Sunday, February 17, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Long Goodbye

Not the retiring sort

I was browsing the Interweb, as I often do, picking through the multiplex that is ScienceBlogs. One of the regular stops on my circuit is Orac's Respectful Insolence, which this weekend informed me of the release of a teaser-trailer for the long-awaited Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. (See what you can learn on ScienceBlogs?)

Can you believe that it's been nearly twenty years since the last Indiana Jones movie, 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? That's a long time for a successful franchise to sit on the shelf, especially since none of the earlier films were bombs. The serials involving Superman and Batman have gone in fits and starts, retooling after various box office disappointments and cast changes (and others, like Alec Baldwin's The Shadow—which I enjoyed—and Bruce Willis's Hudson Hawk—which I didn't bother to see—crashed and burned after only one outing). By contrast, the Indiana Jones franchise was robust. However, the principals—Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford—never lacked for projects and the years kept clicking by without a sequel to Last Crusade.

The trailer has Jones quipping “Not as easy as it used to be,” so Harrison Ford's age (and that of the character he portrays) is likely to be a running gag in the new movie. This will presumably be the last outing of Professor Jones, but who knows? Over at Orac's site I suggested that plans might already be under way for Indiana Jones and the Wheelchair-Accessible Caverns of Despair. Sound too far-fetched? Here are some other possibilities:

Indiana Jones and the Avengers of the Assisted-Living Community

Indiana Jones and the Shared Office Space of the Professors Emeriti

Indiana Jones and the Marauders of Medicare Part D

I have a problem with that last one, since American audiences are likely to ask about the missing episodes concerning Parts A, B, and C. You know, like when The Madness of King George III was released in the United States without the Roman numerals for fear that we simple colonists would skip it, on account of not having seen I and II.

Anyway, what do you think are good titles for future Indiana Jones adventures? I'd love to hear them!


The Ridger, FCD said...

How could you leave out the joke about not having seen Malcolm 1-9?

Anonymous said...

Is the King George thing true?

The Ridger, FCD said...

IMDB says: The movie is based on a play by Alan Bennett called "The Madness of George III". The popular story in the UK is that the movie's title is different from that of the play because it was thought the American audience might mistake it for a sequel. While not wholly true, director Nicholas Hytner has confirmed that it was "not wholly untrue" and it is now widely held that this almost certainly did play a part in the titling of the film. In the UK it would be obvious to anyone that "George III" referred to King George III, but it was felt that elsewhere this might not be so clear and that adding "King" to the title might help. While this explains part of the title change, it glosses over the dropping of the "III", adding renewed weight to the original theory.

Zeno said...

The director of King George, Nicholas Hytner, says it's just an urban myth, but then he turns it into a non-denial denial by adding that the story is "not totally untrue." Sure glad that's all cleared up!

Heh! I see that Ridger has weighed in, too. If anyone cares, the link to "urban myth" goes to the account on Snopes.