Indyfan Reality Check

Indy IV rumors: Separating the feasible from the fanciful...
[+]=> A Good Bet   [?]=> Outlook Cloudy   [-]=> No Way!

Release Date

[+]- 2005
-2005 is the safe bet for the release date of the Indy sequel. Spielberg told Cinescape in early June 2002, "The movie's going to be shot probably in May of 2004. When I say probably, it could be April or May of 2004 and the movie's going to come out probably for the July 4th weekend of 2005, because the last STAR WARS is going to come out the week before Memorial Day 2005. So we're coordinating this to be a one-two punch with the last STAR WARS coming out in 2005 in May and INDIANA JONES 4 coming out 2005, probably June 29th or July 4th." ( Source: TheRaider.Net )

The Cast and Crew

[+]- Harrison Ford
-In many interviews with the likes of Barbara Walters, Rosie O'Donnell, and Magic Johnson, Ford has expressed excitement at donning the fedora for a fourth big screen adventure with his only reservation being that a script has not been completed.

[+]- Director: Steven Spielberg
-In a May 28, 1997 interview Spielberg told Army Archerd in regards to a fourth Indy adventure that "We are totally committed to one--if the story is right of course" ( Source: Mr. Showbiz )

Every indication is that Spielberg is excited to do Indy IV and has committed to seeing it through.

[+]- Writer: Frank Darabont
-Apparently Lucas and company approached a whole string of writers: M. Night Shyamalan (Sixth Sense), Stephen Gaghan (Traffic), and Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love). They finally chose Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption), who had worked on several Young Indy scripts, a pretty logical choice. It's a wonder they took so long to arrive at that decision. In early June 2002, Darabont told Cinescape that Lucas called him up and asked him if he was interested. He agreed, saying "It's the only gig I've taken sight unseen." In fact, as of the time of the interview he still had no idea what the story was to be. Darabont said, "I'm putting my faith in Steven and George - I will be their writing vessel." ( Source: Corona's Coming Attractions )

[+]- Sean Connery
-In a promotional tour for Minority Report, a reporter asked if Sean Connery would reprise his role as Indy's dad. Spielberg answered, "You know, there's a whole bunch of little spoilers I want to give you right now, but... yes."

( Source: IGN FilmForce )

[?]- Kate Capshaw/Karen Allen
-In April 2002, Entertainment Weekly reported a revealing quote from Lucas: "There is a scene where a lot of Indy's ex-girlfriends show up, but they are not major characters." Presumably this means Karen Allen and Kate Capshaw will have cameos.

[?]- Michelle Yeoh
-According to the Chinese press, Yeoh's agency revealed that Spielberg met with her in 1998 to discuss her possible involvement in Indy IV. Considering her agency's involvement, it's certainly possible that this "revelation" is merely a misguided publicity stunt. ( Source: Dark Horizons )

[?]- John-Rhys Davies
-According to one rumor connected to the Raider of the Fallen Empire script, rumors of Sallah's participation in the next Indy adventure are part of a disinformation campaign. I've heard no other rumors with regards to Sallah. ( Source: Corona's Coming Attractions )

[-]- Denholm Elliot
-Unfortunately, the actor who played Marcus Brody, the stately museum curator in Raiders and the utter buffoon in Crusade, is no longer with us. He passed away on October 6, 1992. ( Source: IMDB )

[-]- Mark Hamill
-In early 1998, rumors flew that Mark Hamill was being considered to play a villian in the Indy sequel. Hamill's "people", however, assured Cinescape that the rumor has no basis in fact. ( Source: Corona's Coming Attractions )

[-]- Writer: Jeffrey Boam
-Boam wrote one Indy IV script, but passed away on January 24, 2000. At most they may borrow elements from his original script.

[-]- Indy's brother
-Many of the rumors involving a brother of Indy mention a specific actor, Kevin Costner or Tom Selleck. This early in the process, if a brother is in the script, we certainly wouldn't know who would be playing him. ( Source: Corona's Coming Attractions )

An anonymous Paramount source in late 1997 told of an unknown actor who had already been cast as Indy's younger brother. ( Source: )

If either of these turn out to be true, I will be quite disappointed. With the Young Indy Chronicles and father-son chats in Crusade between Henry and Henry, Sr., we certainly should have heard about a brother by now if one exists.

[?]- Indy's son
-Supposedly Lucas bluntly told the Dutch TV magazine Vara, "Spielberg is directing, and Indiana will have a son." Thus far, Lucas has not been as forthcoming in the US press. I'm still hoping it was a mistranslation. ( Source: Corona's Coming Attractions )

[-]- Belloq's brother
-In late January 1999, Corona's Coming Attractions reported a rumor that Dennis Lawson, the guy who played Wedge Antilles in Star Wars, was set to portray Belloq's brother seeking revenge for the events of Raiders. The email, purporting that Lawson was a friend of the family, was immediately refuted by Cinescape who contacted Lawson's representatives directly. They assured the Cinescape Insider that they had heard "nothing at all" about his involvement. ( Source: Cinescape Insider )

The Script

[-]- Official Word: It Was Ready
-On November 6, 1998 at the Screen Producers' Association conference held in Australia , Lucas told those in attendance that the Indy IV script has been completed. He cited the availability of Ford and Spielberg as the remaining obstacle. However, it appears that Lucas was speaking on behalf of himself alone. Later interviews with Ford and Spielberg continued to indicate that an agreed upon script was not in hand.

In a promotional tour for Minority Report in June 2002, Spielberg related the chronology of events: "There was always gonna be a fourth INDIANA JONES starting about four years ago. And then we weren't able to agree on a story. We finally have a story and Frank Darabont's gonna write it..." So, apparently Lucas' announcement in 1998 was premature. Everyone wanted to do a sequel, but not the sequel as written at the time. ( Source: Cinescape Insider )

[+]- Setting: 1950s
-Indy IV producer, Frank Marshall, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the plot "will be set in the 1950s and that's all I'm saying on that front." ( Source: TheRaider.Net )

[-]- Lost Continent
-Some think that Indy IV will involve the search for the lost continent of Atlantis. I have a hard time believing they'd retread the ground already covered so admirably in Fate of Atlantis, the LucasArts adventure game.

Also, Drew Babcock, a freelance writer for the Washington Post, is said to have interviewed Spielberg early in 1996. At that time, Spielberg assured him that Atlantis had not been considered as part of the scripting process. ( Source: Corona's Coming Attractions )

In May 1998, Mr. Showbiz spoke with Jeffrey Boam about the rumored Lost Continent script. He said that he hadn't heard of anything called that, in fact, he was told not to place a name on the script he turned in two years prior and had not heard anything about it since. ( Source: Mr. Showbiz )

[?]- Raiders of the Fallen Empire
-In January 1998, Dark Horizons posted the first few pages of the alleged Indy IV script, but withdrew them soon after, citing a miscommunication with his source as the reason. The well-written opening takes place at a Grecian excavation site, but gives little hint as to the overall plot of the script. ( Source: Dark Horizons )

According to Corona, this posting stressed out a few Paramount execs. Rumor has it that Lucas was very interested in Fallen Empire, but it was an unsolicited spec script, and he had not yet decided whether to purchase it. Even though there is still very little known about this script, the mere leaking of the title is said to have been enough to send blood pressures rising. ( Source: Corona's Coming Attractions )

[?]- Garden of Life
-Also, in the 1996 Drew Babcock interview, Spielberg mentioned that the script had to do with Adam and Eve. After some digging, a source at Paramount told Babcock that the title "Indiana Jones and the Garden of Life" was being tossed around. ( Source: Corona's Coming Attractions )

In late 1997, Corona got word about a minister and theologian who was asked to do some historical accuracy checking on the Indy IV script. Apparently, the script he had read dealt with the Garden of Eden and was very religious in tone. ( Source: Corona's Coming Attractions )

Rick McCallum told Cinescape contributor Cindy Pearlman in May 1999 that the confirmed Boam script was completed three years prior, putting it in play at roughly the same time as Spielberg's Eden discussion. Note: Marion is rumored to make an appearance in Boam's script. ( Source: Cinescape Insider )

[-]- Sons of Darkness
-In late May of 1996, a purported Indy IV script hit the net, which revealed that Marion had a son fathered by Indy, who only after his mother's death is made known to Indy. Of course, he takes after his dad and ends up involved in a search for Noah's Ark. It was quickly acknowledged as bogus by its misguided author who was attempting to jumpstart his script-writing career. ( Source: Corona's Coming Attractions )

The fellow who posted the Sons of Darkness script as a self-promotional publicity stunt trotted out the fake script in a five-part serial in "honor" of its third year anniversary. Originally, Lucasfilm sent him a cease and desist order, but apparently he believes things have cooled enough to post the script again.

[?]- Forbidden Treasure
-This rumor, spread by AICN at the end of 1997, has Indy adventuring in his 50s, searching for Noah's Ark. Lawrence Kasdan, the original Raiders scripter, is rumored to have been involved in its writing. ( Source: Ain't It Cool News )

Some have speculated that the cease and desist orders for Sons of Darkness came fast and furious, because there were similarities (e.g. Noah's Ark) to the actual Indy IV script under development. Others say that it's simply the job of Lucasfilm's lawyers to protect their franchises with impunity. Who knows...

[-]- Infernal Machine
-The upcoming 3D action/adventure game from LucasArts involves Indy on a quest for the Tower of Babel. Some have speculated that playing the game would be a preview of things to come. In an interview with PC Gamer (outside link), however, Hal Barwood tells of a possible storyline that had to be trashed due to its similarities with the plotline under consideration for Indy IV. He said, "When I first started working on this game, there was another possible story I might have done. And I was warned not to go there, because it was something that they might eventually want to make as a film." Clearly, the "powers that be" have ensured that Infernal Machine will not step on Indy IV's toes. ( Source: PC Gamer )

[?]- Law of One
-In March 1998, a mysterious script arrived on Cinescape's doorstep. It is said to take place in 1953 (i.e. no Nazis) and involve a "race to harness the power of the ancient device which was responsible for the destruction of Atlantis." Although Cinescape has publicly revealed only sketchy details, the similarities between them and descriptions of the game, Infernal Machine, strike me as similar. Both involve a post-Nazi time period, and a powerful ancient device. ( Source: Cinescape Insider )

We know that Infernal Machine's device is the Tower of Babel, but until someone comes forward with a description of Law of One's device, all we have is a vague resemblance.

Note: Willie Scott appears in this script, but in what capacity has not been detailed.

[-]- Sword of Arthur
-In January 1999, Cinescape reported that a source had uncovered what appeared to be a genuine script entitled Indiana Jones and the Sword of Arthur. Months before, however, walker had told us of his possession of a script by the same name. Apparently, anyone can pick up this treatment wherever fine bootleg scripts are sold. ( Source: Cinescape )

Later, with the help of walker's synopsis, Cinescape confirmed that the script was, in fact, not the work of Jeffrey Boam, but rather an aspiring screenwriter. For those who remember the Sons of Darkness script, it's like "deja vu all over again." However, this time is wasn't the fault of the authors. Someone took the script from them under the pretext that someone important would have a look at it. This duplicitous individual proceeded to pass it off as an authentic Indy IV script. Here's the full scoop from one of the authors, Mike Prentice. As further proof, they offer the full script.

[-]- Saucer Men from Mars
-In early 1996, Corona's Coming Attractions relayed an odd Indy storyline involving a UFO crash-landing in Roswell, NM in 1947. Why Indy is looking into this bit of modern mythology is anyone's guess. ( Source: Corona's Coming Attractions )

Thanks to walker, we have a synopsis of Jeb Stuart's script called Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars. It appears to be a genuine, if failed, Indy IV script. The script, labelled as the final draft and dated 1995, involves an alien artifact which continuously changes possession between Indy, Russian baddies, and saucer men. Besides being convoluted and unbelievable, the storyline ends in indulgent sappiness, with Indy marrying the lady linguist who accompanied him throughout the adventure. The ceremony is witnessed by Sallah, Marion, Willie, Short Round, and Henry Jones, Sr.

[-]- Ultimate Destiny
-Another rumor propagated by AICN in late 1997 involves the quest for Shangri-la. Unlike most rumors, I am quite certain that this one is completely baseless. The perpetrator confessed to fabricating the whole thing. ( Source: Ain't It Cool News )

[-]- Monkey King
-Chris Columbus's failed Monkey King script was written for the third Indy installment, but some unscrupulous folks have been known to try passing this old script off as a potential Indy IV script. Thanks to Dietrich, Forum regular (not the melon-tossing Nazi), we have a detailed synopsis Site Author: Micah Johnson
Created: November 15, 1998
Last modified: June 18, 2002