24 March 2021 823 Views

Why Indiana Jones must NOT go after the Fountain of Youth

by James Murphy

Rumour /Legend has it that the fifth Indy film has found its McGuffin. Pray the reports are mistaken. Because:

  • Fountain of Youth as focus inevitably pushes the attention onto Indiana Jones’ age, with Harrison Ford reaching 80 years old by the time the film is released.
  • YES. Indy is older. But no, we do not want relentless fixation on the passing of time and the slump into old age.
  • Crystal Skull /Indy 4 had it right, for all its faults. Yes, Dr Jones knows he is getting on a bit and running out of luck. But aside from the occasional glimpse of acknowledgement toward Father Time? Indiana remains vital, driven til the end. Eternal youth simply would not do it for him.
  • Didn’t they kind of ‘do’ this in The Last Crusade (Holy Grail = immortality?).
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides also dipped the waters of eternal youth.  That film made money, had great opening scenes and score. But it was otherwise a disappointment imho and in part because everything it tried to do, Indiana Jones had done better, years previously.

 

  • COUNTLESS OTHER PRIZES Indy could chase, adhering to the formula beats, whilst surprising the audience with an innovative take and imaginative execution.
  • Book of Job? Garden of Eden? Tír na nÓg! Bermuda Triangle! Shangri-La (yes I know that’s kinda like finding eternal youth but it’s at least a ‘thing’ / place/ new feature). Indy’s own memoirs, even, as the prize:  (possibly incorporating EVERY RELIC he has chased and attendant secret powers, unleashed?!). All and more on the table, surely? Shame if Fountain of Youth is the best you can come up with?
  • They tried to build a script around this mcguffin before settling on the Holy Grail back in 1988/9. Chris Columbus’ Monkey King screenplay, though a curiosity and a fun read is not really the tone or content to mine for Indy’s last stand?

Time is ticking on this project. Lockdowns must of course be accommodated but suggest using some of the downtime to fix this script with a better object for the hero to chase? 

 



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