The Lost Adventures of Indiana Jones: Exploring the Unmade Movies

Before the release of the fifth and final Indiana Jones film next week (titled Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny) I’ve been thinking lately of a few of the scripts and story ideas that have appeared online over the years of the Indy movies that never got made. I’ve read and own all of the novels although I do need to pick up some of the comics as there are some great stories there too.

Without further ado let’s dive in and explore some of these unmade movies.

1. Indiana Jones and the Saucermen from Mars

“Indiana Jones and the Saucermen from Mars” follows Indy as he discovers a plot by the government to make contact with extraterrestrial life. This script was penned by Jeb Stuart and would end up being the basis for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which keeps a few elements of the story.

2. Indiana Jones and the Monkey King AKA Indiana Jones and the Garden of Life

In “Indiana Jones and the Monkey King” Indy would be searching for a lost city while coming up against Pirates and of course Nazis featuring two villains called Lt Werner Von Mephisto, and Sgt Helmut Gutterburg. The script was penned by the legendary Chris Columbus of Harry Potter and Home Alone fame. I remember reading this many years ago; I’m not sure if this one would have worked but it had some fun set-pieces; the idea of Indy having an obsessed fan who keeps trying to kill herself is weird however, I do like that a lot of the story takes place in Scotland.

3. Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny

“Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny” follows Indy’s search for the legendary Spear of Destiny (also known as the Lance of Longinus), the spear used to pierce Jesus Christ on the cross.  This might be a minor spoiler but what’s interesting is that the Lance of Longinus makes an appearance in Dial of Destiny. I’m not sure if a script was ever written for it but there is a comic book series based on this idea.

4. Indiana Jones and the Sons of Darkness

“Indiana Jones and the Sons of Darkness” was penned R. Marshall Smith and was a fan script that wasn’t endorsed by Lucasfilm. This was going to be about Noah’s ark but there was also a book with a similar story called The Genesis Deluge which is a great read if you’re a fellow Indy fan.

5. Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods

This was commissioned by George Lucas and penned by by Frank Darabont and had aliens in it but didn’t have flying saucers. I still think aliens have no place in an Indy movie but what do I know?

6. Indiana Jones and the Haunted Mansion

This sounds like an especially silly idea but it would have seen Indy enter an old dark house full of ghosts, but it never really became more than an idea which would be referenced in the beginning of The Monkey King screenplay.

7. Indiana Jones and the Lost Continent

There was never much that was confirmed about this one but it was rumoured to be centred around Atlantis; I still play the game Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis on my Amiga Mini and it’s a fun adventure game. It would have made for a cool movie so it’s too bad that never happened.

These are just a few of the unmade Indy movies that I know about but there have been all kinds of rumours and stories featuring the titular adventurer. I feel like we could have got more movies in this franchise without too much trouble but as it stands we have the five movies and the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles as well as a plethora of Expanded Universe novels and video games to keep us entertained any time we feel the urge to go on an adventure.