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Old 08-13-2014, 06:24 PM   #1
Moedred
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Philip Kaufman site interview?

It was nearly 40 years ago when George Lucas and Philip Kaufman sat down for the first Raiders story conferences, about six over several weeks in 1974. I'm digging through interviews but haven't found much mention yet of Raiders. (Here's one.) To fill in all the gaps I'd like to compose a written interview to send his way this year if he'd agree to it. There are many unanswered questions, beginning with the source of the ark article that his mononucleosis doctor (or dentist?) referenced.

Here's you chance to throw in any questions you ever had for the writer/director.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:25 PM   #2
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That interview you unearthed sort of answers my main question: How did/does Kaufman feel (past & present) about his credit/s in the Indiana Jones films? He seems very blasé about it, which was to be expected.

Yes, I would like to know more about the early '70s article that he read. (Who wrote it? What did it say about the veils surrounding the Ark, etc.?)
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:43 AM   #3
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Here's that quote...
Quote:
I didn't actually write any drafts of that. George Lucas and I sat down to write a story. I had the idea of the lost ark. George had the idea of the Indiana Jones character. We talked for about six weeks and then I got an offer to do another movie. About four years later, I got a call from George saying that he and Spielberg talked about the project on a beach in Hawaii, and would I mind if Steven did it? I said fine, and that's what happened.
Here's another from a wonderful lengthy interview...
Quote:
I was developing something with George, we had sort of the parameters of the story but then I went on and did some other things and other projects. Then four years later I get a call from George and he said I’m in Hawaii with Steven (Spielberg) and he’d told him our story. He said is it ok with you? I said yeah it’s great. I didn’t want to write the screenplay and they brought on board Lawrence Kasdan. I sat with Larry Kasdan and then we talked about and then I didn’t really have anything else to do with it after that.
And another missed opportunity...
Quote:
There was his brief employment as the director of the first "Star Trek" movie in 1977. "I was at a Trekkie convention where people were dressed as characters from the show—feelers on their heads, stuff like that. I was 'beamed' down to the stage in a cloud of sparkling dust and introduced as the man who would direct the first 'Star Trek' movie. My wife was in the audience and heard a Trekkie say, 'Oh, God, couldn't they have gotten someone better?'" Mr. Kaufman was in preproduction and had even arranged to cast Toshiro Mifune as the head Klingon when he got a call from his producer. "'We've got problems,' he told me. 'A high-up Paramount executive just decided that there's no future in science fiction.'" The movie was off. "I think 'Star Wars' came out a year later," he adds with a laugh.
And here he talks of others. Jimgrim versus the Nine Unknown for example was to be his epic adventure. I think I've squeezed everything from his site's links, have to list some questions now...
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Old 08-31-2014, 01:02 AM   #4
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That last link states Kaufman introduced Lucas to Jimgrim, and I was wondering if Temple of Doom derailed The Nine Unknown because they're so similar. But this bio says Jimgrim storyboard artist Pascal Morelli worked with Kaufman in the early 1990's, from Henry & June to Rising Sun. Hopefully we'll see the storyboards someday, until then there's the public domain novel.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:48 AM   #5
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Here are some questions to ask Kaufman (if you haven't thought of similar ones already). Feel free to rephrase them as you see fit:

- As the story goes, apparently George Lucas was having trouble thinking of a treasure special enough for his Indiana Jones character to hunt for. Do you recall if he had any specific artifacts in mind before you suggested The Ark of the Covenant? If so, can you remember what they were?

- How much time did it take for George Lucas to settle on your suggestion of The Ark as the prize? Was it immediate or did you need to do some convincing?

- Ernest Hemingway was portrayed in 3 episodes of "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" TV series. Were you pleased with how your own tele-film, "Hemingway & Gellhorn", turned out?
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:10 PM   #6
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He's 81, still writing and speaking when asked. I think the Indymag and Indycast each have the talent to pull this off, once all the discussion topics are researched. He's San Francisco royalty, moreso now that his daughter-in-law is a Pelosi. Not sure of his current contact info.
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