Filmmaking is a complex business filled with alternate storylines and directors’ cuts that could have altered our favorite movies forever. Interestingly, the fourth installment in the Indiana Jones franchise would have been a lot different if M. Night Shyamalan’s pitch had been successful.
After the massive success of The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan met with Steven Spielberg about writing the fourth Indiana Jones movie. In an interview with Collider, the Old director talked about the epic get-together, recalling how fantastic the entire experience was.
“Oh, my God. I mean, it was fantastic. Obviously, Raiders of the Lost Ark is my favorite movie of all time, and so this was a dream, to be asked as a kid to go see a movie in a movie theater and then later to be asked by that person to write one of those in the future. I could faint at that moment. It was amazing.”
M. Night Shyamalan also revealed that he still has the pitch he made in his green notebook.
“I do have my notebooks. I still have those with all my ideas for that movie. I did have a take. I talked to everybody involved and it was so nascent at that time, that movie. Everyone hadn’t gotten into a room yet. They were bouncing ideas off of me. So everyone had different ideas of what to do. When you say that, I have in my head, it’s a green notebook, and I had this idea. It was a darker idea.”
The director didn’t go into specifics about what his ideas entailed, but it’s not surprising that his version would have been a lot darker. M. Night Shymalan is known for creating dark, suspenseful movies with an unforeseen plot twist at the end. It would have been fun to see if his Indiana Jones story followed the same format.
This was obviously years before Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came to be. The film was not M. Night Shyamalan’s brainchild. Instead, Steven Spielberg handled directing duties for the 2008 movie, with industry veteran David Koepp and George Lucas taking on most of the scriptwriting duties. Despite the excitement before its release, the film wasn’t as well-received as its predecessors.
Meanwhile, production on Indiana Jones 5 is well underway despite an injury to Harrison Ford, who will reprise his role as the fedora-clad adventurer. The rest of the cast includes Antonio Banderas in an undisclosed role, alongside franchise newcomers Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Boyd Holbrook, Shaunette Renée Wilson, and Thomas Kretschmann.
Indiana Jones 5 is being directed by Oscar nominee James Mangold (of Logan fame) from a new script he is co-writing with Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, who collaborated on Ford v Ferrari. Mangold took over directing duties last year after Steven Spielberg exited the role. Despite his departure, he will remain part of the film’s production team.
The Harrison Ford starrer, which began shooting at Pinewood Studios near London in June, is the first Indiana Jones movie to be housed under the Disney banner. It will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, original franchise director Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Simon Emanuel. John Williams is returning to score the film, continuing a musical journey that began 40 years ago with Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Plot details for the latest installment of Indiana Jones are being kept firmly under wraps. So fans will have to wait and see what new adventure Indy will be facing. The film is currently scheduled for release in theaters on July 29, 2022.
M. Night Shyamalan’s current offering, Old is doing relatively well despite mixed reviews from critics. The film was released on July 23rd and grossed $48 million at the global box office. Old follows a vacationing family who discovers that the secluded beach they’re relaxing on is somehow causing them to age rapidly, reducing their entire lives into a single day.