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Old 08-15-2018, 01:09 PM   #1
The Lone Raider
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How Much Do the Expanded Adventures Matter?

Supposing that Spielberg and the others wanted to use a MacGuffin with which mainstream audiences were more familiar, the first ideas that come to my mind would be Atlantis, the Staff of Moses, and Stonehenge, just to name a few. That being said, all of those, and many more, have already been covered in the books and video games...with varying degrees of success.

This leads me to wonder what kind of artifacts/MacGuffins are left, given that the Expanded Adventures have - to my knowledge, anyways - covered everything that there is to cover, including relics and lost cities that aren't quite as popular or well-known to the mainstream.

Now, the Copper Scroll might be interesting; however, I don't see how it can be utilized effectively except as a map of sorts to the real MacGuffin, which would likely be a relic of the First or Second Temple. The Ark can't be used, of course, but the Staff of Moses would be an excellent MacGuffin, especially in a Cold War setting, wherein it could be esteemed "an apparatus that puts nuclear weaponry to shame," by the US and USSR. When I was in high school, I actually attempted to write my own fan version of Indiana Jones V with this exact premise. But "The Staff of Kings" video game automatically creates problems for this concept if it were to be implemented into the actual script.

While I and many other Indiana Jones fans may appreciate the expanded continuity, I would think that the vast majority of movie-goers aren't even aware that books like "Indiana Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs" exist. And if they are aware, then they probably don't care. They're there for the movies.

So...how much do the Expanded Adventures really matter, which is to say how much should they be taken into account, when creating a good Indiana Jones V script? Will it be very problematic if the writers decide to use the Staff of Moses or Atlantis, for example?

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Old 08-15-2018, 01:29 PM   #2
Attila the Professor
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Well, and a crystal skull plays a role in threading together the four Max McCoy novels.

I'd rule Atlantis out, perhaps, since Fate of Atlantis is the most important Indy work outside of the four films (and perhaps Young Indy, but there largely aren't artifacts in those). Beyond that, I think the objects of Indy's expanded universe quests should be considered fair game.

That said: how many of them are really worth digging into, without covering territory that the films themselves have already explored, geographically, culturally, or thematically? The Staff of Moses is very directly linked to the Ark; anything dealing with Excalibur or other Arthurian legends is going back over material that Last Crusade trod. (And I don't think 60s England is a particularly novel setting for an Indy film - which maybe suggests Stonehenge is out too?) Percy Fawcett's Z has appeared in a film about him now; plus it's a lost city in South America story, like Crystal Skull.

One of the more evocative options already has two competing narratives fighting for canonicity out there featuring it: the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, as seen in the Emperor's Tomb video game and the Secret of the Sphinx novel. It's handled pretty well in the novel and it's...present...in the game, but those rivers of mercury, the representations of the heavenly bodies above and land below, and even the rigged crossbows are very much the stuff of Indiana Jones on film.
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:59 PM   #3
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I still think the Tower of Babel would make for a great movie, but I don't think they'd touch anything from the games, alas!
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:22 PM   #4
The Lone Raider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
Well, and a crystal skull plays a role in threading together the four Max McCoy novels.

I'd rule Atlantis out, perhaps, since Fate of Atlantis is the most important Indy work outside of the four films (and perhaps Young Indy, but there largely aren't artifacts in those). Beyond that, I think the objects of Indy's expanded universe quests should be considered fair game.

That said: how many of them are really worth digging into, without covering territory that the films themselves have already explored, geographically, culturally, or thematically? The Staff of Moses is very directly linked to the Ark; anything dealing with Excalibur or other Arthurian legends is going back over material that Last Crusade trod. (And I don't think 60s England is a particularly novel setting for an Indy film - which maybe suggests Stonehenge is out too?) Percy Fawcett's Z has appeared in a film about him now; plus it's a lost city in South America story, like Crystal Skull.

One of the more evocative options already has two competing narratives fighting for canonicity out there featuring it: the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, as seen in the Emperor's Tomb video game and the Secret of the Sphinx novel. It's handled pretty well in the novel and it's...present...in the game, but those rivers of mercury, the representations of the heavenly bodies above and land below, and even the rigged crossbows are very much the stuff of Indiana Jones on film.
Yeah, but I think that George found a permissible way around including a crystal skull as the fourth movie's MacGuffin, in that there are multiple crystal skulls scattered around the world, and that the one from the film is distinctly different from the rest. So that works just fine for me, and next to the Ark of the Covenant, it's my favorite artifact from the movies so far.

I've never played any of the video games, and I haven't yet had a chance to read "Secret of the Sphinx" yet, though I would really like to at some point. I've only read the first two of Max McCoy's novels. The Tomb of Qin Shi Huang does sound like a good idea though, or even some made-up ancient Chinese mausoleum inspired by it. Personally, I'd prefer an Eastern-Asian setting anyways, particularly Cambodia or Japan.

Of course, the "Pyramid of the Sorcerer" and "Army of the Dead" are both set in Central America and the Caribbean, which are locations that none of the movies have introduced.

I can't remember - have the Easter Island Heads been covered anywhere in the Expanded Adventures? I wouldn't mind seeing that in a fifth movie. The Oak Island Money Pit could be enticing too, so long as it doesn't make the movie appear a rip-off of "The Goonies" or "Pirates of the Caribbean."

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Old 08-15-2018, 04:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Raider
Yeah, but I think that George found a permissible way around including a crystal skull as the fourth movie's MacGuffin, in that there are multiple crystal skulls scattered around the world, and that the one from the film is distinctly different from the rest. So that works just fine for me, and next to the Ark of the Covenant, it's my favorite artifact from the movies so far.

I've never played any of the video games, and I haven't yet had a chance to read "Secret of the Sphinx" yet, though I would really like to at some point. I've only read the first two of Max McCoy's novels. The Tomb of Qin Shi Huang does sound like a good idea though, or even some made-up ancient Chinese mausoleum inspired by it. Personally, I'd prefer an Eastern-Asian setting anyways, particularly Cambodia or Japan.

Of course, the "Pyramid of the Sorcerer" and "Army of the Dead" are both set in Central America and the Caribbean, which are locations that none of the movies have introduced.

I can't remember - have the Easter Island Heads been covered anywhere in the Expanded Adventures? I wouldn't mind seeing that in a fifth movie. The Oak Island Money Pit could be enticing too, so long as it doesn't make the movie appear a rip-off of "The Goonies" or "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Easter island has been featured twice. Once in the Rob MacGregor book, Indiana Jones and the Interior World, and in the German novel, Indiana Jones and the Secret of Easter Island, just translated and released the other week by IndyMag, available to read for free.

Additionally, they are the plot of the terrible 1985 Australian Indiana Jones knock off, Sky Pirates.
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:36 PM   #6
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I think there is room to cover a MacGuffin that has been included in the expanded adventures before. Yeah I know the expanded material covers quite a lot of ground, but there are things that were done in comic form like the Golden Fleece that would make a good movie, at least in my opinion. Like others have said the trick is not to directly repeat something that is too close culturally to the other Indy movies so far for the next film.
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