Steven Spielberg Had Indiana Jones Producers Scrambling With A Last Minute Idea – SlashFilm


“Raiders of the Lost Ark” famously opens with Indy and his crew trekking through what is supposed to be the Peruvian jungle (but was actually various Hawaiian locales) to the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors. There, he retrieves the golden idol, which was really a prop made by production designer Norman Reynolds based on a cheap souvenir. The following sequence, in which Indy outruns a giant boulder to escape the temple, became a classic moment in cinema history — which despite Steven Spielberg’s guilt, at least means it was worth having Harrison Ford actually running from a 300-pound rock.

But even before any of this plays out, there’s another classic moment. The first shot of the movie is almost as well-known as the temple scene itself, with the Paramount logo dissolving into a shot of a real-life mountain. Hawaii’s Kalalea Mountain, on the island of Kauai, stood in for what was supposed to be a Peruvian peak (retroactively named Mt. Shubet in the 2008 book “The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones”). It’s one of the best-manipulated versions of studio logos ever and started a tradition that carried on through the Indiana Jones franchise, whereby each successive movie incorporated the Paramount mountain into its first shot. But according to an Entertainment Weekly article, actually creating these few seconds of film history was yet another scramble for the “Raiders” crew.

As noted in EW’s list of “Raiders” revelations, the dissolve of the Paramount logo to the Kalalea Mountain was actually a last-minute addition to filming. Producer Frank Marshall recalled how the trek through the Peruvian jungle was filmed in “8 to 10” different areas around Hawaii, and that during filming in the country, Spielberg suddenly had the idea for the mountain fade-in.

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