“The main thing is for him to be a super hero in the best sense of the word, which is John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery tradition of a man who we can look up to and say, ‘Now there’s somebody who really knows his job…’”
George Lucas in 1978 Raiders story conference discussing the character that became Indiana Jones
“I have read from cover to cover, books like Leonard Maltin Movie Guide, which contains thousands of plot, character, and movie ideas. I encourage my brain to try to mix these themes together in the hope that my mind will meld a new form. This process is called ‘bi-association.’ the joining together of two forms to create a new one.
Jaws in Outer Space? This is bi-association that could be called Alien? Dinosaurs in modern America? You could call this Jurassic Park. Star Wars is akin to Robin Hood in the future. What about Casablanca on Mars?
The story of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves started in my idea files as ‘Robin Hood—Raider’s Style.’ It was there for some time before the concept of framing the story around a Muslim hero and a Christian Robin Hood working together against an evil force solidified my creative direction.”
Writer/Director Pen Densham (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)
Riding the Alligator
And since we’re talking about cloning and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) we must make a point of mentioning King Solomon’s Mines. Though that was a 1985 movie, it was based on a very pre-Raiders book by H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925). Haggard is said to be the founder of the “Lost World” literary genre and you can download his books at Project Gutenberg. In fact, King Solomon’s Mine was first made into a movie in 1950 with a script by Helen Deutsch, and perhaps a movie little Stevie (born 1946) or George (born 1944) watched on TV growing up.
In 1975 (around the time Raiders was first being developed) the old 30s & 40s pulp book adventure hero Doc Savage came to life in a TV movie called Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze.
“Remember the movie Soldier of Fortune with Clark Gable? There was a good deal of Rhett Butler in the character. The devil-may-care kind of guy who can handle situations.”
1978 Raiders story conference
If you want a Michael Douglas/Indiana Jones check out Romancing the Stone—1984. Tom Selleck—High Road to China. If you want a female version of Indiana Jones watch Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Just to name a few, of course.
And though there are reports that Harrison Ford wants to kill off Indiana Jones, apparently Shane Black is developing a new script on Doc Savage.
Related Post: Movie Cloning (Part 1)