While waiting for the last chapter that concludes the saga of the hero archaeologist, the secrets and behind the scenes of forty years of adventure cinema. Tonight at the Cannes Film Festival, the entire cast of Indiana Jones and the Call of Fate: Harrison Ford who at 80 will be able to say goodbye to his friend Indy has no intention of retiring, the “goddaughter” Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas, Mads Mikkelsendirector James Mangold on the notes – naturally – of the maestro John Williams who has contributed so much to the success of the saga with its soundtrack since the first title Raiders of the Lost Ark In 1981.
Waiting for the film to arrive in Italian cinemas from June 28, all four chapters of the saga will be available from May 31 on Disney +. To get you prepared, here are ten things about the franchise you (maybe) didn’t know.
Indiana Jones and the Quadrant of Destiny, in Cannes and then Harrison Ford’s latest adventure in theaters
1. Indiana Jones has two dads: George Lucas and Steven Spielberg
The idea for a saga that modernized serial adventure films came to George Lucas in the seventies. He wanted to bring to the big screen a hero like the ones he grew up with and a new mythology; together with the screenwriter Philip Kaufman wrote a story that had at its center the mythical Ark of the Covenant and an archaeologist in search of artifacts with supernatural powers. Lucas vacationing on a Hawaiian beach with his friend Steven Spielberg (and grappling with a film that fascinated him even more, Star Wars) who confided in him that he dreamed of directing a film by James Bond. Lucas told him: “I have better! Raiders of the lost ark” and Spielberg: “Let’s do it!”.
2. Who christened Indiana Jones
There were many cultural references to create the protagonist: a historical character like the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham (to him we owe the discovery of the Inca city of Machu Picchu), but also Roy Chapman Andrews (who became director of the Natural History museum) and Sir Leonard Woolley (archaeologist famous for his excavations in Mesopotamia). Then the cinematic ones: Clint Eastwood’s films and a French film L’homme de Riodirected by Philippe de Broca and whose main role, that of a soldier in Paris, was played by actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, a film that Spielberg had loved very much. Instead, the choice of the protagonist’s name was a little more casual: the name Indiana (Henry’s nickname) comes from George Lucas’ Alaskan malamute dog (in the third film it will be discovered that Dr. Jones’ dog was also called Indiana) but initially the surname would have been Smith. Spielberg disliked Smith however, and Lucas said, “Call it Indiana Jones or whatever you like, the movie is yours now.”
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3. Harrison Ford casting
Steven Spielberg wanted Harrison Ford from the start but Lucas wasn’t convinced: He feared audiences might get confused with Han Solo’s character Star Wars. They evaluate Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges, Bill Murray, before choosing Tom Selleck, still little known. Selleck however had just signed up for Magnum PI and had to give up. Ford managed to negotiate a seven-figure cachet, a percentage of the gross profits and the ability to rewrite dialogue then engaged in intense training to improve his physique and trained for several weeks under stunt coordinator Glenn Randall to learn how to use the whip. “One of the aspects of the saga’s success is the fact that Indiana Jones has no respect for authority – Harrison Ford recounted years later – let’s face it he’s a bit of a scoundrel from time to time but deep down in his heart he’s a good guy who it’s good for people. Humor is a fundamental part of the character’s nature and those moments of levity are important to share with the audience.”
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4. On set with Harrison Ford
Principal photography began in June 1980 and concluded in September on sets at Elstree Studios, England, and on location primarily in La Rochelle, France, Tunisia and Hawaii. “I have wonderful memories of filming Raiders of the Lost Arkit was one of the most beautiful works of my whole life – recalls Steven Spielberg – it was a revival of those black and white TV movies we used to see when we were 7 or 8 years old… being able to make it on the big screen in Technicolor was stupendous”.
5. The Women of Indy
For the role of Marion, daughter of Jones Abner’s mentor with whom Indiana Jones had had a relationship, they had initially been thought Amy Irving And Debra Winger. The role then went to Karen Allen. Spielberg commented: “Karen Allen was magnificent in the film. I’ve always thought of Ford as a modern Humphrey Bogart and that the dynamic between them was a bit like that between Ric and Ilsa from Casablanca“. With the second chapter Indiana Jones and the Cursed Time to play Indy Willie’s new love interest, a thousand actresses are auditioned, including Sharon Stone. In the end it will win out Kate Capshaw who later will not have a great career in cinema but will become Mrs. Spielberg.
6. Indiana Jones’ treasure
Budgeted at $20 million, the film grossed $209 million matching the previous year’s best gross, The Empire strikes by Lucas and then returned to theaters several times for a total domestic gross of $248 million. Over time the saga has continued to cash in: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom made $179 million, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade $197 million and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull fifteen years ago $317 million. In addition, short films, video games and a TV series have been made over the years Young Indiana Jones.
7. Sean Connery is Indy’s dad
Spielberg already had Sean Connery in mind when he suggested introducing Indiana’s father in the saga but initially didn’t talk about it with Lucas who developed the role of a “crazy and eccentric” professor who resembled Laurence Olivier with a more masterful relationship – pupil than father and son. Spielberg was a fan of Connery as James Bond and that’s where it should have been since Spielberg had expressed his desire to make a 007 film.
8. Many professional archaeologists who grew up with Indiana Jones
Among the legacies of the saga also the fact that the film led to an increase in students studying archaeology and many modern archaeologists have cited the film as an inspiration. Rhys-Davies, who plays the Egyptian excavator Sallah in the saga and also returns in this latest chapter, said he has met with over 150 lecturers, professors and archaeologists who have told him their interest in the field began with the film.
9. Spielberg and the alien encounter he didn’t want
Indiana Jones is the last crusade 1989 with Sean Connery as Harrison Ford’s father should have been the last chapter, the end of the trilogy. Spielberg recalls: “I chose to end it with Ford riding into the sunset because for me the trilogy was over and I was convinced that we would go further, we would mature towards another kind of cinema, I thought we would never see Indiana Jones movies again. But Ford was tenacious and called George and George called me and I said: ‘I’m done with the saga, it was nice, let’s go further’.In the end we made another one that had the meeting as the basic idea between the world of Indiana Jones and aliens, it was George’s idea. I told him I didn’t want to hear about aliens, I had already done ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind but he was so insistent that he wanted to remake those 1950s alien invasion movies that he convinced me.”
10. Seven Oscars and a place in cinema history
Five Oscars for Raiders of the Lost Arkone for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doomone for The Last Crusade. The last chapter with Cate Blanchett is the one that grossed the most but got the most criticism, the first film of 1981 is still considered one of the best in the history of cinema. The United States Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1999.