In an interview with Empire Online, legendary director Steven Spielberg talked about the development of future sequels for two of the biggest properties he has ever launched, Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones. While both of these franchises are huge name brands, and future sequels will probably rake in boatloads of cash no matter what, they’ve also both had some less than stellar installments already. So, artistically, if Spielberg is going to get us movie geeks to buy into the fact that more movies in these series are necessary, he’s got some explaining to do.
Spielberg seems to readily admit that Jurassic Park 3 was a B-level film unworthy of carrying his weighty name in its credits, because he comes right out and assures us that a fourth installment won’t resemble that film in any way. He said, “The screenplay is being written right now by Mark Protosevich. I’m hoping that will come out in the next couple of years. We have a good story. We have a better story for four than we had for three…” Protosevich has been the writer on films like Thor, I am Legend, and the remake of Poseidon, so probably you can judge how much you trust Spielberg to get his story told correctly based on how you feel about those films.
As far as the latest Indiana Jones movie The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull goes, Spielberg seems less ready to admit that film was a misstep. He says that he likes it, but he’s also pretty quick to put all of the responsibility for the story on George Lucas’ shoulders, and then he even goes so far as to address some of the biggest complaints people had with the film. He explained, “I’m very happy with the movie. I always have been… I sympathise (sic) with people who didn’t like the MacGuffin because I never liked the MacGuffin. George and I had big arguments about the MacGuffin. I didn’t want these things to be either aliens or inter-dimensional beings.” Wow, that sounds like some Rick James-esque changing course mid-sentence. There is one aspect of the film he’s willing to own up to as being his decision though. He went on to say, “What people really jumped at was Indy climbing into a refrigerator and getting blown into the sky by an atom-bomb blast. Blame me. Don’t blame George. That was my silly idea. People stopped saying ‘jump the shark’. They now say, ‘nuked the fridge’. I’m proud of that. I’m glad I was able to bring that into popular culture.” Personally I liked the fridge scene. That was the good kind of dumb in my eyes, unlike the scene with LaBeouf swinging from the vines, which was the bad kind of dumb. Either way, saying that he enjoys creating the thing that people now use to refer to a movie as being stupid seems kind of disingenuous to me.
I’ll leave you with Spielberg’s comments on whether or not we can soon expect an Indy 5, “You have to ask George Lucas. George is in charge of breaking the stories. He’s done it on all four movies. Whether I like the stories or not, George has broken all the stories. He is working on Indy V. We haven’t gone to screenplay yet, but he’s working on the story. I’ll leave it to George to come up with a good story.” Oh brother.