Posted on Monday, December 5th, 2011 by Germain Lussier
Steven Spielberg was recently quoted in Entertainment Weekly as saying the following in regards to Indiana Jones 5:
It’s up to George. We have already agreed on the genre of the fifth movie, we already have a concept in mind. I don’t know where George is with the story. There is no Indy 5 until George says there is.
At the time, that statement raised a lot of questions. Was Indiana Jones 5 really going to be a new genre? Had Spielberg misspoke? As predicted, the answers to those questions are “No” and “Yes.” Read his clarification after the break.
At the New York premiere of War Horse, The Playlist asked Spielberg about this quote, to which he replied:
No, no, no. It’s not a new genre at all. [All the 'Indiana Jones' films], they’re all the same genre. It’s all the same genre. It’s just the MacGuffin that changes. The MacGuffin was the Ark of the Covenent in Raiders, the Holy Grail in The Last Crusade, and the skull in The Crystal Skull. That’s what always changes, and that’s what we always look for.
That object has been settled on but the story is still being worked out. So, back to his EW quote, it should have read as follows:
It’s up to George. We have already agreed on the [MacGuffin] of the fifth movie, we already have a concept in mind. I don’t know where George is with the story. There is no Indy 5 until George says there is.
Just to clarify with a little Film School 101, a MacGuffin is an object in a story that drives everything around it. It doesn’t even have to be defined (a famous example would be the briefcase in Pulp Fiction). All the audience needs to know is that the characters want it and will do anything for it. Alfred Hitchcock is famously quoted as the first filmmaker to use the term in regards to his movies.
All that said, we’re right back where we started. Lucas and Spielberg have a concept for Indy 5. They had an concept for Indy 4 for years before anything happened. Guess we just have to wait and see.