Indy Spirit

Raiders of the Lost Ark: the remake

By Katrina Onstad
Letter from Steven Spielberg, Feb. 6, 2003.
Letter from Steven Spielberg, Feb. 6, 2003.

Letter from Steven Spielberg, Feb. 6, 2003

"In 1989, the third [Indiana Jones] movie came out. I was burnt out at that point, editing the [adaptation] 16 to 18 hours a day on the graveyard shifts at a TV station. I said, ‘It’s done.’ Eric was back from film school at NYU and he watched it and said, ‘It’s not done.’ I said, ‘It is done.’ Big explosion. Big argument.

Jayson was back from living in California with his dad and we were all on the Gulf Coast. Eric called me and said, ‘Let’s go, let’s see the third one and get inspired.’ It was a peace offering. I said, ‘All right,’ so we went, and it got us going again. Eric went back and improved the sound. He was right. It was much better. When it was done, we had a screening at the local Coca-Cola bottling company. Friends and family and champagne. Great night.

Then that was it. We lost touch and went our separate ways. In fact, I got married and my wife didn’t know anything about The Adaptation. I didn’t talk about it. She had no idea I was an Indiana Jones fan. You know, we just thought it was little teenage backyard stuff that no one would be interested in seeing.

I don’t know how [director] Eli Roth got a copy. There are some copies out there in the world, tapes we gave to friends and extras. It had become a cult thing at NYU, and it resurfaced with Eli, who gave it to Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News fame. Somehow it was passed on to DreamWorks, and got to Spielberg. He wrote each of us separately these kind, generous letters. We were completely blown away."

We haven’t heard anything from George Lucas, and we’re told that’s a very good thing."

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