With his latest feature, the CGI mo-cap animated film The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, already in release in the U.K., filmmaker Steven Spielberg granted an interview with the British film monthly Empire for their December issue.
In the interview Spielberg discussed the future of the Indiana Jones (George Lucas is still working on the story for the fifth movie) and Jurassic Park (Mark Protosevich is writing the screenplay) franchises. Then he turned his attention to address grievances fans of the Indiana Jones series had with the previous sequel, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
“I’m very happy with the movie. I always have been… I sympathise with people who didn’t like the MacGuffin because I never liked the MacGuffin,” Spielberg said. “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.”
Despite his refusal to accept some responsibility for the poorly-thought-out storyline for Crystal Skull Spielberg did offer to shoulder the blame for some of the film’s more absurd (even for an Indiana Jones movie) touches, such as the CGI gopher seen at the very beginning: “The gopher was good. I have the stand-in one at home.”
Spielberg also copped to coming up with one of the movie’s most infamous images, a scene that has become a popular shorthand expression among hardcore geeks over the years:
“What people really jumped at was Indy climbing into a refrigerator and getting blown into the sky by an atom-bomb blast. Blame me. Don’t blame George. That was my silly idea.”
I myself never had a problem with that scene because it not only was in the vastly superior script written by Frank Darabont called Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods (the script that should have been used, in my humble opinion) but because goofy moments like that are a dime a dozen in the cinematic adventures of the world’s most famous globe-trotting archaeologist badass. At least Spielberg has a healthy sense of humor about that scene’s place in the history of cinema…and internet geek slang. “People stopped saying ‘jump the shark.’ They now say, ‘nuked the fridge,'” the director said. “I’m proud of that. I’m glad I was able to bring that into popular culture.”
Incidentally Spielberg made no mention of the royal reaming Kingdom of the Crystal Skull received at the hands of the South Park crew in the classic episode “The China Probrem,” or even admitted culpability for some of the movie’s lamer touches like having Shia LaBeouf playing Tarzan with a gaggle of digital monkeys and the near-criminal misuse of the ever-gorgeous and feisty Karen Allen. But nobody’s perfect.
The December issue of Empire will hit stores on October 27, 2011.