Before Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came along and left a bitter taste in most people’s mouths, a fourth Indiana Jones movie was written by The Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont. Darabont was friends was Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, and he’d written scripts for The Young Adventures of Indiana Jones TV series.
According to Uproxx, Lucas was keen on Indy 4 being a 1950s science fiction movie homage with aliens and flying saucers, and Spielberg agreed that aliens could feature. Darabont’s script was finished in 2003 and was called Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods. A script later leaked online that was believed to be Darabont’s – it doesn’t feature Shia LaBeouf’s character and does portray Marion Ravenwood as the feisty, scrappy character we know and love.
Speaking to MTV in 2007, Darabont explained; “It was very disappointing and a waste of a year. It showed me how badly things can go. I spent a year of very determined effort on something I was very excited about, working very closely with Steven Spielberg and coming up with a result that I and he felt was terrific.”
Darabont continued; “He [Spielberg] wanted to direct it as his next movie, and then suddenly the whole thing goes down in flames because George Lucas doesn’t like the script. I told him he was crazy. I said, ‘You have a fantastic script. I think you’re insane, George.’ You can say things like that to George, and he doesn’t even blink. He’s one of the most stubborn men I know.”
Some of the title changes that Indy 4 went through sound amazing – including Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars and Indiana Jones and the Atomic Ants – both of which sound better than Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, let’s be honest. You can of course now see Indy’s swansong in Indiana Jones 5 – and make up your own mind about whether it’s better than Crystal Skull or not.
Check out our guide to the best adventure movies.