Despite taking a loose and often fantasy approach to history, Indiana Jones movies are beloved among most history buffs. In honor of the release of the latest entry in this epic film franchise, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, we decided to share some fun facts about the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, which started it all.
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg Developed the Movie while on Vacation
George Lucas had an idea for Indiana Jones for quite some time but kept it on the shelf to focus on Star Wars. It was only when he shared the idea with Steven Spielberg after they vacationed at the same time in Hawaii that Raiders of the Lost Ark started coming together.
Harrison Ford Wasn’t the First Choice for the Lead
We now couldn’t imagine anyone else playing Indiana Jones than Harrison Ford. However, Ford wasn’t the first choice for the role, or even second or third. He was only cast as the lead after the likes of Nick Nolte, Tom Selleck, and Steve Martin.
Indiana Jones Was Supposed to Be Indiana Smith
Originally, Lucas wanted to name the lead character Indiana Smith. However, Spielberg didn’t think that the name was catchy enough, so he proposed Indiana Jones. And it was definitely for the better.
The Famous “Raiders of the Lost Ark” Shooting Scene Wasn’t in the Original Script
The iconic Raiders of the Lost Ark scene in which Indiana Jones shoots the sword-wielding enemy wasn’t in the original script. It turns out that Jones was supposed to disarm the attacker with his whip, but Ford was too sick to perform such a demanding stunt, so he suggested using a gun instead.
The Movie Was Almost Rated “R”
When Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark was set for release in 1981, there were only “PG” and “R” ratings, and the movie almost received the latter one due to the violent deaths depicted in it. It was only with the help of some editing tricks that the “R” rating was avoided. If not, there would be fewer kids wanting to become archeologists in the ‘80s.