Is it just me, or has their been a distinct lack of enthusiasm over the announcement of an upcoming Indiana Jones 5 movie this week? Just a few short years ago when it was announced that Star Wars was coming back, it was one of the most internet-shattering news stories to come along. Everyone was talking about it for weeks and months. And it wasn’t just genre fans, but the general public as well was talking excitedly about the prospect of new Star Wars films in a way that it hadn’t in quite a long time.
But with the Indiana Jones news of this week it has been veritable crickets. Granted, many people felt burned by the lackluster last outing, Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. But even factoring in the fact that George Lucas, the architect of many of the things in Crystal Skull that fans objected to, wasn’t going to be involved there was a response that was underwhelming given the franchise’s past popularity that rivaled Star Wars itself.
Well, if the mere prospect of a new Indiana Jones film can’t set the internet on fire, the news that director Steven Spielberg has hired frequent collaborator David Koepp to write the installment probably won’t cause much of a stir either. Which is a shame, as we could be having the conversation as to which David Koepp we are going to be getting with this script.
Koepp, of course, is known for having written the original Jurassic Park for Spielberg, as well as other strong films such as Carlito’s Way, the first Mission: Impossible, Panic Room and the first of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films. But not all of his films have been hits and Koepp has a few stinkers like Death Becomes Her, Snake Eyes and Spielberg’s War Of The Worlds to his credit. Some will point out that Koepp also has Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull on his resume, but I am willing to give him some slack on that as he was working with ideas imposed on him by Lucas. Also, it has been discussed that the screenplay for that movie went through numerous drafts, watering down what it had started off as. As I said when the Indiana Jones 5 news was first announced, perhaps we can get a film that is truer to what director Spielberg would like to do not that Lucas’s input will no longer be a factor.
Personally, I would have preferred to see screenwriter Frank Darabont get the gig. His association with the franchise goes all the way back to 1990s when he was a writer on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles television series. HE was the first person who actually wrote on Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull and it was his draft that initially got Spielberg and star Harrison Ford interested in returning to the franchise. Unfortunately, George Lucas wasn’t happy with it. Since all three had to be in agreement before the project could go forward, the script was sent into a series of rewrites, of which Koepp was a part. But if Darabont could have made the two remaining principals – Spielberg and Ford – happy before, I would have like to see him do that again.