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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indiana Jones 4: The Scripts That Weren't part 2

Script: Frank Darabont's INDIANA JONES 4 script

Writer: Frank Darabont (writer/director of The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist, among others)

Authenticity: Don't wet yourselves... WE DON'T HAVE A COPY. We've simply heard the rumors like everyone else.

However, that's not to say that there aren't fake versions of Darabont's script flying around out there. We've heard about one alleged Darabont draft that worked in a lot of "already announced" details with excerpts from other internet Indy 4 fakes. Most notably, this faker apparently borrowed heavily from the Indy and son storyline in the known-bogus Indiana Jones and the Sons of Darkness, a fan script (mistakenly attributed to Jeffrey Boam for a long while) written by a guy named Robert Smith, hoping to jump start his screenwriting career. (For more on the Sons of Darkness, go here.)

So if you read anything online about Indy and his son Abner looking for Noah's Ark, beware. Besides, even Darabont himself commented recently that the whole "Shia as the son of Indy" aspect never appeared in his script. He told MTV that "That’s a whole new element that’s been brought in. Shia? I don’t remember writing that character." Darabont also mentioned that he considered writing the script - a screenplay that apparently both Spielberg and Ford wanted to film until Lucas refused to accept it - "a waste of a year... At this point, I don't give much of a damn what George thinks, but I wouldn't want to harm my friendship with Steven". Darabont later told MTV that he wasn't holding a grudge and wanted to move on.

The two big questions surrounding Darabont's Indy 4 script are - "How much of Darabont's draft is David Koepp using?" and "Will Darabont appeal to the WGA to get a screenwriting credit?"

For hardcore Indy fans, who lovingly remember Darabont's work on the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, there's a lot of buzz surrounding these questions. You can bet that if Darabont doesn't get credit on Indy 4, there are going to be a lot of people that COULD BE interested in making Darabont's draft public, so that the fan community can judge for themselves how much Frank contributed to the final product. (Much like how Brian Helgeland's original cut of Payback hit the bootleg circuit after Mel Gibson took over control of the film.)

Script: (Unsubstantiated) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Writer: George Lucas and David Koepp.... ALLEGEDLY

Authenticity: Weaker than weak. How about "flaccid"?

If you go to, you'll be introduced to SuperShadow, a man who claims to be "very close, personal friends with George Lucas" and alleges that his website "played a crucial role in the development of the Star Wars prequel trilogy." He even states that: "Lucas has acknowledged many times in public that SuperShadow is the best thing to ever happen to Star Wars" and that " is the official web site of George Lucas." (If you can find proof of ANY of these claims, then you're the real archeologist, not Dr. Jones.)

Mr. Shadow has created a formula that SUPPOSEDLY breaks down the plot of every Indiana Jones movie, and he claims to have detailed plot outlines for Indiana Jones 4 (and Indiana Jones 5 too!). The ONLY reason we're even mentioning this... ahem... "special" individual is that his plot summary has been re-pasted onto several message boards (with claims of its authenticity) and we don't want anyone unfamiliar with SS to be taken in by the... let's just say it... hoax.

The one thing you have to give SuperShadow credit for is his ability to take the tiny bits of information leaking out about the production and weave them into his flimsy narrative. If you've read the Vanity Fair article about Indy 4, saw some of the on-set photos from Yale, looked at the cast announcements, and read one or two interviews, you could've written a similar plot summary.

Basically, it claims that Abner Ravenwood, Indy's mentor and Marion's father, was even more interested in the Crystal Skulls than the Lost Ark, but apparently, he never mentioned it much. When Indy's colleague Hawthorne (Jim Broadbent's character) brings Indy a crystal skull to examine in the 1950s, the Russians kill Hawthorne and take the skull, leaving Indy and his student Mutt to track it down. The Commies capture Indy and Mutt and, by an AMAZING coincidence, they're also holding Marion, who admits that (unbeknown to ANYONE) that Mutt is Indy's son. It gets worse from there.


Don't believe the hype. If you read online that someone's read a script for Indiana Jones 4, take it with a BIG, BIG GRAIN OF SALT. This is one of the most anticipated movies in YEARS, so you know that the security surrounding the project is airtight. (Well, except for the image debacle a few months ago... and the Russian dancer extra who ignored his non-disclosure agreement... never mind.) If you read anything about Indy and the Monkey King, Saucer Men, Sword of Arthur, Sons of Darkness, Lost City of Atlantis, or a Tomb of Ice - smile, nod, and check your calendar again. Memorial Day 2008 simply can't get here fast enough.

The,written by Tom Burns

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