Indiana Jones (1)

A couple of months ago, we were shocked to learn who was originally offered the role of Indiana Jones. As it turns out, we were only scraping the surface – there are so many crazy facts we didn’t know about the iconic film franchise, from the historical figures who inspired the character to the secrets behind some of the most dangerous stunts.

  1. The character of Indiana Jones was inspired by real-life adventurers – while unconfirmed by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, the franchise’s creators, a number of historical figures are believed to have inspired the character, including archaeologists, explorers and even the man who rediscovered the lost Incan city of Machu Picchu, Haram Bingham III.
  2. He was named after a dog – Lucas named the character after his Alaskan malamute, Indiana, who coincidentally was also the inspiration for the hairy Star Wars character Chewbacca.
  3. Kate Capshaw’s dress was eaten by an elephant – the incredibly expensive dress worn by Capshaw in Temple of Doom was all but destroyed in an unexpected act of vandalism committed by none other than an elephant during a scene. Anthony Powell, who designed the outfit, was forced to write “eaten by elephant” on the insurance claim.
  4. Petra’s tourism boomed after The Last Crusade – since the film’s premiere in 1989, the ancient Jordanian city of Petra (the site of the heart-pumping final scenes) has experienced a huge boost in tourism – from a few thousand visitors a year to millions, in fact.
  5. Spielberg was the only crew member to avoid food poisoning – on the set of Raiders of the Lost Ark in Tunisia, almost every member of the cast and crew became seriously ill due to food poisoning – except Spielberg. How did he do it? By only eating the canned food he brought with him from the UK!
  6. Harrison Ford copped a beating – in a recent “Ask me anything” interview on the online forum Reddit, Ford, who insisted on doing as many of his own stunts as possible, suffered “lots of bumps and injuries” during the first movie, tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
  7. There’s more Indy to come – Ford, now 74 years old, looks set to don that famous fedora once more. Earlier this year, it was announced that a new Indiana Jones film is scheduled for release in July 2019.

Tell us in the comments below, what’s your favourite Indiana Jones film?

Related links:

The actor who was supposed to play Indiana Jones

Film stars’ surprising jobs before they were famous

Harrison Ford set to return for fifth Indiana Jones movie