Forty years ago it was released The Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first adventure film with Indiana Jones. The archaeologist, adventurer and academic at the same time, who interprets Harrison ford and that became an icon of the cinema, made of his films a great saga and a fruitful franchise, which will give us its fifth installment in 2022.
The character of Indiana Jones It was created through a long process of twists and turns, but thanks to the vital contribution of three great icons of modern Hollywood (Spielberg, Lucas Y Ford). And that despite the doubts in the filming and the sudden discoveries, it ended up becoming a classic.
The perfect film duo
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark It was born from the union of the brilliant minds of Lucas and Spielberg, who by those years of youth had a great creative and commercial thirst in Hollywood; and that thanks to director James Mangold we can see his fifth installment in 2022 (filming has already begun), but with Steven Spielberg only acting as producer (the previous four were directed by him).
Legend has it that Steven Spielberg Y George Lucas were together in Hawaii one day in 1977 while Hollywood was launching Star wars. Spielberg, after the great box office success he achieved with Shark, he planned to insist that he was being considered for directing a new James Bond installment.
But Lucas had an idea of his own that seemed better than taking over the secret agent saga. It was the adventure of a certain Indiana smith that I had been working with screenwriter Philip Kaufman years ago and that he was born inspired by the stories of heroes that he had seen on television as a child. That day, the director of ET said yes to his colleague on the beach and together they sealed one of the best creative unions in the history of cinema with the Indiana Jones films.
Harrison Ford, the perfect Indiana
The candidates to play Indiana were several, including Jeff Bridges. But the one chosen by George Lucas was Tom Selleck Y Spielberg approved that decision. The actor was excited about the project, but had already signed a contract to star in the television series Magnum and that complicated the shooting of the movie. They negotiated with the television channel, but its managers remained firm. They would not release the actor sooner. And Selleck ran out of being Indiana
George Lucas didn’t want Harrison Ford. The public was already beginning to identify him a lot with Star Wars, but Spielberg seemed to him that he was the one for the role (Today no one could imagine Indiana without the face of Harrison Ford). When it was confirmed shortly after filming began, Ford trained in the use of the whip, physically prepared and developed skills for some of the action scenes.
Ford took advantage of the moment of urgency that the filming was going through and negotiated favorable conditions at a time when his career was at a key moment. He thus obtained a seven-figure salary, a percentage of the profits and even the possibility of intervening in the script. as far as his character was concerned.
Unusual shooting, surprise success
Recording The Raiders of the Lost Ark It was planned for 85 days of shooting. Or so, at least, was what Spielberg and Lucas led the studio to believe. In a filming plan that only the two of them knew, they had estimated 73 days, they had 12 to spare. Spielberg finished filming on day 72 and on budget, without spending an extra dollar.
To achieve this, Frank Marshall, a producer that Lucas put next to him, was fundamental so that nothing would get out of place. They filmed in Europe, in Tunisia and in other places that had already been used in Star Wars. Filming outside the United States greatly reduced costs.
Despite the presence of George Lucas, the direction of Steven Spielberg, the protagonist of Harrison Ford and the story that promised adventure, neither studio executives nor analysts expected the film to be a huge box office success.
The Raiders of the Lost Ark debuted in the first place of the box office, but the following week it was displaced by the premiere of Superman 2. However, the following week Indiana returned to the top of the box office that did not abandon for two months. It became the highest grossing movie of the year. George Lucas and Harrison Ford already had their second tape secured.
The film not only dominated the box office, it also received much praise from specialized critics and was recognized in the awards season with 9 nominations for the Oscars, of which it obtained 5 in technical categories.
The archaeologist’s saga
With the years three more deliveries of the adventurous archaeologist came. The Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) were followed by The Temple of Perdition (1984), The Last Crusade (1989) and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
These days, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the premiere of The Raiders of the Lost Ark, filming began on the fifth installment. Harrison Ford with his Indiana Jones return to the ring with 75 years in tow, and surely he will no longer be the same agile adventurer as always. But what is a fact is that this will not prevent Indiana Jones from continuing to whip.
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