Santa Ana’s Discovery Science Center), and is currently wrapping up its stay at the Orlando Science Center (ends April 7). Over the summer, it will be at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis (May 25 – Sept. 2). This exhibition brings out props and costumes from the Star Wars films and connects them to real world science and technology, such as space travel, prosthetics, maglevs, and robotics.
Meanwhile, the Star Wars Identities exhibition, which started in 2012 in Montreal, and focuses on the concepts of identity, through origins, influences, and choices, will be ending this weekend in Edmonton’s Telus World of Science to move to Ottawa’s Canada Aviation and Space Museum from May 10 to September 2.
Finally, the Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology exhibition is wrapping up its first US stay, at Santa Ana’s Discovery Science Center, closing April 21. Presented by the National Geographic Society, it highlights the real science of archaeology, and connects it to the four Indiana Jones films with both real world artifacts and movie props, costumes, and artwork. I had a chance to see the exhibition last weekend, and provided an in-depth report earlier. While I am told that this exhibition will be moving onto a new location, it hasn’t been announced yet.
Last week, my Fan Force chapter made a club trip to see the Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology exhibition at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California. Nearly finished with its first American stop, the exhibition is great for both fans of the Indiana Jones films and fans of archaeology, and I’d advise going to check it out before it finishes up on April 21, or catch it at a tour stop near you. X3 Productions, the company behind the Indiana Jones exhibition (as well as Star Wars Identities), has let me know that there are more exhibition stops coming, and to watch for an announcement very soon. I’m a big fan of the Indy films, and a lover of archaeology, history and anthropology (and thus museums as well), so this was a trip I had been eager to organize and take. Here’s what the Indy exhibit had to offer:
Last week, I reported on a mysterious package that ended up at the University of Chicago for Indiana Jones – it turns out that the mystery of the Lost Ark’s journal has been solved! UChicago’s Admissions Tumblr reports that the package was indeed a replica prop from eBay being sent from Guam to Italy, when it fell out of its packaging in Hawaii – and since the interior “package” appeared to be legitimate with an address, it made its way to the university.
The University has been allowed to keep the replica prop, while the journal’s maker will create a replacement for the original intended recipient. Most likely, the postal service opened up the package because it was leaving a red line around the globe as it traveled.
The University of Chicago received an unusual package recently, addressed to Indiana Jones. Some pranksters sent a package containing a replica of Abner Ravenwood’s diary, some replica money, postcards, and pictures of Marion and had it slipped into the incoming mail at the admissions office, which is housed in the building that formerly held their geography and geology departments.
As mentioned in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jones was the protégé of Professor Ravenwood at the University of Chicago, before their falling out over Abner’s daughter, Marion. The admissions office is trying to sort out who sent the package and why… but it seems pretty obvious to me that Abner needs to keep his documentation away from the Nazis, and sent it to someone who could use it. The bigger mystery: if Professor Ravenwood died in Nepal, who mailed it from Egypt? (Also, the addressor appears to have misspelled “Illinois” and added a ZIP code, which didn’t exist yet in the 1930’s, when Raiders takes place.)
“Doctor Jones! I’m so glad you’re back! Your mail is on your desk.” — Irene, Indy’s secretary at the college
In the meantime, the University has set up an email to accept information about the package: email@example.com. Is it from a prospective student? Is it just an elaborate hoax? Is it some sort of guerilla PR work to ramp up for some new Indiana Jones announcement – some sort of new story focusing on the legacy of Abner Ravenwood? It’s not the first time Abner’s death had been exaggerated.
Indiana Jones was called a grave robber and “obtainer of rare antiquities” in his career, but at least in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the skull ended up in its rightful place. Not so much with another crystal skull, which was referenced in the 2008 film: the Mitchell-Hedges skull, found in British Honduras (now Belize) in the 1920s.
Now, the Institute of Archaeology of Belize is using the Illinois courts to get the Mitchell-Hedges skull back from its discoverer’s family, and are even claiming that the skull’s likeness was used as the basis for the fictional skull in the Indiana Jones film without Belize’s authorization and thus the country deserves a chunk of the profit from Lucasfilm and Paramount (and now Disney). Or could it be that the crystal skull prop (and the Mitchell-Hedges skull) are based on the design of human skulls (albeit for the movie, some proportions were extended to alien dimensions).
The lawsuit alleges that there are only four known major crystal skulls in the world, including the one in the British Museum. Wait, the British Museum rock crystal skull was determined not to be Mayan or Aztec, but made later, from material not in the pre-Columbian Mexico trade network. Not a good start for this case.
Whether the Mitchell-Hedges skull is stolen property that needs to be repatriated to Belize is one case, but then dragging Lucasfilm into the case for claiming stolen profits is going to be a much tougher case. Or was the goal to just get some PR for this lawsuit?