Earlier today, ComingSoon.net had a chance to talk to director Steven Spielberg about next summer’s highly-anticipated Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, starring Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone, Karen Allen, John Hurt and Jim Broadbent, as well as his other projects in the works like Tintin and the Transformers sequel.
Before we met the remarkable and legendary director at the Amblin offices on the Universal Studios lot, we were shuttled to craft services near the set for lunch. While we weren’t allowed on-set, which was somewhat disappointing but understandable, we did catch a glimpse of Harrison Ford in full costume grabbing a bite to eat as we left the area and that made not seeing the set quite alright. He appeared to be amazingly fit in his Indy outfit and we couldn’t believe how great the 64-year-old looked as he quickly flashed his award-winning grin.
A few minutes later, we met Spielberg in a private screening room where he enthusiastically greeted us sporting his usual dressed-down-with-ball-cap look. Spielberg was gracious with his time and while he talked with us a few minutes, he was upfront about not wanting to answer any questions about the movie. Of course as journalists, we had to try and this is what we got:
Production is two days away from wrapping and the director raved about how great it was to have Ford back and how amazed he was that he did the majority of his own stunts. He said, looking back to the last film, which was 18 years ago, he couldn’t tell the difference between the action star from then to now because he’s still that good. He also told us that the Russians are the villains in the film and he hired Russian actors to ensure accuracy with their accents.
He went on to say that the fourth installment of the “Indiana Jones” franchise is shot on film and not digital, despite Lucas’ encouragements of doing so because he is old-fashioned, and he added that if the people before him, who he considered great directors, did it on film then that’s good enough for him.
Spielberg then talked about what a great addition Shia LaBeouf has been and how he’s been doing all of his own stunts, too. Speaking of LaBeouf, Spielberg told us there are going to be multiple “Transformers” films that the hot young actor is signed on to do and that there’s already a story for the second one, but production depends on the pending writer’s strike.
In addition to Transformers and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the industrious director talked about Tintin, a project he’s working on with Peter Jackson, based on the popular graphic novels by Belgian artist Hergé. He said that as of now there are only two directors with Jackson directing the first installment, himself directing the second movie, and if they don’t hire another director, the two would co-direct the third. Jackson will shoot his movie in New Zealand and Spielberg will shoot in the States, and Spielberg said the two are very collaborative and that the film will be using motion-capture, which is still new to him.
As if meeting Spielberg in person and listening to him talk wasn’t enough, he also signed limited edition “Indy 4” posters for all of us. It was a great afternoon for everyone, to say the least.