Whip-cracking fun!

Screw E3, rAge and all those gaming conventions. If I could go to any entertainment themed convention it would be the San Diego Comic-Con... The most awesome comic and fantasy related material makes its debut there. For example...

The Indiana Jones video greeting!

Now I'll admit I'm cautiously excited about the 4th instalment of the intrepid archeologist's big screen adventures. Indiana Jones has an exceptionally special place in my heart. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was the first ever movie that I saw at the cinema - at the ripe old age of approximately 2 years and 10 months. And what an explosive, non-stop, action-filled introduction to blockbuster film - monkey brains, booby traps, heart extraction, blood drinking, mine-car chases, hungry crocodiles.

Those images were burned onto my mind forever, no doubt playing a large part in my imagination's formative years. And Temple of Doom remains probably my most watched movie... ahead of even Batman Returns.

So, yeah, Steven Spielberg and co. will have a lot to answer for if they stuff up Indy 4!

But returning to Comic-Con, the film makers did a little something to make my heart soar. They introduced the cast... including Karen Allen, returning after all these years as Indy's one "true" love interest, Marion Ravenwood. Fans of Raiders of the Lost Ark will remember Allen's unforgettable introduction in the 1981 film - as a tough bar owner who literally drank Nepalese thugs under the table. Marion was a fantastic character - tough and confident without losing her femininity; a real old-school brassy heroine, like Margot Kidder's Lois Lane.

Now Marion's back, presumably as the mother of Indy's son (played by Shia LaBeouf, in full-on 60's greaser gear). Let's hope that she also gets her share of the action, and isn't just a fan-pleasing cameo.

Anyway, here's the first official cast pic, with director Steven Spielberg included for good measure.

That's (from left to right), Shia LaBeouf, Steven Spielberg, Ray Winstone, Harrison Ford and Karen Allen in front.

So count me officially excited!

You can visit the official Indiana Jones website here, where you can watch development diary videos, view exclusive behind-the-scenes pics and download some wallpapers. And, hark, is that the burnt Ark of the Covenant box I see being used as one of the site's main graphic elements?

Indiana Jones 4 is set for release on Memorial Day (22 May) 2008.


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