Apparently someone named Cindy Pearlman reported this 10 years ago for Cinescape around the second week of May 1999 during the Star Wars Celebration.
Cinescape Online got to interview Rick McCallum again and got to ask him more about Indiana Jones IV. "We finished the script about three years ago. Everybody loves it," reveals McCallum. Then he revealed some surprising new news. He went on to say that the script they had did not connect well with word from Steven Spielberg saying he had just written a script for the film!
Unfortunately the site is unavailable and unarchived that year except for the previous week. I guess Spielberg was writing AI about that time. Anyone remember this? Last year Lucas occasionally said they had worked with 6 scripts and 5 writers...
I don't think the movie's screenplay was ever going to be written by Spielberg, though it's not insane that he would have taken a whack at a "draft." Remember, George Lucas was said to have written a treatment for Indy4 himself after rejecting Darabont's draft. I'm pretty sure he was always going to hire a professional screenwriter to shape it up in the end, but making a pass enabled him to rework the story to his liking, as there was obviously something fundamental about Darabont's script that he disagreed with.
Spielberg also wrote an entire draft for Jaws after Benchley's adaptation of his own novel was rejected. As he stated in the 1995 documentary, he did it solely as an exercise to figure out what he wanted the movie to become, "even though I didn't possess the skills to write it."
I don't think the movie's screenplay was ever going to be written by Spielberg, though it's not insane that he would have taken a whack at a "draft." ... ... As he stated in the 1995 documentary (on JAWS), he did it solely as an exercise to figure out what he wanted the movie to become, "even though I didn't possess the skills to write it."
even though he didnt have the skills, if this is true and it exists id love to see the draft he penned of both JAWS and Indy 4
"We finished the script about three years ago. Everybody loves it," reveals McCallum. This doesn’t connect well with word from Spielberg revealing that he had just written a script for the film.
So, it was not a quote from McCallum, but a parenthetical from Cinescape. They're probably referring to these bits:
July 2, 1998 - ABC's Chicago affiliate, WLS-TV, reported on Thursday afternoon that Steven Spielberg is now working on a script and shaping the plot for Indiana Jones 4.
July 3, 1998 - Steven Spielberg, talking with Cinescape contributor Cindy Pearlman, confirms Cinescape Online's report that Indiana Jones 4 is now well underway. "The Indiana Jones 4 hat is halfway on my head," Spielberg reveals. "I have the plot worked out."
There was also a rumor Spielberg was doing this shaping with Kasdan, but I can't find a solid source for that. Sure would be awesome though. Everywhere else, you'll read Lucas and McCallum saying the script is done. Definitely not all on the same page.
I dug up all the evidence of Spielberg excited about Indy 4 in the 1990's, multiple scripts, and an Eden plot. The Complete Making Of book suggests nothing happened from 1996-2000, but I'm not convinced.
Don't nitpick at the red herrings, I'm sure they're there. Am I missing anything?