Finding out how your favorite movies came to be is generally very rewarding and educational. You seek out The Seven Samurai, and thank the film gods that a robotic shark failed to work. At the very least, you can win trivia contests by knowing what Rosebud was, and impress your friends by telling them who was originally cast as Aragorn.
And then there's the stuff you wish you had never known. This week, you may have been one of the Indy fans who eagerly downloaded the Raiders of the Lost Ark transcript, where George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Lawrence Kasdan hashed out ideas for one of the greatest film characters of all time. Cool stuff. Useful if you aim to write books or movies someday. Then I read this bit about Marion and Indy, and their ideas for their early love affair gone wrong:
GL: I was thinking that this old guy could have been his mentor. He could have known this little girl when she was just a kid. Had an affair with her when she was eleven.
LK: And he was forty-two.
GL: He hasn't seen her in twelve years. Now she's twenty-two. It's a real strange relationship.
SS: She had better be older than twenty-two.
GL: He's thirty-five, and he knew her ten years ago when he was twenty-five and she was only twelve. It would be amusing to make her slightly young at the time.
SS: And promiscuous. She came onto him.
GL: Fifteen is right on the edge. I know it's an outrageous idea, but it is interesting. Once she's sixteen or seventeen it's not interesting anymore. But if she was fifteen and he was twenty-five and they actually had an affair the last time they met. And she was madly in love with him and he ...
I know Lucas and Spielberg were pretty young when they filmed Raiders, and probably clueless about women and love affairs ... but I'm not sure that can excuse thinking that an off screen love story between a 12-year-old and a 25- year-old was a really good idea. Even better is the notion that their Indiana Smith would be rather innocent of it since the girl would just be "promiscuous." Puts a whole new spin on Marion's "I was a child!" line, doesn't it? It also puts the age gap between Anakin and Padme in the Star Wars prequels into a new perspective -- Lucas clearly digs age gaps, though at least he grew up to write one that was legal and somewhat more palatable. Becoming a parent probably helped.
But still ... I could have gone my entire life without ever hearing this bit of movie making magic. My love for Indy will never be dimmed (if Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull couldn't kill it, nothing will), but I'm never going to hear "You knew what you were doing" without feeling a little awkward.
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