It goes back further than you might expect. And includes figures you probably did not suspect.
“RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK”
Story Conference Transcript
January 23, 1978 thru January 27, 1978
George Lucas (G), Steven Spielberg (S), Larry Kasdan (L)
G — We have to get them cemented into a very strong relationship. A bond.
L — I like it if they already had a relationship at one point. Because then you don’t have to build it.
G — I was thinking that this old guy could have been his mentor. He could have known this little girl when she was just a kid. Had an affair with her when she was eleven.
L — And he was forty-two.
G — He hasn’t seen her in twelve years. Now she’s twenty-two. It’s a real strange relationship.
S — She had better be older than twenty-two.
G — He’s thirty-five, and he knew her ten years ago when he was twenty-five and she was only twelve.
G — It would be amusing to make her slightly young at the time.
S — And promiscuous. She came onto him.
G — Fifteen is right on the edge. I know it’s an outrageous idea, but it is interesting. Once she’s sixteen or seventeen it’s not interesting anymore. But if she was fifteen and he was twenty-five and they actually had an affair the last time they met. And she was madly in love with him and he…
S — She has pictures of him.
G — There would be a picture on the mantle of her, her father, and him. She was madly in love with him at the time and he left her because obviously it wouldn’t work out. Now she’s twenty-five and she’s been living in Nepal since she was eighteen. It’s not only that they like each other, it’s a very bizarre thing, it puts a whole new perspective on this whole thing. It gives you lots of stuff to play off of between them. Maybe she still likes him. It’s something he’d rather forget about and not have come up again. This gives her a lot of ammunition to fight with.
S — In a way, she could say, “You’ve made me this hard.”
G — This is a resource that you can either mine or not. It’s not as blatant as we’re talking about. You don’t think about it that much. You don’t immediately realize how old she was at the time. It would be subtle. She could talk about it. “I was jail bait the last time we were together.” She can flaunt it at him, but at the same time she never says, “I was fifteen years old.” Even if we don’t mention it, when we go to cast the part we’re going to end up with a woman who’s about twenty-three and a hero who’s about thirty-five.
S — She is the daughter of the professor who our hero was under the tutelege of. She has this little fragment of the map.
G — He doesn’t have to have the fragment in hand. All he has to do is get a copy of it, make a rubbing of it.
L — (this section is not clear, something about the fragments and how he gets them)