They like it! They really like it! reports that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have both finally agreed upon a new script for a fourth Indiana Jones film… one written by Jeff Nathanson.

And that leaves fans with one super-sized question….


Nathanson wrote the sentimental, uneven, largely forgettable film The Terminal. Oh, yeah… he also wrote Speed 2: Cruise Control and Rush Hour 2. The one genuine feather in his cap is Catch Me If You Can, which was delightful and spirited, but still a far cry from Raiders of the Lost Ark. This script had better be a giant leap forward.

“Should I…? Or shouldn’t I?”

Personally, I think the idea stinks. The Indy trilogy is a hit and miss affair as it is… It started spectacularly strong with Raiders, slumped into unpleasantly dark and indulgently violent territory with Temple of Doom, and then sprang back up with Last Crusade, a Looney Toons version that was fun but far less compelling than Raiders.

And with George Lucas’s idea of an “acceptable script” these days, the fact that he’s approved one at last… especially one by the guy who wrote Speed 2… well, let’s just say we shouldn’t get our hopes up.

Furthermore, if the script is about Indy as an old man, then I can only assume the film will deal with his approach to the final frontier… the great mystery of death. And with Lucas’s strange mishmash of ideas about the afterlife, mixed with Spielberg’s sentimentality, it’ll be a pleasant surprise if the film ends up meaning anything at all.

Notice I haven’t brought up Harrison Ford’s track record as an actor in recent years. (Trying to suppress any memories of Hollywood Homicide.)

But hey, if making Match Point in London has given Woody Allen the kind of inspiration he’s been lacking for decades (and according to reports from Cannes, this is exactly the case), perhaps placing our fedora-wearing hero in a new context will be the thing that can steer these three great talents back to their strengths. I’m sure we have years to wait and to wonder. In the meantime, I hope Lucas will be more interested in collaboration… and in script revisions… this time around than he was with the Star Wars prequels.

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