One more important piece of the Indy 5 puzzle has fallen into place: the screenwriter. Director Steven Spielberg has tagged veteran David Koepp. The two have worked together three times before, most notably on the original Jurassic Park…and most infamously on Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.
For those concerned about that latter credit, there’s a lot of reasons not to be. By the time Koepp came on as screenwriter for Indy 4, the script had gone through 3 drafts – under the title of Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods – and a year of work for Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile).
It was a notorious process that has gone down in film development legend. Darabont struggled for a year to appease both Spielberg and Lucas, who each had different priorities. By the third draft, however, Spielberg hailed it as “the best script he’d read since Raiders of the Lost Ark” (to quote Darabont) and he wanted to begin shooting the next July. Lucas, however, rejected the draft completely – and that’s when Koepp came onboard. By that point, Koepp’s job was pretty much to make Lucas happy and likely little else.
Now with Lucas completely out of the mix, Spielberg and Koepp should hopefully be able to return to their more fruitful collaborative roots.