George Lucas and Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones films are some of the most ambitious collaborations in Hollywood history. The series borrowed from the adventure serials of the ’30s and ’40s. It featured an archaeologist risking his life to find precious artifacts. Initially, he was going to be a James Bond type. To pay homage to this, Spielberg cast Bond himself as Jones’s dad in the form of Sean Connery. And this was only the start of 007 references.
Jones… Indiana Jones
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Indiana Jones made his screen debut in Raiders of the Lost Ark, details IMDb. Spielberg was already one of the most respected filmmakers on the planet. After the release of The Empire Strikes Back, Lucas was an equally hot commodity. The two men who define blockbusters used their college connection to collaborate on a new adventure series based on the ones they loved growing up.
In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jones is portrayed as a college archaeology professor who moonlights as an adventurer. Outside the classroom, he battled Nazis, warded off evil spirits, and fought off his biggest enemy: snakes. The film was a box office smash, and its legacy lives on. Indiana Jones has now appeared in four movies; the last premiered in 2008.
Through that time, he’s become one of the most legendary characters of all time. Thanks to Harrison Ford’s charisma and collaboration between these two behemoths, the film took the best parts of several genres as it paid homage to a form of pulpy entertainment that has since grown obscure to modern audiences. One of its biggest influences, however, was James Bond.
Exploring the roots
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In many ways, the connections between Indiana Jones and James Bond can be traced back to their shared inspirations, reports Screen Rant. The spy thrillers of the sixties and seventies were direct descendants of those same serials that Spielberg and Lucas loved so much. Stories of a ladies man who travels the world and takes on baddies have taken a million forms. However, both Spielberg and Lucas have been open about how 007 helped shape their take on the genre.
When Temple of Doom premiered, its entire first act is about as close to a James Bond opening as one can imagine. The film, which is a prequel to the first, begins with Bond in a setting similar to 1964’s Goldfinger. When Bond gets double-crossed in Latin America, his escape echoes the same types that Connery achieved as Bond.
Furthermore, cast members John-Rhys Davies, Alison Doody, Stefan Kalipha, Julian Glover, Pat Roach, Michael Byrne, Vernon Dobtcheff, and Eugene Lipinski all appeared in James Bond movies on top of Indiana Jones. However, the best call-back was in the third one, when Bond himself joined in on the action.
Sean Connery joins the Indiana Jones saga
When Lucas and Spielberg imagined Indiana Jones’ father, reports Goliath, they only wanted one actor to play it: Sean Connery. Connery is still the quintessential Bond to so many people. Getting him to revisit an offshoot of the genre that made him legendary meant that they could build off his experience while also connecting a bridge to one of the most successful franchises in history.
The film makes no qualms about its connections. The same gun that Jones’ father wields throughout the movie is the model that Bond had when Connery was the character. Furthermore, aspects of his story can be viewed as call-backs to the Bond films. However, it was a proper homage to the man who helped make films like Indiana Jones famous.
Although Connery passed in 2020, both James Bond and Indiana Jones continue to be box office draws. Thanks to the franchises’ longevity, a new generation of fans can appreciate both.