Spielberg Takes the Blame for Nuking the Fridge in 'Indiana Jones 4'
Even if Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will stand the test of time as more of a skidmark than a milestone in cinema, the film at least still has a legacy for introducing the term "nuke the fridge" which has become synonymous with "jumping the shark." It's not exactly something to be proud of, but it's better than nothing I guess. Anyway, Steven Spielberg appeared at a special screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark at Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles last night, and eventually the topic of the less than stellar sequel came up, and the iconic director finally fessed up that the atomic bomb gag was completely his fault.
Friend of the site, Jay West, attended the screening last night and quotes Spielberg saying:
"I know in Indy 4, you didn't buy the refrigerator and the atomic bomb… I know! I know! But we tried! We tried! I was pushing the envelope! By the way, I take FULL responsibility for that -- that was COMPLETELY my idea! Even Harrison said to me: 'Nobody is going to buy this!'"
So here's at least one bad thing in Indiana Jones 4 that we can't blame on George Lucas (though we think all the cutesy animal stuff and Shia LaBeouf ball-shots were still his fault. But obviously, nuking the fridge is just one of many problems in the adventure sequel. If an Indiana Jones 5 is still in the cards, we hope Spielberg and Lucas recover from the silliness they delivered in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and come up with something that might be a decent end to the franchise before the filmmakers and star Harrison Ford head to that great big movie theater in the sky. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: SlashFilm cites a New York Times article from 2012 which has George Lucas saying that Spielberg has tried to take responsibility for nuking the fridge in order to protect him, because he gets enough shit for ruining Star Wars already. The article says:
When I [The New York Times writer] told Lucas that Spielberg had accepted the blame for nuking the fridge, he looked stunned. “It’s not true,” he said. “He’s trying to protect me.”
In fact, it was Spielberg who “didn’t believe” the scene. In response to Spielberg’s fears, Lucas put together a whole nuking-the-fridge dossier. It was about six inches thick, he indicated with his hands. Lucas said that if the refrigerator were lead-lined, and if Indy didn’t break his neck when the fridge crashed to earth, and if he were able to get the door open, he could, in fact, survive. “The odds of surviving that refrigerator — from a lot of scientists — are about 50-50,” Lucas said.
So who do you think is telling the truth? Maybe Lucas doesn't want Spielberg to get tainted like he has? Thoughts?