Indiana Jones: Steven Spielberg’s cheeky 007 reference after being rejected for Bond job

Indiana Jones: Harrison Ford discusses shooting fifth film

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Spielberg is a long-time fan of the iconic James Bond franchise. The director has previously revealed one of his biggest goals was to helm a 007 film. Speaking on an Ask Me Anything (AMA) in 2011, Spielberg said: “When I first started making movies, the only franchise I cared about and wanted to be part of was James Bond. When I started out as a TV director, my pie-in-the-sky dream was to make a little movie that would get some notoriety, and then [Bond producer] Cubby Broccoli would call me and ask me to direct the next James Bond picture.” He added: “But I could never get Cubby Broccoli to hire me.”

After being turned down by the MGM and Bond producer, Spielberg started the second Indiana Jones movie, The Temple of Doom, with a few 007 references.

Harrison Ford kickstarted the movie as the titular hero in a Shanghai casino making a deal with some gangsters, before leaving and tracking down a sacred stone which was stolen from a village in the Himalayas.

The club itself, Club Obi-Wan, was another reference to fellow writer George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise.

The entire club scene was a reference to the Bond movie structure, which traditionally began with 007 finishing a mission before moving on to the plot of the film.

But an even bigger hat-tip to the legendary spy was in Dr Jones’ outfit.

During the scene Ford wore an off-white tuxedo with a black tie and a red flower lapel in his breast.

This outfit is a direct nod to the 1964 Bond movie Goldfinger, in which Sean Connery wore the exact same tuxedo and lapel combination.

The reference followed Spielberg getting rejected from directing a Bond film in the late 1970s, just before he started working with George Lucas on the Indiana Jones franchise.

Sean Connery speaks in 1983 about taking the James Bond role

Speaking to Michael Ball on BBC Radio 2, Spielberg revealed: “I called Cubby Broccoli twice, and after Jaws which was such a huge success, I thought: ‘Hey people are giving me final cut now.’ So I called up Cubby and offered my services but he didn’t think I was right for the part.”

Just two years later, after another cinematic success in 1977, Spielberg tried again.

The director said: “Then even after Close Encounters [of the Third Kind] came out and was a big hit – once again – I tried to get on a Bond film. And now they can’t afford me. So [Bond producer] Barbara [Broccoli], forget it.”

Spielberg told another version of the story to the Daily Mail, where he added: “I’ve never asked again. Instead, I made the Indiana Jones series.”

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Although Temple of Doom was a huge success for Spielberg and Lucas at the time, the director has since condemned it.

He said: “I wasn’t happy with the second film at all. It was too dark, too subterranean, and much too horrific. I thought it out-poltered Poltergeist.

“There’s not an ounce of my own personal feeling in Temple of Doom. The danger in making a sequel is that you can never satisfy everyone.”

Going on to theorise why he was not happy with the film, the E.T. director added: “If you give people the same movie with different scenes, they say: ‘Why weren’t you more original?’”

Spielberg continued: “But if you give them the same character in another fantastic adventure, but with a different tone, you risk disappointing the other half of the audience who just wanted a carbon copy of the first film with a different girl and a different bad guy. So you win, and you lose both ways.”

The film Spielberg shot after The Temple of Doom was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where he cast legendary Bond star Connery as Indiana Jones’ father, Henry Jones Snr.

The Indiana Jones films are available to watch on Amazon Prime Video now.


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