By Jen Vineyard | The Playlist December 5, 2011 at 4:00PM
A lot of people have been reading a lot of meaning into something Steven Spielberg said recently. Addressing the return of "Indiana Jones" in a fifth movie, the director told Entertainment Weekly recently that he'd clashed with George Lucas and Harrison Ford about "genre and concept" in the fourth film, "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," but that for the fifth, he said Lucas and he "already have agreed on the genre." Genre? What?
Given that the Indiana Jones films seem to be a genre unto themselves -- action/adventure movies with a vintage cliffhanger-serials feel and a light sprinkling of the supernatural -- does that mean the formula is in for some major revisions? Maybe even a stronger turn toward sci-fi? (Although that would seem unlikely, given Harrison Ford's recent avowal that he "ain't going to Mars.") So on Sunday, while promoting his forthcoming film "War Horse," the director took a moment to clarify things.
"No, no, no," he told The Playlist during press rounds this weekend. "It's not a new genre at all. [All the 'Indiana Jones' films], they're all the same genre. It's all the same genre."
So what had he meant with his earlier comment? "It's just the MacGuffin that changes. The MacGuffin was the Ark of the Covenent in 'Raiders,' the Holy Grail in 'The Last Crusade,' and the skull in 'The Crystal Skull.' That's what always changes, and that's what we always look for."
Spielberg said that the MacGuffin for Indy 5 has been determined, but that the story is still being worked out. How's it going? "We're hopeful," he said. So keep your fingers crossed folks, but this one will be a bit of a long way coming. Spielberg still has "Lincoln" and "Robopocalypse" to knock out first.