By Margaret A. McGurk
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Raiders of the Lost Ark landed like a thunderbolt in 1981, a rollicking, high-gloss throwback to old-time action serials.
The movie sold $384 million in tickets worldwide, and that was just the beginning. Two sequels - Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom in 1984 and Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade in 1989 - fetched another $828 million at the box office.
All three titles have been remastered for a new DVD box-set out today. It includes a fourth disc devoted to extras - deleted scenes, a new making-of documentary, games, special effects and more.
Even the lush new DVD set cannot encompass the many offspring of Indiana Jones, one of the best-loved - and most influential - action franchises of all time.
Its family tree includes:
One short-lived TV series, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, 1992-93, starring Sean Patrick Flanery, now a regular on the Sci-Fi Channel series The Dead Zone. (Also released as a video series The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones.
Four Young Indiana Jones made-for-TV movies, 1994-96.
Three "making-of" Young Indiana Jones TV specials.
Dozens of comic books. Marvel Comics published a four-part adaptation for each of the three films, plus 34 entries in The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones series. Dark Horse Comics produced eight Indiana Jones stories, some of them multi-part series, between 1991-96.
Twenty spin-off novels.
Sixteen spin-off youth novels.
Eleven "interactive adventure" books (some by Goosebumps author and Ohio native R. L. Stine.)
Seventeen video games (the first, from Atari, in 1982).
Hundreds of web sites, including one devoted entirely to explaining Indiana Jones' clothes and accessories (www.
indygear.com). Also noteworthy: indiana jones.com and theraider.net
The PG-13 rating, instigated after violence and monkey-brain meals shocked parents of tots.
More to Come
Yes, it's true. Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford are on the record with their agreement to make one more Indiana Jones adventure.
Beyond that, the project is cloaked in qualifiers. The key issue is coming up with a script that satisfies all the key players. At least one effort has been rejected already. Frank Darabont, author of The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, is now writing a screenplay based on a story from Lucas.
It also appears likely the new movie will feature appearances by Karen Allen from the original Raiders; Kate Capshaw from The Temple of Doom; and Sean Connery from The Last Crusade.
If all goes right, the movie could be out in 2005. Maybe 2006.
Producer Frank Marshall, another Indiana Jones veteran, delivered a hint about the possible look of the new movie when he spoke in September to the British Web site Empire Online.
"I think we're going to try and rely, like the first two movies, on realism and not try to do too many things with the computer," he said. "We want exciting heroism, we want seat-of-your-pants, skin-of-your-teeth action. We didn't have all the money in the world on the first films and we want to keep that B-Movie feel."
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