M. Night Shyamalan says he pitched a "darker idea" for Indiana Jones 4

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

How’s this for a twist? Old director M. Night Shyamalan has detailed the experience of pitching Steven Spielberg his ideas for an Indiana Jones movie – one that would go on to become the divisive Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

"Obviously, Raiders of the Lost Ark is my favorite movie of all time, and so this was a dream, to be asked as a kid to go see a movie in a movie theater and then later to be asked by that person to write one of those in the future. I could faint at that moment. It was amazing," Shyamalan told Collider.

"I still have those with all my ideas for that movie," he continued. "I did have a take. I talked to everybody involved and it was so nascent at that time, that movie. Everyone hadn't gotten into a room yet. They were bouncing ideas off of me. So everyone had different ideas of what to do… I had this idea. It was a darker idea."

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, of course, didn’t end up being M. Night Shyamalan’s brainchild. Instead, Steven Spielberg was on directing duties with industry veteran David Koepp (who also penned the screenplay for Jurassic Park) and a certain George Lucas contributing to the story of the latter-day Indiana Jones sequel. It was largely panned – in no small part due to an infamous scene involving Indy surviving a nuclear blast by holing out in a fridge.

But the franchise is set to see better days. Indiana Jones 5 is currently filming – despite an injury to lead Harrison Ford – and all signs points to a de-aged Ford appearing in a classic adventure if recent set photos are any indication. Yet, we still wonder what could have been in M. Night had taken the reins all those years ago.

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Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.