Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Infobox Film
name = Indiana Jones and the
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Steven Spielberg
producer = Frank Marshall
George Lucas
Kathleen Kennedy
writer = Screenplay:
David Koepp
George Lucas
Jeff Nathanson
starring = Harrison Ford
Cate Blanchett
Karen Allen
Ray Winstone
John Hurt
Jim Broadbent
Shia LaBeouf
music = John Williams
cinematography = Janusz Kamiński
editing = Michael Kahn
distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = May 22, 2008
runtime = 122 minutes
country = United States
language = English
budget = $185 million
gross = $783,266,513
preceded_by = "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"
website =
amg_id = 1:384336
imdb_id = 0367882

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is a 2008 adventure film. It is the fourth film in the Indiana Jones franchise, created by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg. Released nineteen years after "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", the film acknowledges its star Harrison Ford's age by setting itself in 1957. It tributes the science fiction B-movies of the era, pitting Indiana Jones battling agents of the Soviet Union – led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) – for a psychic alien crystal skull. Indiana is aided by his former lover Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and their son Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf). Ray Winstone, John Hurt and Jim Broadbent are also part of the supporting cast.

The film gestated in development because Spielberg and Ford disagreed over Lucas' original concept, which featured a more overt focus on the aliens. Screenwriters Jeb Stuart, Jeffrey Boam, Frank Darabont and Jeff Nathanson wrote drafts, before David Koepp's script satisfied all three men. Shooting began on June 18, 2007, and took place in New Mexico; New Haven, Connecticut; Hawaii; Fresno, California; and soundstages in Los Angeles. To keep aesthetic continuity with the previous films, the crew relied on traditional stunt work instead of computer-generated stunt doubles, and cinematographer Janusz Kamiński studied Douglas Slocombe's style from the previous films.

Marketing relied heavily on the public's nostalgia for the series, with products taking inspiration from all four films. Anticipation for the film was heightened by secrecy, which resulted in a legal dispute over an extra violating his non-disclosure agreement, and the arrest of another man for stealing a computer containing various documents related to the production. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" was released worldwide on May 22, 2008, and was a financial success, grossing over $783 million worldwide. The film received generally positive reviews, as well as mixed reactions from fans who were stunned by its tonal departure from the previous films.


In 1957, Colonel-Doctor Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) and a convoy of Soviet agents posing as U.S. soldiers infiltrate a military base in the Nevada desert. They force Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) to lead them to a crate in "Hangar 51", which holds the remains of an extraterrestrial creature that crashed ten years before in Roswell, New Mexico. Indiana attempts to escape but is foiled by his partner Mac (Ray Winstone), who reveals that he is working with the Soviets. After a fight and an elaborate vehicle chase through the warehouse, Indiana escapes on a rocket sled into the desert, where he stumbles upon a nuclear test town and survives a nuclear blast by hiding in a lead-lined refrigerator. While being debriefed, Indiana discovers he is under FBI investigation because of Mac's Soviet ties. Indiana returns to Marshall College, where he is offered an indefinite leave of absence to avoid being fired because of the investigation. At a train station, Indiana is stopped by greaser Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) and told that his old colleague, Harold Oxley (John Hurt), disappeared after discovering a crystal skull near the Nazca lines in Peru. Indiana and Mutt go to a local diner, where they discuss Akator (also known as El Dorado), Crystal Skulls, and the Ugha tribe. Mutt passes Indiana a letter from Oxley. Soviet agents approach them, and a chase commences on the college grounds. Indiana realizes that the Soviets were trailing Mutt to get him to decode Oxley's letter.

In Peru, Indiana and Mutt discover that Oxley was locked in a church-operated psychiatric hospital until the Soviets kidnapped him. In Oxley's former cell, Indiana discovers clues to the grave of Francisco de Orellana, a Conquistador who went missing in the 1500s while seeking Akator. Indiana finds the crystal skull that Oxley hid in Orellana's grave. The Soviets capture Indiana and Mutt and take them to the camp where they are holding Oxley, as well as Mutt's mother (and Indiana's ex-lover), Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen). Indiana learns that the Soviets believe the skull, which magnetically attracts even non-ferrous objects, is from an extraterrestrial life-form and holds great psychic power; Oxley has suffered a mental breakdown due to exposure to the skull's powers. Marion reveals that Mutt's real name is Henry Jones III and that he is Indiana's son. The four escape from the Soviets, leading to a lengthy vehicle chase involving a sword fight between Mutt and Spalko, and a swarm of killer siafu ants. Escaping on an amphibious vehicle, Indiana, Mutt, Marion, Oxley and Mac arrive at the Temple of Akator, a Maya-style pyramid in the Amazon rainforest. Claiming that he is a CIA double agent working "against" the Soviets, Mac enters the temple with Indiana and the group, but he is actually leaving a trail of homing devices for Spalko to follow.

The group enters the temple and Indiana uses the skull to open the door to a chamber tomb, where thirteen crystal skeletons, one missing a skull, are seated on thrones. After the Soviets arrive and again reveal Mac's complicity, Spalko places the skull onto the skeleton. It begins communicating to the group through Oxley using an ancient Mayan dialect. Indiana translates this to mean that the aliens want to give them a "great gift". Spalko demands to "know everything", and the skulls begin transferring knowledge into her mind. As a portal to another dimension appears over the room, Oxley regains his sanity and explains that the aliens are inter-dimensional beings who taught the Ugha warriors their advanced technology. Indiana, Mutt, Marion and Oxley escape from the temple, but Mac and the soldiers are sucked into the portal. The skeletons form into a single alien which continues to feed Spalko with knowledge; however, the knowledge overwhelms Spalko, causing her to ignite and disintegrate, with her scattered essence absorbed into the portal as well. The temple crumbles, and a flying saucer rises from the debris and disappears as the Amazon river floods the valley. After they return home, Indiana is reinstated and made an associate dean at Marshall College, and he and Marion are married.


:"See also: Indiana Jones characters introduced in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"Harrison Ford reprises the role of Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. To prepare for the role, the 64 -year-old Ford spent three hours a day at a gym, and relied on a high-protein diet of fish and vegetables. [Cite news|title=Indiana Jones 4: A fit Ford|publisher=Monsters and Critics|date=2007-02-27|url=|accessdate=2008-03-29] Ford had kept fit during the series' hiatus anyway, as he hoped for another film. [Cite news | author = Scott Bowles | title = Here come Harrison (in fine form) and 'Indiana Jones' | publisher = USA Today | date = 2008-02-12 | url = | accessdate=2008-02-14] He performed many of his own stunts because stunt technology had become safer since 1989, and he also felt it improved his performance. He argued, "The appeal of Indiana Jones isn't his youth but his imagination, his resourcefulness. His physicality is a big part of it, especially the way he gets out of tight situations. But it's not all hitting people and falling from high places. My ambition in action is to have the audience look straight in the face of character and not at the back of a capable stuntman's head. I hope to continue that no matter how old I get." [cite news | title = Space Cowboys and Indianas | publisher = | date = 2008-04-28 | url = | accessdate=2008-04-30]

Ford felt his reprise would also help American culture be less paranoid about aging (he refused to dye his hair for the role), because of the film's family appeal: "This is a movie which is geared not to [the young] segment of the demographic, an age-defined segment [...] We've got a great shot at breaking the movie demographic constraints."cite news|author=Steve Daly|title=Harrison Ford Q&A: Indy speaks!|publisher=Entertainment Weekly|date=2008-04-19|url=,,20192918,00.html|accessdate=2008-04-18] He told Koepp to add more references to his age in the script.Cite journal |author=Peter N. Chumo II |title=Matinee Magic: David Koepp and Indiana Jones Enter the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull |journal=Creative Screenwriting |volume=15 |issue=3 |year=2008 |month=May/June] Spielberg said Ford was not too old to play Indiana: "When a guy gets to be that age and he still packs the same punch, and he still runs just as fast and climbs just as high, he's gonna be breathing a little heavier at the end of the set piece. And I felt, 'Let's have some fun with that. Let's not hide that.'" Spielberg recalled the line in "Raiders", "It's not the years, it's the mileage", and felt he could not tell the difference between Ford during the shoots for "Last Crusade" and "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".

Shia LaBeouf plays Henry "Mutt Williams" Jones III, a motorcycle-riding greaser and Indiana's sidekick and son. Frank Marshall said Mutt brings humor to the story because of his youthful arrogance, causing banter with the older and wiser Jones.Cite news | title = News, Etc. | publisher = Empire | date = March 2008 | pages = 16–17] Koepp credited the character's creation to Jeff Nathanson and Lucas. LaBeouf was Spielberg's first and only choice for the role.cite news | author = Ian Freer | title = The Indiana Jones Diaries | publisher = Empire | date = May 2008 | pages = 27–35] Excited at the prospect of being in an Indiana Jones film, LaBeouf signed on without reading the script and did not know what character he would play. [Cite news | author = Anthony Breznican | title = Shia LaBeouf tapped for 'Indy 4' role | publisher = USA Today | date = 2007-04-13 | url = | accessdate = 2007-04-13] He worked out and gained fifteen pounds of muscle for the role, [Cite news | author = Aaron Parsley | title = Shia LaBeouf: How I'm Getting Buff for Indiana Jones | publisher = People | date = 2007-04-23 | url =,,20036458,00.html | accessdate=2007-04-24] and also repeatedly watched the other films to get into character.Cite web | url= | title=New Indy Adventure Begins Shooting | accessdate=2008-04-08 | date=2007-06-18 |] LaBeouf also watched "Blackboard Jungle", "Rebel Without a Cause" and "The Wild One" to get into his character's mindset, [Cite news | author = Christy Lemire | title = Monday Movie Buzz: Shia goes Brando in 'Indy' | publisher = USA Today | date = 2008-05-26 | url = | accessdate=2008-08-23] copying mannerisms and words from characters in those films, such as the use of a switchblade as a weapon. [cite news | author = Nick de Semlyen | title = Shia LaBeouf is Indiana Jones Jr. | publisher = Empire | date = April 2008 | pages = 76] Lucas also consulted on the greaser look, joking that LaBeouf was "sent to the "American Graffiti" school of greaserland". LaBeouf pulled his hip's rotator cuff when filming his duel with Spalko, which was his first injury in his career. The injury got worse throughout filming until it pulled his groin. [cite news | author = Shawn Adler | title = Shia Gets Injured On ‘Indy 4,’ Gears Up For ‘Transformers 2’ | publisher = MTV | date = 2008-04-07 | url = | accessdate=2008-04-07]

Cate Blanchett plays the villainous Soviet agent Irina Spalko. Screenwriter David Koepp created the character. Frank Marshall said Spalko continued the tradition of Indiana having a love-hate relationship "with every woman he ever comes in contact with".Cite news | author = Anthony Breznican | title = First look: Whip cracks over new 'Indiana Jones' movie | publisher = USA Today | date = 2007-12-09 | url = | accessdate=2007-12-10] Blanchett had wanted to play a villain for a "couple of years", and enjoyed being part of the Indiana Jones legacy as she loved the previous films. [cite news | author = Scott Huver | title = Cate Blanchett: The Oscar Nominee On Dylan, Ledger and Indiana Jones | publisher = | year = 2007 | url = | accessdate=2008-02-29] Spielberg praised Blanchett as a "master of disguise", and considers her his favorite Indiana Jones villain for coming up with much of Spalko's characteristics.cite news | author = Steve Daly | title = Steven Spielberg and George Lucas: The Titans Talk! | publisher = Entertainment Weekly | date = 2008-04-16 | url =,,20192040,00.html | accessdate=2008-04-17] Spalko's bob cut was her idea, with the character's stern looks and behaviour recalling Rosa Klebb in "From Russia with Love". Blanchett learned to fence for the character, but during filming, Spielberg decided to give Spalko "karate chop" skills. LaBeouf recalled Blanchett was elusive on set, and Ford was surprised when he met her on set outside of costume. He noted, "There's no aspect of her behavior that was notsic consistent with this bizarre person she's playing."

Karen Allen reprises the role of Marion Ravenwood, under the married name of Marion Williams, who appeared in "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Allen was not aware her character was in the script until Spielberg called her in January 2007, saying, "It's been announced! We're gonna make "Indiana Jones 4"! And guess what? You're in it!"cite news | author = Steve Daly | title = Indiana Jones: The Untold Story | publisher = Entertainment Weekly | date = 2008-04-16 | url =,,20192043,00.html | accessdate=2008-04-17] Ford found Allen "one of the easiest people to work with [he's] ever known. She's a completely self-sufficient woman, and that's part of the character she plays. A lot of her charm and the charm of the character is there. And again, it's not an age-dependent thing. It has to do with her spirit and her nature." Allen found Ford easier to work with on this film, in contrast to the first film, where she slowly befriended the private actor.cite news | author = Matthew Leyland | title = Fortune and Glory | publisher = Total Film | date = June 2008 | pages = 68–71]

Ray Winstone plays George "Mac" McHale, a British agent whom Jones worked alongside in World War II, but has now allied with the Russians due to his financial problems. The character acts as a spin on Sallah and Rene Belloq - Jones's friend and nemesis, respectively, in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".Cite news | author = Shawn Adler | title = 'Indiana Jones' Roles For Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone Revealed Exclusively To MTV News | publisher = MTV | date = 2007-12-07 | url = | accessdate=2007-12-07] Spielberg cast Winstone as he found him "one of the most brilliant actors around", having seen "Sexy Beast".cite web | title = About the Production | publisher = Official site | url = | format = Flash | accessdate=2008-05-14 To access, click "The Film"] Winstone tore his hamstring during filming. "I keep getting these action parts as I’m getting older," he remarked. [Cite news | author = Kim Gregory | title = Ray Winstone thinks Cate Blanchett is the best actress in the world | publisher = Showbiz Spy | date = 2008-02-15 | url = | accessdate=2008-02-15] Like John Hurt, Winstone wished to see the script prior to committing to the film. In interviews on British TV ["Soccer AM" (Sky Sports 1) and "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" (BBC1)] Winstone explained that he was only able to read the script if it was delivered by courier, who waited while he read the script, and returned to the US with the script once Winstone had read it. His reasoning for wanting to read the script was, "If I'm gonna be in it, I want to "be" in it." He also stated that once filming was completed he had to return the script, such was the secrecy about the film. He has since been presented with a copy of the script to keep. [Cite news | title = Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, BBC1, May 23, 2008]

John Hurt plays Harold "Ox" Oxley, Mutt's surrogate father and an old friend of Indiana, whom he lost contact with in 1937. Six months prior to the events of the film, he went insane after discovering the crystal skull, which commanded him to return it to Akator. Frank Darabont had suggested Hurt when he was writing the screenplay. [Cite news|author=Shawn Adler|title=Frank Darabont Expects Fight Over ‘Indy IV’ Writing Credits|publisher=MTV|date=2007-11-12|url=|accessdate=2007-11-14] The character is inspired by Ben Gunn from "Treasure Island". Hurt wanted to read the script before signing on, unlike other cast members who came on "because Steven — you know, 'God' — was doing it. And I said, 'Well, I need to have a little bit of previous knowledge even if God is doing it.' So they sent a courier over with the script from Los Angeles, gave it to me at three o'clock in the afternoon in London, collected it again at eight o'clock in the evening, and he returned the next day to Los Angeles." Hurt only appears in the film's second half.Cite news | author = Matt Mueller | title = Q&A Exclusive: John Hurt on 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' | publisher = Premiere | date = 2007-12-20 | url = | accessdate=2007-12-20]

Jim Broadbent plays Dean Charles Stanforth, an academic colleague and friend of Jones. Broadbent's character stands in for Marcus Brody, whose portrayer, Denholm Elliott, died in 1992. As a tribute to Elliott, the filmmakers put a portrait and a statue on the Marshall College location, and a picture on Jones' desk, saying he died along with Indiana's father.

Igor Jijikine plays the Russian Colonel Dovchenko. His character stands in for the heavily-built henchmen Pat Roach played in the previous films (Roach died in 2004).

Joel Stoffer and Neil Flynn cameo as FBI agents interrogating Indiana, in a scene following the opening sequence. Alan Dale plays General Ross, who protests his innocence. Andrew Divoff and Pavel Lychnikoff play Russian soldiers. Spielberg cast Russian-speaking actors as Russian soldiers so their accents would be authentic.Cite news | author = Heather Newgen | title = Spielberg Talks Indy 4, Transformers & Tintin! | publisher = | date = 2007-10-10 | url = | accessdate=2007-10-10] Dimitri Diatchenko plays Spalko's right hand man who battles Indiana at Marshall College. Diatchenko bulked up to 250 pounds to look menacing, and his role was originally minor with ten days of filming. When shooting the fight, Ford accidentally hit his chin, and Spielberg liked Diatchenko's humorous looking reaction, so he expanded his role to three months of filming. [Cite news | author = Army Archerd | title = There's No Biz Like – | publisher = Variety | date = 2008-04-14 | url = | accessdate=2008-04-22]

Sean Connery turned down an offer to reprise his role as Henry Jones Sr., as he found retirement too enjoyable. [Cite news | author = Lucasfilm | title = The Indiana Jones Cast Expands | publisher = | date = 2007-06-07 | url = | accessdate=2008-04-08] Lucas stated that in hindsight it was good that Connery did not briefly appear, as it would disappoint the audience when his character would not come along for the film's adventure.Cite news | author = Steve Sonsky | title = George Lucas Hails Maverick Filmmakers, Teases Indy 4 | publisher = TV Guide | date = 2007-09-18 | url = | accessdate=2007-09-18] Ford joked, "I'm old enough to play my own father in this one." The film addresses Connery's absence by explaining that the character died sometime prior to the events of the film.




"Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars" script by Jeb Stuart, dated February 20, 1995:The second draft's prologue is set in Borneo in 1949, with Indiana proposing to Dr. Elaine McGregor after defeating pirates. She abandons him at the altar, because the government requests her aid in decoding an alien cylinder (covered in Egyptian, Mayan and Sanskrit symbols) in New Mexico. Indiana pursues her, and battles Russians agents and aliens for the cylinder.

The script featured army ants, a rocket sled fight, Indiana surviving an atomic explosion by sealing himself in a fridge, and a climactic battle between the US military and flying saucers. Henry Jones, Sr., Short Round, Sallah, Marion Ravenwood and Willie cameo at Indiana and Elaine's wedding(s). Indiana is also a former Colonel of the OSS. |source= [cite news | author = Bellosh | title = Raiders of the Lost Drafts | publisher = | date = 2001-01-16 | url = | accessdate=2008-04-18]

During the late 1970s, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg made a deal with Paramount Pictures for five Indiana Jones films. [Rinzler, Bouzereau, p. 36] Following the 1989 release of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", Lucas let the series end as he felt he could not think of a good plot device to drive the next installment, and chose instead to produce "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles", which explored the character in his early years. Harrison Ford played Indiana in one episode, narrating his adventures in 1920 Chicago. When Lucas shot Ford's role in December 1992, he realized the scene opened up the possibility of a film with an older Indiana set in the 1950s. The film could reflect a science fiction 1950s B-movie, with aliens as the plot device.Rinzler, Bouzereau, Chapter 11: "Atomic Ants from Space: May 1989 to June 2007" p. 231–247]

Ford disliked the new angle, telling Lucas "No way am I being in a Steve Spielberg movie like that." Spielberg himself, who depicted aliens in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial", resisted it. Lucas came up with a story, which Jeb Stuart turned into a script from October 1993 to May 1994. Lucas wanted Indiana to get married, which would allow Henry Jones Sr. to return, expressing concern over whether his son is happy with what he has accomplished. After he learned that Joseph Stalin was interested in psychic warfare, he decided to have Russians as the villains and the aliens to have psychic powers.Rinzler, Bouzereau, "Script draft by David Koepp summary and commentary: April 23, 2007", p. 248–255] Following Stuart's next draft, Lucas hired "Last Crusade" writer Jeffrey Boam to write the next three versions, the last of which was completed in March 1996. Three months later, "Independence Day" was released, and Spielberg told Lucas he would not make another alien invasion film. Lucas decided to focus on the "Star Wars" prequels.

In 2000, Spielberg's son asked when the next Indiana Jones film would be released, which made him interested in reviving the project.Cite news | author = Ann Donahue | title = Indiana Jones and the Curse of Development Hell | publisher = Premiere | url = | accessdate = 2007-07-17] The same year, Ford, Lucas, Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Kathleen Kennedy met during the American Film Institute's tribute to Ford, and decided they wanted to enjoy the experience of making an Indiana Jones film again. Spielberg also found returning to the series a respite from his many dark films during this period. Spielberg and Lucas discussed the central idea of a B-movie involving aliens, and Lucas suggested using the crystal skulls to ground the idea. Lucas found those artifacts as fascinating as the Ark of the Covenant,Cite news | author = Jim Windolf | title = Keys to the Kingdom | publisher = Vanity Fair | date = February 2008 | url = | accessdate=2008-01-02] and had intended to feature them for a "Young Indiana Jones" episode before the show's cancellation. M. Night Shyamalan was hired to write for an intended 2002 shoot, but he was overwhelmed writing a sequel to a film he loved like "Raiders of the Lost Ark", and claimed it was difficult to get Ford, Spielberg, and Lucas to focus. [Cite news | author = Patrick Lee | title = M. Night Shyamalan had a sense that all "Signs" pointed to Mel Gibson | publisher = "Science Fiction Weekly" | date = 2002-08-05 | url = | accessdate = 2007-07-17] Stephen Gaghan and Tom Stoppard were also approached.

Frank Darabont, who wrote various "Young Indiana Jones" episodes, was hired to write in May 2002. [Cite news | author = Ken Plume | title = IGN FilmForce Exclusive: Has Indy IV Found Its Writer? | publisher = IGN | date = 2002-05-17 | url = | accessdate = 2007-01-02] His script, entitled "Indiana Jones and the City of Gods", was set in the 1950s, with ex-Nazis pursuing Jones.Cite news | author = Jim Windolf | title = Q&A: Steven Spielberg | publisher = Vanity Fair | date = 2007-12-02 | url = | accessdate=2007-12-02] Spielberg conceived the idea because of real life figures such as Juan Perón in Argentina, who protected Nazi war criminals. Darabont claimed Spielberg loved the script, but Lucas had issues with it, and decided to take over writing himself. Lucas and Spielberg acknowledged the 1950s setting could not ignore the Cold War, and the Russians were more plausible villains. Spielberg decided he could not satirize the Nazis after directing "Schindler's List", while Ford felt "We plum [b] wore the Nazis out." Darabont's main contribution was reintroducing Marion Ravenwood as Indiana's love interest, but gave them a 13-year old daughter, which Spielberg decided was too similar to "".

Jeff Nathanson met with Spielberg and Lucas in August 2004, and turned in the next drafts in October and November 2005, titled "The Atomic Ants". David Koepp continued on from there, giving his script the subtitle "Destroyer of Worlds", based on the Robert Oppenheimer quote. It was changed to "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", as Spielberg found it more inviting a title and actually named the plot device.Rinzler, Bouzereau, Chapter 12: "Mr. Jones's Wild Ride: June to December 2007", p. 254–295] Koepp wanted to make Mutt into a nerd, but Lucas refused, explaining he had to resemble Marlon Brando in "The Wild One"; "he needs to be what Indiana Jones' father thought of [him] – the curse returns in the form of his own son – he's everything a father can't stand". Koepp collaborated with "Raiders of the Lost Ark" screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan on the film's "love dialogue".


Unlike the previous Indiana Jones films, Spielberg shot the entire film in the United States, stating he did not want to be away from his family. Shooting began on June 18, 2007 at Deming, New Mexico.Cite news | author = John Burnett | title = Ford lands on Big Isle | publisher = Hawaii Tribune-Herald | date = 2007-07-11 | url = | accessdate=2007-07-17] An extensive chase scene set at Indiana Jones's fictional Marshall College was filmed between June 28 and July 7 at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut (where Spielberg's son Theo was studying).Cite news | author=Ed Stannard | title = Casting call creates excitement far and wide | publisher = New Haven Register | date = 2007-06-04]

Afterwards, they filmed scenes set in the Peruvian jungles in Hilo, Hawaii until August.cite web | title = Indy’s Worldwide Trek | publisher = Fandango | url = | accessdate=2008-05-09] "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is the biggest film shot in Hawaii since "Waterworld", and was estimated to generate $22 million to $45 million in the local economy. [Cite news | author = Kevin Dayton | title = 'Indiana Jones' having big impact on the Big Island | publisher = The Honolulu Advertiser | date = 2007-07-14 | url = | accessdate=2007-07-17] Because of an approaching hurricane, Spielberg was unable to shoot a fight at a waterfall, so he sent the second unit to film shots of Brazil's and Argentina's Iguazu Falls. These were digitally combined into the fight, which was shot at the Universal backlot.

Half the film was scheduled to shoot on five sound stages at Los Angeles: [Cite news | author = Jamyes Song | title = Ford can still fit into Indy's trousers | publisher = USA Today | date = 2007-07-14 | url = | accessdate=2007-09-30] Downey, Sony, Warner Bros., Paramount and Universal. Filming moved to Chandler Field in Fresno, California, substituting for Mexico City International Airport, on October 11, 2007. [Cite news | author = Maureen Naylor | title = Indiana Jones Will Be Filmed in Fresno | publisher = ABC30 | date = 2007-10-09 | url = | accessdate=2007-10-10] After shooting aerial shots of Chandler Airport and a DC-3 on the morning of October 12, 2007, filming wrapped. [Cite news | title = A Hollywood Movie Crew Is Leaving Fresno | publisher = ABC30 | date = 2007-10-12 | url = | accessdate=2007-10-12] Cite news | author = Todd Gilchrist, Eric Moro | title = Indy IV Winding Down | publisher = IGN | date = 2007-10-09 | url = | accessdate=2007-10-10] Although he originally found no need for re-shoots after viewing his first cut of the film, Spielberg decided to add an establishing shot, which was filmed on February 29, 2008 at Pasadena, California. [Cite news | title = Indiana Jones 4 Reshoots? | publisher = SlashFilm | date = 2008-02-27 | url = | accessdate=2008-02-29]


Spielberg and Janusz Kamiński, who has shot all of the director's films since 1993's "Schindler's List", rewatched the previous films to study Douglas Slocombe's style. "I didn’t want Janusz to modernize and bring us into the 21st century," Spielberg explained. "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." Spielberg also did not want to fast cut action scenes, relying on his script instead for a fast pace, and had confirmed in 2002 that he would not shoot the film digitally, a format Lucas had adopted.Cite news | title = Come Lie With Me | pages= 80–1 | publisher = Empire | date=2003-01-03] Lucas felt "it looks like it was shot three years after "Last Crusade". The people, the look of it, everything. You’d never know there was 20 years between shooting."cite news | author = Jim Windolf | title = Q&A: George Lucas | publisher = Vanity Fair | date = 2008-01-02 | url = | accessdate=2007-01-02]

While shooting "War of the Worlds" in late 2004, Spielberg met with stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong, who doubled for Ford in the previous films, to discuss three action sequences he had envisioned.Cite news | author=Nick de Semlyen, Ian Freer, Chris Hewitt, Ian Nathan, Sam Toy | title = A Race Against Time: Indiana Jones IV | pages = 100 | publisher = Empire | date=2006-09-29] However, Armstrong was filming "" during shooting of "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", so Dan Bradley was hired instead. [Cite news | title = Is Dan Bradley stunt coordinator for Indy 4? | publisher = | date = 2007-09-04 | url = | accessdate=2007-09-11] Bradley and Spielberg used previsualization for all the action scenes, except the motorcycle chase at Marshall College, because that idea was conceived after the animators had left. Bradley drew traditional storyboards instead, and was given free rein to create dramatic moments, just as "Raiders of the Lost Ark" second unit director Michael D. Moore did when filming the truck chase.cite news | author = Ian Freer | title = The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull | publisher = Empire | date = May 2008 | pages = 80 – 82]


Producer Frank Marshall stated in 2003 that the film would use traditional stunt work so as to be consistent with the previous films. [Cite news | title = Exclusive: B-Movie Feel For Indy IV | publisher = Empire | date=2003-09-09 | url=|accessdate=2007-02-28] CGI was used to remove the visible safety wires on the actors when they did their stunts (such as when Indiana whips on to a lamp). Timed explosives were used for a scene where Indiana drives a truck through a wall. During one take, an explosive did not set off and landed in the seat beside Ford. However, it did not go off and he was not injured. [cite news | author = Chrissy Iley | title = Keeping up with Indiana Jones | publisher = The Observer | date = 2008-04-27 | url =,,2275988,00.html | accessdate=2008-04-30]

During filming, Steven Spielberg estimated 30 percent of the film's shots would require CG matte paintings, which contributed to the total 450 effects shots, which also include monkeys, army ants, the infinite warehouse crates, the flying saucer, the City of Gold, its gods and the atomic explosion. Spielberg initially wanted brushstrokes to be visible on the matte paintings for consistency with the effects of the previous films, but decided against it. The script required a non-deforested jungle, but this would have been unsafe. Visual effects supervisor Pablo Helman (who worked on Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" and "Munich") traveled to Brazil and Argentina to photograph elements that were composited into the final images. [cite news | author = Derrik J. Lang/Associated Press | title = 'Indiana Jones' and the computer-generated jungle | work = Seattle Times | date = 2008-05-22 | url = | accessdate=2008-10-11]


John Williams began composing the score in October 2007; ten days of recording sessions wrapped on March 6, 2008 at Sony Pictures Studios. [cite news | title = 'Indy 4' Recording Sessions are Over | publisher = | date = 2008-03-06 | url = | accessdate=2008-03-09] The soundtrack features a Continuum, an instrument often used for sound effects instead of music. [cite news | author = Peter Kim | title = 'Indiana Jones' movie to use professor's musical invention | publisher = Daily Illini | date = 2008-03-05 | url = | accessdate=2008-05-06] The Concord Music Group released the soundtrack on May 20, 2008. [cite web | title = Kingdom of the Crystal Skull soundtrack | publisher = MovieMusic | url = | accessdate=2008-04-01]


"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2008, ahead of its worldwide May 22 release date. It was the first Spielberg film since 1982's "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" to premiere at Cannes. [Cite news | author = Tatiana Siegel, Anne Thompson | title = Cannes premiere for 'Indiana Jones' | publisher = Variety | date = 2007-02-28 | url = | accessdate=2008-02-29] The film was released in approximately 4000 theaters in the United States, and dubbed into 25 languages for its worldwide release. More than 12,000 release prints were distributed, which is the largest in Paramount Pictures' history. [cite news | author = Stephanie Sanchez | title = Indiana Jones Second Trailer Coming! | publisher = IESB | date = 2008-03-10 | url = | accessdate=2008-03-11] Although Spielberg insisted his films only be watched traditionally at theaters, Paramount chose to release the film in digital cinemas as part of a scheme to convert 10,000 U.S. cinemas to the format. [cite news | author = David M. Halbfinger | title = Studios Announce a Deal to Help Cinemas Go 3-D | publisher = New York Times | date = 2008-03-12 | url = | accessdate=2008-03-12]


Frank Marshall remarked, "In today's information age, secrecy has been a real challenge. [...] People actually said, 'No, we're going to respect Steven's vision." Fans on the internet have scrutinized numerous photos and the film's promotional LEGO sets in hope of understanding plot details; Spielberg biographer Ian Freer wrote, "What Indy IV is actually about has been the great cultural guessing game of 2007/08. Yet, it has to be said, there is something refreshing about being ten weeks away from a giant blockbuster and knowing next to nothing about it." To distract investigative fans from the film's title during filming,Cite news | author = Robert Sanchez | title = IESB Chats with The Master - Steven Spielberg! | publisher = IESB | date = 2008-10-09 | url = | accessdate=2008-02-09] five fake titles were registered with the Motion Picture Association of America; "The City of Gods", "The Destroyer of Worlds", "The Fourth Corner of the Earth", "The Lost City of Gold" and "The Quest for the Covenant".Cite news | title = The 25 Most Exciting Movies of 2008 | publisher = Empire | url = | accessdate=2008-02-09] Lucas and Spielberg had also wanted to keep Karen Allen's return a secret until the film's release, but decided to confirm it at the 2007 Comic-Con. [cite web | author = | title = Indiana casting a surprise for Allen | publisher = Television New Zealand | url = | accessdate=2008-05-06]

An extra in the film, Tyler Nelson, violated his nondisclosure agreement in an interview with "The Edmond Sun" on September 17, 2007, which was then picked up by the mainstream media. It is unknown if he remained in the final cut.Cite news|url=,,30200-1286762,00.html|title=Court Adventure for Indiana Jones|publisher=Sky News|date=2007-10-03|accessdate=2007-10-03] At Nelson's request, "The Edmond Sun" subsequently pulled the story from its website. [Cite news | title = Extra! Extra! Dancing Russian spills beans on Indy secrets | publisher = The Guardian | date = 2007-09-30 | url =,,2173056,00.html | accessdate=2007-09-29] On October 2, 2007, a Superior Court order was filed finding that Nelson knowingly violated the agreement. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. [Cite news | title = 'Indiana Jones' lawsuit settled | url = | publisher = USA Today | date = 2007-10-03 | accessdate=2007-10-03] A number of production photos and sensitive documents pertaining to the film's production budget were also stolen from Steven Spielberg’s production office. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department set up a sting operation after being alerted by a webmaster that the thief might try to sell the photos. On October 4, 2007, the seller, 37-year old Roderick Eric Davis, was arrested. He pled guilty to two felony counts and will serve two years and four months in jail. [Cite news|url=|title=Police probe "Indiana Jones" theft mystery: report |publisher=Reuters|date=2007-10-03|accessdate=2007-10-03] [Cite news|url=|title=Man pleads guilty in theft of 'Indiana Jones' movie materials|publisher=International Herald Tribune|date=2007-11-02|accessdate=2007-11-02]


Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing, attributed the film's large marketing campaign to it having been "nineteen years since the last film, and we are sensing a huge pent-up demand for everything Indy".Cite news | title = Indy Backed By Major Companies in Global Licensing and Promotional Program | publisher = | date = 2007-06-18 | url = | accessdate=2007-06-18] Paramount spent at least $150 million to promote the film, whereas most film promotions range from $70 to 100 million. As well as fans, the film also needed to appeal to younger viewers.cite news | author = Mary Ellen Podmolik | title = Indiana Jones and the inescapable ads | publisher = Chicago Tribune | date = 2008-05-09 | url =,0,7087607.story | accessdate=2008-05-11] Licensing deals include Expedia, Dr Pepper, Burger King, M&M's and Lunchables. Paramount sponsored an Indiana Jones open wheel car for Marco Andretti in the 2008 Indianapolis 500, and his racing suit was designed to resemble Indiana Jones's outfit. [Cite news |publisher =|title = IndyCar Driver Marco Andretti To Run 'Indiana Jones' Livery For Indy 500 |url = | date = 2008-05-02 | accessdate = 2008-05-06] With the film's release, producer Frank Marshall and UNESCO worked together to promote conservation of World Heritage Sites around the world. [ [ Friends of the World Heritage Adventure Quiz] ] [ [ Friends of World Heritage Teams Up with Indiana Jones™ to Offer Travelers the Chance to Follow in Indy's Footsteps] ]

The Boston-based design studio Creative Pilot created the packaging style for the film's merchandise, which merged Drew Struzan's original illustrations "with a fresh new look, which showcases the whip, a map, and exotic hieroglyphic patterns". [Cite news | title = New Packaging whipped up for Indy | publisher = Star | date = 2007-10-10 | url = | accessdate = 2008-02-02] Hasbro, Lego, Sideshow Collectibles, Topps, Diamond Select, Hallmark Cards, [cite web | title = Indiana Jones Merchandising | publisher = | url = | accessdate=2008-04-07] and Cartamundi all sold products. [Cite web | title = Indiana Jones Playing Cards | publisher = Cartamundi | url = | accessdate=2007-12-12] A THQ mobile game based on the film was released, [Cite news | author = Stuart Dredge | title = Hands on with THQ Wireless' Indiana Jones mobile game | publisher = | date = 2008-02-13 | url = | accessdate = 2008-02-19] as was a based on the past films. [Cite web | author = LucasArts | title = Indiana Jones | publisher = [] | date = | url = | accessdate=2007-07-22] [Cite web | author = LucasArts | title = If Family Adventure Has a Name, It Must Be "LEGO" "Indiana Jones: The Videogame" | publisher = [] | date = 2007-07-27 | url = | accessdate=2008-02-15] Lego also released a series of computer-animated spoofs, "Raiders of the Lost Brick", directed by Peder Pedersen. [cite web|url=|title="Raiders of the Lost Brick"|publisher=Lego|accessdate=2008-05-25] Stern Pinball released a new Indiana Jones pinball machine, designed by John Borg, based on all four films. [Cite news | publisher = Pinball News | title = Indiana Jones | url = | date = 2008-03-20 | accessdate = 2008-03-20] From October 2007 to April 2008, the reedited episodes of "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" were released in three DVD box sets. [Cite web | title = | publisher = Paramount Pictures/Lucasfilm Ltd. | url = | accessdate = 2008-02-04]

Random House, Dark Horse Comics, Diamond Comic Distributors, Scholastic, and DK published books, including James Rollins' novelization of "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", [Cite book | author = James Rollins | title = Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull | publisher = Del Ray Books | year = 2008 | url = | isbn = 978-0-345-50128-8] a two-issue comic book adaptation written by John Jackson Miller and drawn by Luke Ross (""), children's novelizations of all four films, [Cite news | title = Indiana Jones Junior Novelizations On the Way | url = | author = | publisher = | date = 2008-02-19 | accessdate = 2008-02-19] the "Indiana Jones Adventures" comic book series aimed at children, [Cite news | title =Dark Horse Comics for May | publisher = Comics Continuum | date = 2008-02-13 | url = | accessdate=2008-02-15] and the official "Indiana Jones Magazine". [Cite web | author = | title = Indiana Jones and the Magazine | publisher = [] | date = | url = | accessdate=2008-02-09] Scholastic featured Indiana and Mutt on the covers of "Scholastic News" and "Scholastic Maths", to the concern of parents, though Jack Silbert, editor of the latter, felt the film would interest children in archaeology.

Home video

The film will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in North America on October 14, 2008. This will include a one-disc edition DVD; a two-disc Special Edition DVD; and a two-disc edition Blu-ray. [Cite news|title=Indy's Latest Comes to Blu-Ray and DVD October 14th||date=2008-08-12|url=|accessdate=2008-08-20] These will be released in the UK on November 10. [cite news|author=Dave Foster|title=Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (UK BD) in November|work=DVD Times|date=2008-09-17|url=|accessdate=2008-09-18] Among the collectible editions include; Kmart, which contains four LEGO posters parodying those of the films; Target Corporation, whose DVD has an eighty-page book of photographs; and Best Buy, whose edition contains a replica of a crystal skull created by Sideshow Collectibles. [cite news|title=Indiana Jones 4 DVD and Blu-ray Exclusives||date=2008-10-10|url=|accessdate=2008-10-11]


Box office

Unlike most film franchises, "Indiana Jones" is distributed by one entity, Paramount, but owned by another, Lucasfilm. The pre-production arrangement between the two organizations granted Paramount only earn 12.5% of the film's revenue. As the $185 million budget was larger than the original $125 million estimate, Lucas, Spielberg, and Ford turned down large upfront salaries so Paramount could cover the film's costs. In order for Paramount to see a profit beyond its distribution fee, the film had to make over $400 million. At that point Lucas, Spielberg, Ford, and those with smaller profit-sharing deals will also begin to collect their cut.cite news | author = Claudia Eller | title = Ford, Lucas, Spielberg on risky quest for treasure | publisher = Los Angeles Times | date = 2008-04-21 | url =,1,4784324.story | accessdate=2008-04-21]

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" was released Thursday May 22 in North America and grossed $25 million its opening day. [cite news | author = Pamela McClintock | title= 'Jones' grosses $25 mil on Thursday | publisher = Variety | date = 2008-05-23 | url = | accessdate=2008-05-24] In its opening weekend, the film grossed an estimated $101 million in 4,260 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #1 at the box office, [cite web|url= |title=Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) - Weekend Box Office Results |accessdate=2008-05-26 |publisher=Box Office Mojo] and making it the third widest opening of all time. [cite web|url= |title=Movies With the Widest Openings at the Box Office |accessdate=2008-05-26 |publisher=Box Office Mojo] Within its first five days of release, it grossed $311 million worldwide. The film's total $151 million gross in the United States ranked it as the second biggest Memorial Day weekend release, behind "". [cite news | author = Dean Goodman | title = "Indiana Jones" hits $311 million worldwide | publisher = Reuters | date = 2008-05-26 | url = | accessdate=2008-05-26] It is currently the 25th highest grossing film of all time, and it is the second most successful film of 2008, behind "The Dark Knight". [cite web | url= | title=2008 WORLDWIDE GROSSES | publisher=Box Office Mojo | accessdate=2008-09-16]


The film mostly received positive reviews. "Rotten Tomatoes" reported that 77% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 239 reviews, with a 61% rating from selected notable critics. The consensus was "Though the plot elements are certainly familiar, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull still delivers the thrills and Harrison Ford's return in the title role is more than welcome." [cite web | url= | title=Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) | publisher=Rotten Tomatoes | accessdate=2008-05-26] "Metacritic" reported the film had an average score of 65 out of 100, based on 40 reviews. [cite web|url= |title=Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008): Reviews |accessdate=2008-05-23 |publisher=Metacritic] "Yahoo!" estimated an average rating of B from 15 reviews. [cite web | url= | title=Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008): Reviews | publisher=Yahoo | accessdate=2008-05-24] The "Associated Press" reported the film received a "respectful – though far from glowing – reception," saying that "some viewers at its first press screening loved it, some called it slick and enjoyable though formulaic, some said it was not worth the 19-year wait...," adding that J. Sperling Reich, who writes for, said: "It really looked like they were going through the motions. It really looked like no one had their heart in it." [cite news | title = 'Indiana Jones' debut survives Cannes critics | author = David Germain | publisher = Associated Press date = 2008-05-18 | url = | accessdate = 2008-05-29] "USA Today" stated reviews were "mixed" and reviewers felt the "movie suffers from predictable plot points and cheesy special effects". [cite news | author = Scott Bowles | title = 'Indiana Jones' gets mixed reviews on the Web | publisher = USA Today | date = 2008-05-11 | url = | accessdate=2008-05-30] Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4, a rating he also gave to "The Last Crusade". Ebert argued that the only critical criterion for judging the latest film was comparing it to the previous three. He found it "same old, same old", but that was what "I want it to be." [cite news | author = Roger Ebert | title = Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull | date = 2008-05-18 | url = | accessdate=2008-05-19] James Berardinelli gave the film 2 stars out of 4, calling it "the most lifeless of the series" and "simply [not] a very good motion picture." [cite web | author = James Berardinelli | title = Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull | publisher = Reel Views | url = | accessdate=2008-05-19]

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation called for the film to be banned, accusing the production team of demonizing the Soviet Union. Party official Andrei Andreyev said: "It is very disturbing if talented directors want to provoke a new Cold War." [cite web |url= |title=Indiana angers Russian communists |accessdate=2008-05-25 |publisher=BBC News Online |date=2008-05-24 ] Another party official commented that "in 1957 the USSR was not sending terrorists to America but sending the Sputnik satellite into space!" [cite news |url= |title=Indiana Jones and the Propaganda Machine |accessdate=2008-05-26 |publisher=Russia Today |date=2008-05-23] Spielberg responded that he is Russian, as his ancestors came from Ukraine, and explained: "When we decided the fourth installment would take place in 1957, we had no choice but to make the Russians the enemies. World War II had just ended and the Cold War had begun. The U.S. didn't have any other enemies at the time." [cite news |url= |title= Steven Spielberg: "I'm Russian. But that doesn't explain a thing." |accessdate=2008-05-26 |publisher= Komsomolskaya Pravda |date=2008-05-24]

The mixed fanbase reaction did not surprise Lucas, who was familiar with mixed response to the "Star Wars" prequels. "We're all going to get people throwing tomatoes at us," the series' creator had predicted. "But it's a fun movie to make." [cite news | title = Indiana Jones rides into Cannes | work = Reuters | date = 2008-05-17 | url = | accessdate=2008-05-29] Some fans of the franchise who were disappointed with the film adopted the term "nuked the fridge", based on the scene in the film, to denote the point in a movie series when it has passed its peak and crossed into the level of the absurd, similar to "jumping the shark". This phrase has since appeared across the Internet. [cite news | url= | title=‘Jump the Shark,’ Meet ‘Nuke the Fridge’ | date = 2008-07-14 | work=Newsweek | accessdate=2008-07-07] "South Park" parodied the film in the episode "The China Probrem", broadcast some five months after the film's release. [cite news|author=Carl Cortez|title=South Park - Season Twelve - The China Probrem|work=iF Magazine|date=2008-10-09|url=|accessdate=2008-10-09] David Koepp reflects, "I knew I was going to get hammered from a number of quarters [but] what I liked about the way the movie ended up playing was it was popular with families. I like that families really embraced it." [cite news|author=Shawn Adler|title=Shia LaBeouf Defends 'Nuking The Fridge' And Other Fantastical 'Indy 4' Moments|work=MTV|date=2008-09-16|url=|accessdate=2008-09-16] A CinemaScore survey conducted during its opening weekend indicated a general "B" rating. [cite news|author=Joshua Rich|title='Indiana Jones 4' Digs Big Box Office|work=Entertainment Weekly|date=2008-05-22|url=,,20202447,00.html|accessdate=2008-10-11]


* Cite book
last = Rinzler
first = J.W.
authorlink =
coauthors = Laurent Bouzereau
title = The Complete Making of Indiana Jones
publisher = Random House
year = 2008
isbn = 9780091926618

External links

* [ Official site]

Box Office Leaders USA
before =
date = May 25
year = 2008
after =

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