Film

Indiana Jones expected to return to the Middle East for latest film

The fifth instalment in the film series set to film in Egypt as part of its upcoming shoot, ready for release on July 29, 2022
Indiana Jones expected to return to the Middle East for latest film

While Harrison Ford may well now be 78 and perhaps not as nimble as he once was, there is still great excitement for the latest rollercoaster romp for that elderly adventurer Indiana Jones, with the fifth instalment in the film series set to film in Egypt as well as other locations as part of its upcoming shoot, ready for release on July 29, 2022.

The film, still working under the title Untitled Indiana Jones Project, is rumoured to be filming in Egypt (for an almost obligatory pyramid scene) as well as Ireland and in the US, though this time round James Mangold is stepping in the director’s chair, with Steven Spielberg on-board as producer.

Harrison Ford is naturally back as Indy, while the cast is also set to include Mads Mikkelsen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (writer and star of acclaimed TV series Fleabag), Thomas Kretschmann, Boyd Holbrook (who worked with Mangold on the film Logan) and Shaunette Renée Wilson (from The Resident). The script is by Jonathan Kasdan and David Koep, while Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are serving as producers, with John Williams once again composing the score.

The recent announcement that Lucasfilm Games is working with video game company Bethesda Softworks to make a new Indiana Jones game, being developed by MachineGames and based around an original story, is helping to ramp up excitement for the return of one of the great Hollywood action heroes.

Bethesda announced the new project via Twitter, saying the new video game would be executive produced by Todd Howard (who helped make hit video games Fallout 3 and Skyrim). “It will be some time before we have more to reveal,” said the publisher. But the company did share a short teaser that featured books titled, Ancient Circles and Forbidden Stones, also a brown leather notebook (which may well refer to the grail diary that featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), as well as a passport, compass, and Indy’s iconic fedora and whip.

Little is known yet about the games’ storyline, but Lucasfilm revealed that the game is a "wholly original, standalone tale set at the height of the career of the famed adventurer".

“Todd is a lifelong Indy fan, and has been trying for over a decade to make this game,” said Pete Hines, SVP of Bethesda’s Global Marketing. “He’s beyond excited to work with the award-winning MachineGames team, a perfect fit for Indy.” It is anticipated that the game will be released to tie in with the film’s worldwide launch.

While Indiana Jones is well known for scouring the globe in search of ancient artifacts and the opportunity to take on dastardly villains, the films have made great use of Middle Eastern locations over the years.

·      Raiders of the Lost Ark

·      While major parts of the film were set in Egypt as Indy hunts for the lost Ark of the Covenant, in fact the film shot in locations in Tunisia to double as Egypt. The ‘Tanis’ dig site was an enormous set built on location near Tozeur, east toward the Algerian border, while the Egyptian desert stand in was the vast dry salt lake of Chott El Jerid, and the area around the oasis town of Nefta.

·     Cairo of the 1930s was in fact the holy city of Kairouan, in northern Tunisia with many scenes shot in the city’s Medina, around the Avenue 7 Novembre, the main tourist spot. It is on Place Zarrouk, near the Mosque of the Three Gates, that Indy famously shoots the sword-twirling bad guy – as is well known it was supposed to have been an elaborate fight scene, but when Ford fell ill the sequence was shortened, ironically giving the movie its biggest laugh. After Indy believes Marion has been killed in the truck explosion, he drowns his sorrows in the ‘Marhala Bar’ – now a carpet shop at the southern end of Avenue 7 Novembre.

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones

·      Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

·     After hunting in Italy and Germany, it transpires that the Holy Grail is hidden in the ‘Canyon of the Crescent Moon’ which was shot at Al Khazneh, the so-called ‘Treasury’ of the rock city of Petra in the Edom Mountains of southwest Jordan. It is a giant, ornately carved sandstone temple facade that dates back to the first century A.D.

Sean Connery and Harrison Ford

The first four Indiana Jones film have also shot in locations in Hawaii, France, Sri Lanka, Macau, the US, Spain, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, as well as spots around the UK, where the films were often based.

May 2021 also marks the 30th anniversary since cameras started rolling on the acclaimed Young Indiana Jones television series. Part historical romance, part youthful adventure, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was inspired in part by George Lucas’ passion for history and education. After completing Indiana Jones and the LastCrusade (1989), he decided to take the big screen archaeologist back to his childhood and send him on televised adventures. From the age of nine to his young adulthood, Indy would cross paths with famous historical figures and participate in significant events that would shape world history. The aim was to inspire a curiosity about the past within young people.

After more than a year of intensive research and script development, cameras first rolled on Young Indy 30 years ago on May 13, 1991. Both onscreen and off, it was the start of a great adventure. Before the series wrapped, it would shoot in some two-dozen countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, the Pacific, and North America, enlisting local cast and crew from each destination, making it a truly international endeavour.

Joining his parents and tutor, nine-year-old Indy (Corey Carrier) embarks on a worldwide tour while his father gives lectures and conducts research. This first scene depicts the passengers at dinner on their voyage from England to Alexandria, Egypt, where Indy would meet T.E. Lawrence (the future “Lawrence of Arabia”) and Howard Carter (future discoverer of King Tutankhamun’s tomb).

Young Indy (Corey Carrier) right, with T.E. Lawrence (Joseph Bennett), left

Across the span of nearly two-dozen feature length episodes, the series chronicles the exploits of Indiana Jones as a young man, from world travels asa child (played by Carrier) to teenage adventures (when he would be played by Sean Patrick Flanery) in the First World War and beyond. Harrison Ford also appears as a middle-aged Indy in the episode Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues.

Each entry in the globe-trotting epic brings Indy to exciting locales and encounters with celebrated figures of history as varied as Theodore Roosevelt, Edgar Degas, Al Capone, Louis Armstrong, Pancho Villa and Leo Tolstoy.

Filmed in over a dozen countries across the world, the series brought cinematic stories to the television screen, with impressive production design, period costuming, and digital recreations of historic environments. Plus a huge cast of star-studded members as diverse as Max Von Sydow, Catherine Zeta Jones, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Lee, Elizabeth Hurley and Daniel Craig.

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