The folks at Vanity Fair have published their account of their all-access pass into the world of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull in their upcoming February 2008 Issue. Within the story, VF sat down with director Steven Spielberg to talk about the movie that experts are saying should be the highest grossing film of 2008.

Within the interview, I found what could be the most interesting thing about the production: Spielberg’s dedication to keeping this fourth installment right in line with the others. I will reference the following excerpt from the article:

Rather than update the franchise to match current styles, Lucas and Spielberg decided to stay true to the prior films’ look, tone, and pace. During pre-production, Spielberg watched the first three Indiana Jones movies at an Amblin screening room with Janusz Kaminski, who has shot the director’s last 10 films. He replaces Douglas Slocombe, who shot the first three Indy movies (and is now retired at age 94), as the man mainly responsible for the film’s look. “I needed to show them to Janusz,” Spielberg says, “because I didn’t want Janusz to modernize and bring us into the 21st century. I still wanted the film to have a lighting style not dissimilar to the work Doug Slocombe had achieved, which meant that both Janusz and I had to swallow our pride. Janusz had to approximate another cinematographer’s look, and I had to approximate this younger director’s look that I thought I had moved away from after almost two decades.”

You have to appreciate what Spielberg is doing, especially for the die hard fans of the original films. What greater compliment to pay to your own fans than to resist the temptation to modernize a classic favorite and make an honest film — this is why Steven Spielberg is such a fantastic director. For fans of the Indiana Jones series, this should only increase the excitement around this film. For everyone else, you may want to mark May 22, 2008 on your calendars.

Take a look at the new behind the scenes images from the set of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull below. (Photos by Annie Leibovitz)

George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg

Shia LaBeouf and Karen Allen on the set of Indy 4

Cate Blanchett as a commie dominatrix

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