In the history of breathlessly anticipated movie sequels, few have generated more excitement than “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”. Of course, that was before we actually saw the movie, which disappointed a lot of us with its ridiculous extraterrestrial reveal in the third act (though for whatever reason, the majority of critics actually gave the film positive marks).
In a recent interview with Empire magazine director Steven Spielberg himself admits that like many fans of the series (not to mention “Crystal Skull” star Shia LaBeouf), he wasn’t the biggest fan of the film’s alien “MacGuffin”, but that he ultimately chose to defer to George Lucas on that point because he’s the “storyteller” of the series (something he might want to rethink for the next sequel, which he claims Lucas is currently brainstorming).
“I sympathise with people who didn’t like the MacGuffin because I never liked the MacGuffin,” Spielberg told Empire in an interview that will be featured in their next issue. “George and I had big arguments about the MacGuffin. I didn’t want these things to be either aliens or inter-dimensional beings. But I am loyal to my best friend. When he writes a story he believes in – even if I don’t believe in it – I’m going to shoot the movie the way George envisaged it. I’ll add my own touches, I’ll bring my own cast in, I’ll shoot the way I want to shoot it, but I will always defer to George as the storyteller of the Indy series. I will never fight him on that.”
Nevertheless, the director maintains that he is “happy with the movie” overall, and that he was the one responsible for that much-mocked sequence in which Indy escapes a nuclear blast by hiding in a (sigh) lead-lined refrigerator.
“Don’t blame George,” he said of the sequence. “That was my silly idea. People stopped saying ‘jump the shark’. They now say, ‘nuked the fridge’. I’m proud of that. I’m glad I was able to bring that into popular culture.”
Well, good for you, Steven.
Spielberg’s next film is “The Adventures of TinTin”, which hits theaters on December 21st. You can read Guy Lodge’s review of the movie here.