These are undoubtedly the best Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull pictures you'll see - thanks to world-renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz. Vanity Fair has published an extensive article on the new film and nabbed Leibovitz's exclusive photos from the set, including our first look at Cate Blanchett as Agent Spalko. They all look absolutely gorgeous and are more than worth checking out simply for the visual quality alone. Vanity Fair also has one of the best articles I've ever read about a movie and the story behind it, including great quotes from Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg. We've included a few of the better quotes for your reading pleasure, though I suggest you read the entire thing.
The following excerpts are courtesy of Vanity Fair's article Keys to the Kingdom.
"I'm in my second cut, which means I've put the movie together and I've seen it," Spielberg says. "I usually do about five cuts as a director. The best news is that, when I saw the movie myself the first time, there was nothing I wanted to go back and shoot, nothing I wanted to reshoot, and nothing I wanted to add."
Rather than update the franchise to match current styles, Lucas and Spielberg decided to stay true to the prior films' look, tone, and pace. During pre-production, Spielberg watched the first three Indiana Jones movies at an Amblin screening room with Janusz Kaminski, who has shot the director's last 10 films. He replaces Douglas Slocombe, who shot the first three Indy movies (and is now retired at age 94), as the man mainly responsible for the film's look. "I needed to show them to Janusz," Spielberg says, "because I didn't want Janusz to modernize and bring us into the 21st century. I still wanted the film to have a lighting style not dissimilar to the work Doug Slocombe had achieved, which meant that both Janusz and I had to swallow our pride. Janusz had to approximate another cinematographer's look, and I had to approximate this younger director's look that I thought I had moved away from after almost two decades."
The Bourne movies, the last two of which were directed by United 93 virtuoso Paul Greengrass, have made an impression on Lucas also. The series seems to have become the new action-movie gold standard, or at least a widely admired point of reference in filmmaking circles. Lucas says he appreciates the Bourne movies for their relative believability. "The thing about Bourne," Lucas says, "I would put that on the credible side, because he's trained in martial arts and all that kind of stuff, and we know that people in martial arts, even little old ladies, can break somebody's leg. So you kind of say, O.K., that's possible. But when you get to the next level, whether it's Tomb Raider or the Die Hard series, where you've got one guy with one pistol going up against 50 guys with machine guns, or he jumps in a jet and starts chasing a car down a freeway, you say, I'm not sure I can really buy this. Mission: Impossible's like that. They do things where you could not survive in the real world. In Indiana Jones, we stay just this side of it."
The script, Spielberg says, can provide the blockbuster pace. "Part of the speed is the story," he says. "If you build a fast engine, you don't need fast cutting, because the story's being told fluidly, and the pages are just turning very quickly. You first of all need a script that's written in the express lane, and if it's not, there's nothing you can do in the editing room to make it move faster. You need room for character, you need room for relationships, for personal conflict, you need room for comedy, but that all has to happen on a moving sidewalk."
"What it is that made it perfect was the fact that the MacGuffin I wanted to use and the idea that Harrison would be 20 years older would fit," Lucas says. "So that put it in the mid-50s, and the MacGuffin I was looking at was perfect for the mid-50s. I looked around and I said, 'Well, maybe we shouldn't do a 30s serial, because now we're in the 50s. What is the same kind of cheesy-entertainment action movie, what was the secret B movie, of the 50s?' So instead of doing a 30s Republic serial, we're doing a B science-fiction movie from the 50s. The ones I'm talking about are, like, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Blob, The Thing. So by putting it in that context, it gave me a way of approaching the whole thing."
"The fans are all upset," Lucas says. "They're always going to be upset. 'Why did he do it like this? And why didn't he do it like this?" They write their own movie, and then, if you don't do their movie, they get upset about it. So you just have to stand by for the bricks and the custard pies, because they're going to come flying your way."
User comment: By: DarrellIs it just me or does the background in the pic with Karen look like the warehouse where the ark was taken to in raiders? They both look awfully familiar and as there are rumours that the ark is going to be in the new Indy film have they let the preverbal cat out of the bag so to say by releasing this pic!!!! This could be area 51 that were seeing here folks!!!!! The mind boggles!!!
User comment: By: Alex BillingtonI'm not as concerned at Lucas' statements as everyone else. What he is saying about the critics is DEAD on. They're already going to hate it. Just like we know critics are going to hate every Saw movie and hate every horror movie in general, and usually hate every big summer blockbuster. It's just a natural thing (unfortunately) and he's right. This is a big summer blockbuster and it's not going to be Best Picture material (though that would be awesome). Anyway, just had to say that because I'm annoyed at people who are like "Lucas is bringing negative vibes to this! The critics will like it if it's good!"
User comment: By: BreebabyIs Shia, Marion's (Karen Allen) son? Meaning Indy's son as well???? Oh god I hope so.
User comment: By: Heckle is a dumbassHeckle WTF how can anyonelook foward to speed racer it looks like a piece of caca! great preview on indy im so hyped.
User comment: By: Movie LoverKaren Allen looks almost *identical* to her 1980s self. Amazing. I only hope I age that well. As for Cate Blanchett, just by the awesome hair & costume, I can tell she is going to be fabulous. Um, you are more excited about "Speed Racer"? I feel sorry for you. Indy all the way!
User comment: By: StephenGreat read, and those pictures are great. Looking forward to a trailer.
Visit here to subscribe to commentsUser comment: By: HeckleNot really looking forward to this as much as Speed Racer this summer. But those pics do add a little spark of anticipation.