December 10, 2007, - 1:00 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
If you’re a fan of the Indiana Jones movies–as I am–then you’ll be interested in the plot for the latest–and, perhaps, last–installment: “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” It will be hard to believe a 65-year-old Jones doing stunts, etc., but perhaps he will get away with it as Sylvester Stallone kinda did with “Rocky Balboa.” The movie, scheduled for release in theaters in late May 2008, employs one of the same tricks as the sixth “Rocky”–flashbacks to the previous movies.
Here’s the scoop:
When last we saw Indy, he was riding off into the sunset in 1989′s The Last Crusade, set in 1938 near the start of World War II. The new movie, due this spring, is set at the height of the Cold War in 1957, so the character has aged in real time – 19 years.
“He’s teaching and having kind of a quiet life,” the producer says. Once the archaeologist is thrust back into danger, the signature Indiana Jones red line tracing across the map will take him to New Mexico, Connecticut, Mexico City and the jungles of Peru.
Despite all the gray-hair jokes (Harrison Ford is 65), Indy is still swinging from dangerous precipices and absorbing punches.
“Indy’s a fallible character. He makes mistakes and gets hurt. He has a few more aches and pains now,” Marshall says. “That’s the other thing people like: He’s a real character, not a character with superpowers.”
The Nazis are no longer Indy’s chief foe – he’s racing for the Crystal Skull against operatives from the Soviet Union, including Oscar winner Cate Blanchett as the seductive Agent Spalko. “Indy always has a love-hate relationship with every woman he ever comes in contact with,” Marshall says.
Ray Winstone, currently the star of Beowulf, co-stars as an unethical rival archaeologist. Transformers star Shia LaBeouf sports greaser hair and rides a motorcycle as the hero’s sidekick.
The Last Crusade concluded without a cliffhanger, but Crystal Skull will revisit bits from other films, including Karen Allen’s feisty Marion Ravenwood from 1981′s Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The artifact of the title is inspired by real quartz sculptures of disputed origins that are carved in a way that defies the natural structure of the crystal.
Too bad Indie likely doesn’t live long enough to be believable doing digs in the modern Middle East and fighting off terrorists, but hey, he’d be in his 90s or hundreds or something like that, by then.
The Cold War will probably do, so long as he doesn’t make us morally equivalent to the Commies, as at least one Harrison Ford movie did previously.
Tags: aches, archaeologist, Cate Blanchett, chief, Connecticut, Crystal Skull, Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Indy, jungles of Peru, Karen Allen, Marion Ravenwood, Marshall, Mexico City, Middle East, New Mexico, Oakland Raiders, Oscar, pains, Peru, producer, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ray Winstone, rival archaeologist, ROCKY, Rocky Balboa, Shia LaBeouf, Soviet Union, sports greaser hair, Sylvester Stallone