Indiana Jones: the crusade to get Connery
IT'S got Nazis, whips and gigantic, rolling boulders - now all we need is Sir Sean Connery.
Five years after apparently closing the dressing room door on his acting career, Connery has confirmed he is considering returning to the silver screen to reprise one of his most popular roles.
The actor says he will read the script for the fourth Indiana Jones movie and, if he likes what he sees, will appear once more as Indiana's father, Dr Henry Jones.
Connery remains one of the world's most celebrated and bankable movie stars and getting him back in front of the camera for Indiana Jones would be a massive coup for producer George Lucas.
Connery has repeatedly insisted he has retired from movies, following a miserable experience on The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2002, when he repeatedly clashed with the film's inexperienced director.
But speaking from his home in the Bahamas, Connery told Scotland on Sunday that he had already had discussions about returning to the big screen in the epic adventure series that has grossed 700m in cinemas worldwide.
The new Indiana Jones film is due to shoot this summer, and after being approached by Lucas, Connery admits he is seriously considering it.
Asked directly if he thought he would be back in front of the cameras this summer as Dr Jones, he answered: "Perhaps."
Choosing his words carefully, Connery then added: "At the moment there's nothing decided. I haven't got the script. Everything depends on the script."
Connery made no mention of financial demands, suggesting money is not his top priority, though he could expect a fee of 10m or more and possibly a share of the gross.
Connery has fond memories of his previous Indiana Jones outing, in The Last Crusade almost 20 years ago.
Steven Spielberg, who directed then, and will direct the new film, once famously said: "There are seven genuine movie stars in the world today, and Sean is one of them."
The third and most recent instalment in the action adventure series, Last Crusade was also the highest grossing. Many commentators put its success down to the witty repartee between Connery and Harrison Ford, who played his son "Indy".
There are only 14 years between them - Ford is 64 and Connery 76 - but that was part of the charm. They both played academics-cum-adventurers. They were professional rivals, and even rivals in love.
Connery retains a unique status, both in Scotland and in Hollywood. "We are writing him in whether he wants to do it or not," Lucas said on an American TV show recently.
Subsequently Connery said the only way he would do it was if the production company made him "an offer I couldn't refuse". He has repeatedly used the quip from The Godfather when asked if there is any chance of him ever making another movie.
Various other possible storylines for a fourth instalment have come to nothing. Then, after all the speculation, rumours and false starts, came the news that Indiana Jones fans had been waiting for.
It was finally confirmed a few weeks ago that a new film will definitely shoot this summer, prompting widespread speculation about whether Lucas, Spielberg and Ford can entice Connery to make a comeback.
Filming is scheduled to start in June, but no plot details have been revealed and even the title remains unknown. Ford is confirmed for his role. If Connery also gets involved, the film will have an unusually elderly double act at its heart, though Lucas did describe it as a "character piece".
"It's going to be fantastic. It's going to be the best one yet," said the legendary producer, who also created the Star Wars movies.
Lucas and Spielberg thought up the idea of Indiana Jones while on holiday together in Hawaii in the 1970s. They conceived it as a departure from realist action movies and a return to the sheer excitement and fast pacing of the Saturday morning cinema serials of the 1930s and 1940s.
Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981) had Indiana Jones in a race with the Nazis to find a box containing the stones on which God wrote his laws. Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (1984) was a prequel set in India, while Last Crusade, which shot in 1988 and came out in 1989, had father and son searching for the Holy Grail.
It came during a purple patch for Connery. In 1988 he won an Oscar for The Untouchables and a Bafta for The Name Of The Rose. In recent years, however, Connery has made no secret of his growing disenchantment with Hollywood and modern film trends.
The only film in which he has been involved recently is Billi The Vet, an animated short for which he agreed to provide a voiceover, largely as a favour to the Scottish film-makers.
He also lent his distinctive vocal talents to a computer game of From Russia With Love, and reportedly received a fee of $1m (more than 500,000).
The question of his retirement was raised again as recently as last August at the Edinburgh Film Festival. "The time has come because of my rather unfortunate last movie," he said. "The cost to me in terms of frustration and avoiding going to jail for murder cannot have continued."
But Connery was always careful to follow the advice of one of his own James Bond movie titles and never say never.
From France with love - James Bond seduces a nation's intelligentsia
DESPITE his undeniable sangfroid, James Bond has never held the same fascination for the French as for the British - but now it seems that is changing.
Last week, French and foreign researchers came together in a conference to dissect, psychoanalyse, criticise and lionise Ian Fleming's debonair creation.
Titled James Bond (2)007: Cultural History and Aesthetic Stakes of a Saga, France's first scholarly seminar on Bond was aimed at developing a "socioanthropology of the Bondian universe".
They had a lot to go on. Bond speaks French - at least in the 1953 novel Casino Royale. He detests English tea. He insists that his tournedos barnaise be served rare and his vodka martinis be splashed with French aperitif Lillet.
He has sported a French cigarette lighter and French cufflinks, and drunk rivers of French champagne (Bollinger).
"James Bond is a fascinating cultural phenomenon who transcends nationality and politics," said Vincent Chenille, a historian at the National Library, who helped organise the conference.
Hubert Bonin, an economic historian from Bordeaux, added: "In France we have the myth of the saviour, the Bonaparte, the de Gaulle. James Bond is a very reassuring figure for France."
The conference was a breakthrough in French scholarly circles. Umberto Eco, Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin have all written seriously about Bond, but the French intelligentsia has been slow in embracing global popular culture.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: East