Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2007 by Peter Sciretta
Frank Darabont has written (and directed) some of the best movies of all time: The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. He’s currently in post production on his latest Stephen King adaptation The Mist. The writer has started to speak out about the disasterious experience that was Indiana Jones 4. His comments are sure to anger Star Wars director George Lucas. Darabont, who also worked on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, says that his time working on Indiana Jones 4 “topped the list” of his worst writing experiences of all time.
“It was a tremendous disappointment and a waste of a year,” Darabont told MTV. “It showed me how badly things can go. I spent a year of very determined effort on something I was very excited about, working very closely with Steven Spielberg and coming up with a result that I and he felt was terrific. He wanted to direct it as his next movie, and then suddenly the whole thing goes down in flames because George Lucas doesn’t like the script.”
Spielberg had acclaimed the screenplay as the best since Raiders of the Lost Ark. Darabont claims he confronted Lucas directly:
“I told him he was crazy. I said, ‘You have a fantastic script. I think you’re insane, George.’ You can say things like that to George, and he doesn’t even blink. He’s one of the most stubborn men I know.”
Remember the prequels? Remember when Lucas said Empire Strikes Back was the WORST Star Wars movie? Lucas’ sensibilities have been really wrong for twenty years. But here is the kicker, Darabont’s screenplay supposedly dealt with Indy investigating UFOs in the 1950s, after the demise of the Nazi regime. [Update: We have been informed that the accuracy of this claim has been debated.] The script also featured Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) in one scene, and it does not have Jones’ son.
So may-be George Lucas was in the right (for once). Remember, even a broken clock is right twice a day.