Spielberg, Ford and Lucas on Indy IV

Exclusive: Dream team talk sequel

Getting one of the Indiana Jones triumvirate to talk about the fourth sequel is a rare opportunity, but getting George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford to spill at the same time is as infrequent as finding a needle in a haystack under some hen's teeth on a blue moony night at the end of a month of Sundays.

But Empire was lucky enough to speak with the trio as part of our massive Indiana Jones 25th anniversary celebrations and it seems that Indy IV is going to be a tad controversial.

“We’re basically going to do The Phantom Menace”, says Lucas (stay with him here, he’s making a point). “People’s expectations are way higher than you can deliver. You could just get killed for the whole thing…We would do it for fun and just take the hit with the critics and the fans...But nobody wants to get into it unless they are really happy with it”.

The ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ situation has freed up an idea for a plot that was originally deemed too incendiary.

“I discovered a McGuffin,” continues Lucas, still reluctant to name said McGuffin. “I told the guys about it and they were a little dubious about it, but it’s the best one we’ve ever found… Unfortunately, it was a little too ‘connected’ for the others. They were afraid of what the critics would think. They said, “Can’t we do it with a different McGuffin? Can’t we do this?” and I said “No”. So we pottered around with that for a couple of years. And then Harrison really wanted to do it and Steve said, “Okay”. I said, “We’ll have to go back to that original MacGuffin and take out the offending parts of it and we’ll still use that area of the supernatural do deal with it”.

“Hopefully it will be different in all the right ways and the same in all the familiar ways,” adds Spielberg.

As for timing, Lucas says that filming is scheduled for mid-2007, for a 2008 release but getting the gang back together is a tricky proposition. “Before I was just working with Steven and Harrison. Now everybody’s a superstar, so it’s a little bit more difficult than it was then”. “But there’s a good chance it will happen,” assures Ford. “There are things left for this character to do”.

For more on Indy IV, plus over 30 pages of celebration of the Indiana Jones series, featuring interviews with every cast and crew member you can think of (except the monkey) pick up a copy of the new issue of Empire, on sale from August 25.