In 1973, George Lucas was working on two side projects: Star Wars and Indiana Jones. In retrospect, it’s chilling to see what came out of a single mind at virtually the same time.
50 years ago, Indiana Jones was Indiana SMITH, because that was the first draft: The Adventures of Indiana Smith. Star Wars took precedence, but Indiana had potential, the director knew. With the phenomenon that the space adventure proved to be, there was nothing Lucas couldn’t do, and teaming up with the beloved and equally popular Steven Spielberg was dynamite.
The plot of the first film was a proposal to modernize serials and films from the 1930s and 1940s, working with the respected Philip Kaufman, and deciding that the Ark of Moses would be the well-known MacGuffin, the element that provokes the action but is not the essence of the drama. However, the screenwriter had to leave because of another project and it was in an unpretentious conversation that the most popular Hollywood directors, who were great friends, were on vacation and saw that they had the same goal. Spielberg wanted something James Bond-like, and when he heard about “Indy”, he identified it as a “better idea than James Bond” because it was an adventure without technology. And they only changed one thing: instead of Smith, he would be Jones.
The desire for it to be a franchise existed, but it was the worldwide mega-success that ensured that it was a possibility. After great films and a miniseries, since 2012 DisneyPlus has acquired the intellectual property of Indiana Jones, planning a reboot of what was thought to be more than over. The film that will be released at the Cannes Film Festival will (finally?) be the last with Harrison Ford and full of behind-the-scenes delays. But for fans to hear the John Williams theme is just as exciting as the Rebels theme. Who resists?
Premieres at the end of June, the 29th.