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?
Now that the dust is settled a little from yesterday’s bombshell, we can all take a deep breath and… Continue to freak out about how there are going to be more Star Wars movies. Um.
A good place to start would be Slashfilm’s roundup of yesterday’s conference call with Russ Fischer. It addresses and expands (and yes, in some cases, speculates) on some of those lingering questions you may have on Indiana Jones, Episode VII, Industrial Light & Magic and more.
One take I found rather interesting – if a bit paranoid – is from The Daily Intel’s Kevin Roose. He speculates that the deal is a financial dud and that Disney is getting Lucasfilm “for a steal.” I doubt this is the last we’ll hear on the financial side of this – and it’s clearly written from the perspective of a Star Wars cynic – but it’s something to keep in mind, at least. In another corner of New York Magazine, Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan and Margaret Lyons have 7 questions about Episode VII.
Of course, there’s speculation on the new trilogy everywhere. ThinkProgress’ Alyssa Rosenberg weighs in on how Disney could make Episode VII awesome with 5 ideas plucked from the pages of the Expanded Universe, while Forbes’ Alex Knapp has three options and AMOG’s Keith Veronese has five. (IGN even pulled one up from their archives.) I’m sure we’re going to be seeing everyone and their vat-grown clone throw their favorite book/comic/Boba fetish into the hat for the foreseeable future. We talked a bit about this on Tosche Station last night, but you’ll just have to wait on that one!
The IMAX version of Raiders of the Lost Ark opened in theaters this past weekend, grossing about $1.73 million over the three days. Playing in 267 IMAX theaters nationwide, the first Indiana Jones film will continue to run until this Thursday as part of the hype for the upcoming release of the entire Indy film series in a Blu-ray box set on September 18. Can’t make it to an IMAX screening? AMC theaters will be hosting marathon screenings of all four films on Saturday, September 15.
Raiders star Karen Allen spoke with USA Today last week about her lack of fear of snakes on the set of the Well of Souls scenes, and mentions that she’s up for another Indy outing.
With the Blu-ray box set, Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures, coming out next week, you might wonder if there’s a special collector’s edition of the set? And there is…. not in the US. Amazon UK has a Limited Collector’s Edition, which comes with the five disc Blu-ray box set and a huge pile of goodies, including a 144-page replica of the Grail Diary from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, a film cell, other replica prop items. Meanwhile, versions of the set in steelbook collector cases will be available in Germany and France, with the German version also having an optional Zippo lighter.
The original Indiana Jones adventure is coming back to the big screen — a very big screen, actually: IMAX. Screencrush reports that Raiders of the Lost Ark will be released in IMAX (and fake IMAX) formats for a limited run (Sept 7 to Sept 13) to promote the upcoming Blu-ray box set. That boulder’s gonna be huge!
As reported earlier, The Complete Adventures of Indiana Jones Blu-ray box set (containing all four Indy films) comes out on September 18. For a movie that came out 31 years ago, the enduring classic adventure of Raiders shows that it’s not the years or the mileage… it’s the awesome.
Interviews with producer Frank Marshall seem to indicate that Indiana Jones 5 seemes unlikely to happen. Marshall is likely to be pretty close in the loop on such things, as one of the producers on all four films in the Indiana Jones series and husband to Kathleen Kennedy, fellow Indy producer and recently named to be George Lucas’ successor at Lucasfilm.
Lucasfilm will be promoting the upcoming release of the Indiana Jones quadrilogy on Blu-ray by having a recreation of the Well of Lost Souls at Comic-Con, with live snakes. WITH LIVE SNAKES! Talk about a ubercool photo op for fans of the Harrison Ford adventures. or uberscary, if you are an ophidiophobe. Lucasfilm’s snake pit will be located at booth #2913. Those who pre-order the set will also get a $25 gift card to Sideshow Collectibles.
Check out the Indiana Jones Blu-ray trailer at the LA Times Hero Complex. They also report that, in time for the Blu-ray release on September 18, the Indiana Jones and the Adventures of Archeology museum exhibition will be finally hitting the States, starting off in Orange County’s Discovery Science Center (which just recently finished the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibition).
No telling whether your photos will also have the tell-tale glass between you and the cobra, but at least you’ll get to say “Snakes? Why did it have to be snakes?”
Compiling lots of making-of information with original interviews with several cast and crew members (and even an interview with Blade Runner‘s Sean Young, who had auditioned for the role of Marion Ravenwood,) it’s essentially an super vocal commentary of the first Indiana Jones film. Benning guest-blogged on Empire Online about the making of Raiding the Lost Ark, while PBS dives into Benning’s history of filmumentaries, and GeekDad has a Raiding image gallery
Star Wars and the Super Bowl. Stuart Elliot on the New York Times’ Media Decoder blog has some details of this year’s Volkswagen Star Wars commercial. The kid isn’t returning (guess I need to change the name of our tag) but it does involve a dog named Bolt and a Beetle. The Star Wars bit? Looks like a cantina alien or two may show up. On that note, the Washington Post Style Blog has an interview with Jeff Elmassian, who helped created ‘The Bark Side’ teaser.
New York Magazine’s Vulture blog caught up with George Lucas at The Adventures of Tintin premiere and learned that despite earlier comments by Steven Spielberg about the movie concept being done, Lucas is still seeking a key plot point for a fifth Indiana Jones film. Lucas said: “but I really haven’t found the MacGuffin yet. I mean, I know what it’s about, but I just have to find a MacGuffin that fits into the arena we’re working in.”
Meanwhile, Spielberg reported to MTV that making a fifth Indy film wouldn’t be made just to prove something to the audience (when compared to general fan reaction that felt that the most recent film, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was a letdown compared to other Indy outings).