Thursday, January 10, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull special : photos of the movie set , Annie Leibowitz Vanity Fair's pictures and John Hurt interview

Lot of news today about the most awaited movie of the year 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'.
Let's begin first by some insider pictures of the secret decor inside the Universal Studios set revealed by the excellent site, and if all these ruins and vines remember you some decor elements of the Indiana Jones Adventure attraction, it's normal.
As i've said in my previous article about the movie, i won't be surprised at all if the movie set have some reminiscent of the attraction decor.

Here is a little description:
The set was large, tall and the main level lead to lower sublevels by series of small flights of steps. The main level was a bit uneven, had two peaks that indicated man made structures, sported a big dead looking tree, the ground was strewn with dead leaves and rocks, some with crystalline structures. The set was otherwise extensively dressed with mosses, branches, vines, grasses, spider webs. relics and ….skulls. A wall was decorated with carved skulls and there were stones with carvings on them. The set clearly iluded somewhere outdoors and there were devices in the set roof that produced lightnings. Early models of the set were marked with signs in Spanish that read “Cemetery”

Part two of this Indiana Jones news special is about the new issue of vanity fair , which include great photos of the cast by Annie Leibowitz , the one with Ford Lucas and Spielberg is above, and below are the pictures of Shia La Beouf with Karen Allen, and, much more interesting , the first picture of Cate Blanchett, playing a russian villain in the movie.

Here is below the video of the photosession

Part 3 of this Indy 4 special is a John Hurt Premiere interview on 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'
where the veteran actor doesn't exactly confirm, but also doesn't deny playing Indy's mentor Abner Ravenwood.

How did you get involved in the new Indiana Jones movie?

I was invited to do it. I'd never met Steven Spielberg before, and he called me out of the blue. I almost felt like saying, "Oh yeah, Steven Spielberg… uh-huh." Anyway, we had a chat and he said, "Do you want to come make a film for me?" I said, "Well, that sounds very inviting." "In Peru…" I said, "In Peru! Yes, that sounds extremely inviting." We looked into it and there were various things about it — like the time I had to be on set — where I thought, "No, this isn't going to work out." But then I was advised by everybody that it'd be a good thing to do. And I did enjoy it. I mean, look, talk about standing the chance of succeeding on the level that it's intended to succeed…

Not many actors would have thought twice, as it sounds like you did, about accepting a role in an Indiana Jones adventure…

I want to be careful here, because I don't want to make it sound as if I'm anti- the film — I'm not at all. But if I was asked what I would choose to do, it would be lightweight for me, at least for that sort of time commitment. But having accepted it, I enjoyed working with Steven hugely, and we had a great cast. I just wish we'd had something of fabulous interest between each other to act!

Did they show you the entire script?

I said, "I can't do it without seeing a script." They wanted everybody to do it without seeing a script because Steven — you know, "God" — was doing it. And I said, "Well, I need to have a little bit of previous knowledge even if God is doing it." So they sent a courier over with the script from Los Angeles, gave it to me at three o'clock in the afternoon in London, collected it again at eight o'clock in the evening, and he returned the next day to Los Angeles. So that was an expensive read.

Of course, you're not allowed to reveal anything under pain of death…

Well, we signed something. I suppose if I said things that were explicit, they would beat down on me.

A recent report pegs you as Abner Ravenwood, the father of Karen Allen's Marion Ravenwood and Indy's mentor. The man Marion also tells Indy is dead in Raiders of the Lost Ark…

[A big grin spreads across Hurt's face] Hmmmm….

Okay, you won't divulge. What was it like working with Harrison Ford?

I've not a bad word to say about Harrison. He's a proper leading actor. He led the company. He knows the franchise backwards, but he's never cocky with it, he's hard-working, funny, self-deprecatory, utterly charming.

Were you amazed what he gets up to in the film when he's practically the same age as you?

He's younger than me. He's 65, I'm 67. [laughs] Junior… He always was two years younger than me. I told him that when he had his birthday. I said, "You're still younger than me, it doesn't matter how old you get." But he was fabulous, and he was fit, and he did all his fights. I mean, it was fantastic to watch.

How much action does your character see?

Well, I'm all in the second half. I'm one of what I called the Famous Five. You know, [from Enid Blyton's ripping adventure series] "The Famous Five came home tired but happy." [laughs] There was Harrison. There was the wonderful Shia LaBeouf, who also was very impressive. He's very perceptive, smart, again not at all cocky — none of those precocious, unfortunate traits. There was Cate [Blanchett] — ah, no, she wasn't in the Famous Five. It was Karen [Allen], me, Harrison, Shia, and Ray Winstone, who is one of the Famous Five but dodgy.

How was it working with God, a.k.a. Spielberg?

He has the extraordinary knack of being able to make you feel as though you've worked with him ten times before, as though you've known him all his life. That's a great quality for a director to possess. And his notes are very good — very simple, but very good. He doesn't hang about. When he's got it, he's got it.

Did you see George Lucas around much?

Occasionally. George is a bit socially crippled really. Not good with people. So I just left him alone.

Are they doing it the old-fashioned way as opposed to relying on CGI?

They shot as much as they possibly could, but they had some massive blue screens. There will be CGI, but it's based on a lot of the stuff that we shot, so it's not pure CGI. It's overlayed and so on. Steven does shoot as much as he possibly can and that's impressive. I mean we shot on five major Hollywood studios. We shot at Downey, Sony, Paramount, Warners, and Universal, either in their studios or the outside lots. We'd do two days here, then trot off and do a week there and then back to this one, while the other sets were being prepared. And the sets were fantastic, full of moving parts and things that all worked. You suddenly realized that you're almost a puppet. You come on and do your bit, and then you're off to the next one.

And how was Peru?

We never went to Peru in the end! They didn't dare, unfortunately. So we were on the lot the whole time, although we did go to Hawaii for a couple of weeks. But that's not Peru!

Vanity Fair Photos by Annie Leibowitz and video : copyright Vanity Fair

John Hurt interview : copyright Premiere magazine

Universal set pictures from the site

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