Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny: 6 Things to Know Ahead of Cannes Screening
As Harrison Ford reprises his role as the swashbuckling archaeologist, Indiana Jones, in “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”, which is premiering at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday, here are six facts you should know about this beloved movie franchise.
Born in Hawaii
Indiana Jones’ project was conceived in Hawaii as George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were lounging on a Maui beach in 1977, mulling over ideas to follow their respective hits, Star Wars and Jaw. The resulting movie, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), was a huge critical and commercial success, scooping four Oscars. Two more sequels, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984) and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989), added to the series’ popularity, inspiring theme parks, video games, and merchandise. The fourth installment, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, was released in 2008, taking the franchise’s total box office earnings to nearly $2 billion.
The inspiration behind Indiana Jones’ character came from a blend of real and imagined sources. The name Indiana, which Lucas initially wanted to be Indiana Smith, came from his Malamute pet dog. Chewbacca, the iconic character from Star Wars, was also inspired by the same pet dog.
Bond without the gadgets
While Spielberg dreamed of directing a James Bond film, Lucas insisted that part of Indy’s appeal was that he’d be a “Bond without the gadgets.” There were to be no explosive watches or Aston Martins with ejectable seats – Indy would use ropes, knives, and his ingenuity to overcome challenges. He was a classic Lucas-Spielberg character; a geeky hero with a comical, ironic side – and whose romantic affairs were more complicated than any Bond-style conquests.
The Indiana Jones project marked a turning point in Spielberg’s career. When the project began, he was on the back foot after his film, “1941”, flopped. He was gaining a reputation as a big-spending director who ran over budget and was tyrannical on set. However, the success of the Indiana Jones franchise proved that Spielberg could work fast, on time, and within budget – with this movie becoming one of his biggest successes.
Ford not the first choice
Spielberg wanted Harrison Ford to take up the role of Indiana Jones, but Lucas was hesitant about using his lead actor from Star Wars again. A series of actors were considered before the role of Indiana Jones finally landed on Tom Selleck, but he had already signed up for the TV show, Magnum P.I. Thousands of actresses also auditioned for the role of Willie in the second film, including Sharon Stone, but Kate Capshaw ultimately got the part. Interestingly, Capshaw later went on to become Mrs. Spielberg.
Eye of the Cobra
Indiana Jones’ fear of snakes has been a frequent plot point in the franchise. In the classic scene where Indy falls into a pit inhabited by cobras, Spielberg used live cobras (6,500 of them), along with a few bits of watering hoses to create the illusion of the snake pit.
As Indiana Jones sets out on his fifth and final adventure in “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”, fans will undoubtedly continue to be amazed by the enduring appeal of this timeless film character.
(Note: This story has been sourced from a syndicated feed and has not been edited by NDTV staff.)