I Should Be Working, But I’m Reading Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods

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That’s the title of Frank Darabont’s unproduced Indy IV script. You know what, it is good. Too bad it pretty much amounts to fan fiction at this point.

Example: the initial setup is pretty much the same, but after the FBI gets Indy sacked from Yale, he doesn’t get on a train and meet his son-he-never-knew-he-had in the form of Arthur Fonzarelli, a.k.a. Shia “Mutt” LaBoeuf. (That dude cannot buy a normal name, even in a movie. Though yeah, look who’s talking.) Instead he gets wasted on scotch and breaks into the university museum, where he spots the old golden fertility idol from the opening scene of Raiders. He decides he’ll swipe it — it’s sitting on an alarmed, pressure-sensitive platform, just like old times.

So Indy grabs some sand from an ashtray, makes a bag out of his handkerchief, makes the switch…yeah, it doesn’t work any better now that he’s drunk and old.

OK, another moment. Fast forward through some plot rigmarole—Russians, assassin, secret locker, etc. Indy is off to Peru with a crystal skull in a bowling-ball bag to meet a mysterious contact who wants the skull. He walks into a bar and orders: martini, por favor. A mysterious woman walks in. She’s his contact, the one who wants the skull…it’s Marion. She clocks him. They start bickering. She picks up a bottle of gin and walks out. He charges the bottle to his room and follows. They start drinking. It turns out she’s heading into the jungle with the skull to find a lost city, on an expedition led by…her husband, who’s a rival archeologist. Indy demands to go with her. And we’re off to the races.

It’s weird how many of the same elements as the final movie the Darabont script has, but how much better it works.

OK, one other moment to mention. When Marion brings up Willie Scott, the girl from Temple of Doom, here’s what Indy has to say:

She moved out to Hollywood to be a star. Last I heard, she fell in love and married some bigshot director.

Pretty cute, if you get the reference.