Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Is "Indiana Jones 4" Really Happening?

The dependable Roger Friedman of FoxNews.com points out that people have cried wolf before over this project. True enough, but usually it's been a casual comment by one of the principals (eg. Ford tells some reporter he'd be glad to make another one) getting conflated into "news" -- "FORD SAYS NEW INDY FLICK IS A GO!" This is the first time to my knowledge that all three principals -- Lucas, Ford and Spielberg -- have said they're happy with the script and the film is going to happen. This is the first time Spielberg has said it will be his next directorial effort. They've even staked a release date of May 2008. It's gonna happen. The Hollywood Reporter says so. Variety says so. And most importantly George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford have all signed off on the script and are ready to go. A couple of points: Variety says this marks a return to pure entertainment after being interested in more serious fare like "Schindler's List," "Saving Private Ryan" and "Munich." That of course ignores "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," which he made after "Schindler," not to mention "War Of The Worlds" (grim but still pure popcorn), "Catch Me If You Can" (a delightful adult comic-drama, and even arguably "The Terminal" (not successful but hardly hard-hitting social drama) and "Minority Report," grim again but still pretty darn popcorn-ish. And finally, given the 20 years that will have passed since the last Indy film, this one will immediately become the most successful of the four by far -- the box office is infinitely bigger now for a movie like this. $500 million worldwide would be the low-end of expectations, I'd say given the $800 million+ for Potter and LOTR, etc. And $500 million worldwide would be more than any of the first three.

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