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Indiana Jones director Steven Spielberg condemned sequel – ‘Horrific’

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny: Harrison Ford stars in trailer

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Tonight, at 6:45pm on Channel 4, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is hitting TV screens. While the 2008 movie has long been criticised for its over-the-top plot and scenes (remember the refrigerator?) famed director Steven Spielberg previously hated an earlier Indy entry. After releasing Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, he was tasked with building a sequel, and he was not happy with the results.

Three years later, in 1984, Spielberg recruited Harrison Ford once again and shot Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The movie was a staggering success, earning $333 million on a meagre $28 million budget – but Spielberg was not happy.

He later said of the film: “I wasn’t happy with the second film at all. It was too dark, too subterranean, and much too horrific.” The director brutally added: “I thought it out-poltered Poltergeist!”

Of course, the ET director had a point. The Temple of Doom was set largely underground and included some brutal scenes involving blood and gore. The “Kali-Ma!” ritual sacrifice scene has gone down in cinematic history.

Spielberg went on to add: “There’s not an ounce of my own personal feeling in Temple of Doom.”

He went on to say that making a sequel is “dangerous” because you can “never satisfy everyone”. He said: “If you give people the same movie with different scenes, they say: ‘Why weren’t you more original? But if you give them the same character in another fantastic adventure, but with a different tone, you risk disappointing the other half of the audience who just wanted a carbon copy of the first film with a different girl and a different bad guy.”

He concluded: “So you win, and you lose both ways.”

Star Wars boss George Lucas was also a writer for the series, and felt similarly about The Temple of Doom. He compared it to the second chapter in his space opera, The Empire Strikes Back, which famously concludes on a brutal ending.

The writer of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lawrence Kasdan, confessed he “didn’t want to be associated” with Temple of Doom.

He said: “I just thought it was horrible. It’s so mean. There’s nothing pleasant about it. I think Temple of Doom represents a chaotic period in both their [Lucas’s and Spielberg’s] lives, and the movie is very ugly and mean-spirited.”

Despite the fact Spielberg was not a massive fan of Temple of Doom it was extremely successful and spurred on another sequel, The Last Crusade, which was released in 1989.

The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull followed in 2008, with the fifth and final movie, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny coming to cinemas later this year on June 30, 2023.

However, another of Spielberg’s writers has also confessed that he warned the director about The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’s plotline.

The film has long been criticised for including aliens in the series. And writer David Koepp previously said: “I was never happy with the idea [of including aliens]. When I came on, I tried to convince [Spielberg and franchise co-creator George Lucas] to change it.”

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny hits cinemas on June 30, 2023.

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