Posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008 by Peter Sciretta
Vanity Fair has a new feature article on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which includes a couple new behind the scenes photo shown above and below. Included is the first photo of Cate Blanchett who plays a Russian Agent Spalko. Below you can also find some quotes I’ve highlighted from the article.
“I’m in my second cut, which means I’ve put the movie together and I’ve seen it,” he says. “I usually do about five cuts as a director. The best news is that, when I saw the movie myself the first time, there was nothing I wanted to go back and shoot, nothing I wanted to reshoot, and nothing I wanted to add.”
Spielberg promises no tricky editing for the new one, saying, “I go for geography. I want the audience to know not only which side the good guy’s on and the bad guy’s on, but which side of the screen they’re in, and I want the audience to be able to edit as quickly as they want in a shot that I am loath to cut away from. And that’s been my style with all four of these Indiana Jones pictures. Quick-cutting is very effective in some movies, like the Bourne pictures, but you sacrifice geography when you go for quick-cutting. Which is fine, because audiences get a huge adrenaline rush from a cut every second and a half on The Bourne Ultimatum, and there’s just enough geography for the audience never to be lost, especially in the last Bourne film, which I thought was the best of the three. But, by the same token, Indy is a little more old-fashioned than the modern-day action adventure.”
“The thing about Bourne,” Lucas says, “I would put that on the credible side, because he’s trained in martial arts and all that kind of stuff, and we know that people in martial arts, even little old ladies, can break somebody’s leg. So you kind of say, O.K., that’s possible. But when you get to the next level, whether it’s Tomb Raider or the Die Hard series, where you’ve got one guy with one pistol going up against 50 guys with machine guns, or he jumps in a jet and starts chasing a car down a freeway, you say, I’m not sure I can really buy this. Mission: Impossible’s like that. They do things where you could not survive in the real world. In Indiana Jones, we stay just this side of it.”
Says Spielberg, “Part of the speed is the story,” he says. “If you build a fast engine, you don’t need fast cutting, because the story’s being told fluidly, and the pages are just turning very quickly. You first of all need a script that’s written in the express lane, and if it’s not, there’s nothing you can do in the editing room to make it move faster. You need room for character, you need room for relationships, for personal conflict, you need room for comedy, but that all has to happen on a moving sidewalk.”
Says Harrison Ford, “He’s a stubborn sucker,” the actor says, “and he had an idea that he kept pushing into script form, and then they’d run it by me, and I’d usually rebel, and, finally, you know, one script came along that really struck me as being smart, not working too hard to give reference to the other films, but that carried on the stories we had told so far in a logical way. The character was allowed to age, and we found ourselves in a different period of time, and what I read was a great script, so I said, ‘Let’s go, let’s make this one.’â€Š”
These last three quotes from Lucas really worry me.
Lucas says. “So that put it in the mid-50s, and the MacGuffin I was looking at was perfect for the mid-50s. I looked around and I said, ‘Well, maybe we shouldn’t do a 30s serial, because now we’re in the 50s. What is the same kind of cheesy-entertainment action movie, what was the secret B movie, of the 50s?’ So instead of doing a 30s Republic serial, we’re doing a B science-fiction movie from the 50s. The ones I’m talking about are, like, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Blob, The Thing. So by putting it in that context, it gave me a way of approaching the whole thing.”
Lucas on the critics: “I know the critics are going to hate it. They already hate it. So there’s nothing we can do about that. They hate the idea that we’re making another one. They’ve already made up their minds.”
Lucas on the fans: “The fans are all upset. They’re always going to be upset. ‘Why did he do it like this? And why didn’t he do it like this?’ They write their own movie, and then, if you don’t do their movie, they get upset about it. So you just have to stand by for the bricks and the custard pies, because they’re going to come flying your way.”
You can read the full article on Vanityfair.com. They also have full online exclusive interviews with: