Did Steven Spielberg just pull a Shia LaBeouf?
The legendary director has a message for Indiana Jones fans: Don't blame Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on me.
Spielberg told Empire magazine the film's big reveal, or in Alfred Hitchcock parlance the MacGuffin, that the skulls belonged to aliens was executive producer George Lucas's idea.
I sympathize with people who didn't like the MacGuffin because I never liked the MacGuffin, Spielberg said. George and I had big arguments about the MacGuffin. I didn't want these things to be either aliens or inter-dimensional beings. But I am loyal to my best friend. When he writes a story he believes in -- even if I don't believe in it -- I'm going to shoot the movie the way George envisaged it.
Of course Spielberg didn't go quite as far as LaBeouf has about his own role in the movie. At Cannes, LaBeouf said that he dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished.
Spielberg insists that he still is happy with the film. There may even be a fifth installment in the bull-whip wielding archeologist saga if Lucas can come up with a storyline.
It sounds like Spielberg hopes that the focus remains on tomb-raiding and that Lucas will keep the interstellar stuff for Star Wars.
Oh, and there's one controversial element of the film that Spielberg takes full blame/credit for cooking up. The director said he had come up with the idea to have Jones survive a nuclear blast by hiding in a refrigerator as part of Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls' opening sequence.
Blame me, Spielberg said. Don't blame George. That was my silly idea. People stopped saying 'jump the shark.' They now say, 'nuked the fridge.' I'm proud of that. I'm glad I was able to bring that into popular culture.