DENVER, CO. - FEBRUARY 26: A poster advertising Raiders of the Lost Ark is displayed at Hollywood Posters at his shop on Colfax Ave in Denver, CO  February 26, 2015. Owner John Caruso has decided to close the business he opened on December 1, 1980, "35 long years ago, it's been a great ride. I had a lot of fun." He said, "it's going to be tough but I'm going to shake it off and enjoy my life in California." (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
Movies - TV
Writing Raiders Of The Lost Ark Was
A Slapdash Process From Start To Finish
The 1981 “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is a timeless adventure film that has been a model for structuring a Hollywood blockbuster. Although George Lucas and Philip Kaufman conceived the idea and director Stephen Spielberg crafted the action set pieces, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan connected the ideas and shaped the story we know today.
Lucas based Indiana Jones on the serial adventure films from his childhood movie theater trips, and Kaufman introduced the Ark of the Covenant as the film’s central artifact. However, Kaufman left to direct “The Right Stuff,” and Kasdan came in to help Lucas and Spielberg with story structure, major set pieces, and characterizations.
Kasdan shared, “I realized the reason they hired me was they wanted someone to do all the hard work, put it all together, and come up with all the connective material. They had great set-pieces in mind but that's different from a screenplay.” Lucas and Spielberg may be the more recognizable names in the credits, but Kasden played an equally vital role in developing this adventure classic.