It's refreshing to see that the two most anticipated films of the Summer - "Indiana Jones" and "The Dark Knight" - have kept their publicity to surprisingly modest levels so far (although most of their serious spoilers can be found online with only minor digging).
Well to add to those spoilers comes a swag of new pics along with some new information from the next Indy adventure - what looks to be segments of the press kit have leaked online. Of course Lucasfilm spreads disinformation like rabbits breed (ie. copiously and quickly), so be cautious. On the whole though, this does seem to match everything we've heard so far though.
First up, the official synopsis - some spoilers ahead:
"This newest adventure begins in the desert Southwest in 1957 - the height of the Cold War. Indy and his sidekick Mac (Ray Winstone) have barely escaped a close scrape with nefarious Soviet agents on a remote airfield.
Now, Professor Jones has returned home to Marshall College - only to find things have gone from bad to worse. His close friend and dean of the college (Jim Broadbent) explains that Indy's recent activities have made him the object of suspicion, and that the government has put pressure on the university to fire him.
On his way out of town, Indiana meets rebellious young Mutt (Shia LaBeouf), who carries both a grudge and a proposition for the adventurous archaeologist: If he'll help Mutt on a mission with deeply personal stakes, Indy could very well make one of the most spectacular archaeological finds in history - the Crystal Skull of Akator, a legendary object of fascination, superstition and fear.
But as Indy and Mutt set out for the most remote corners of Peru - a land of ancient tombs, forgotten explorers and a rumored city of gold - they quickly realize they are not alone in their search. The Soviet agents are also hot on the trail of the Crystal Skull.
Chief among them is icy cold, devastatingly beautiful Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), whose elite military unit is scouring the globe for the eerie Crystal Skull, which they believe can help the Soviets dominate the world ... if they can unlock its secrets.
Indy and Mutt must find a way to evade the ruthless Soviets, follow an impenetrable trail of mystery, grapple with enemies and friends of questionable motives, and, above all, stop the powerful Crystal Skull from falling into the deadliest of hands."
Other pertinent facts revealed in the notes include that the map with the red line element is definitely back. Also John Hurt's character is named Professor Oxley and is inspired by Ben Gunn in the Robert Louis Stevenson classic Treasure Island. This comes as a surprise as he was previously listed as Abner Ravenwood on the official site awhile back.
Meanwhile a gushingly positive review of the film has gone up at Hollywood Elsewhere, claiming it's "the best of the Indy sequels". Editor Jeff Wells admits he's hesitant about running the review (as its a 'friend of a friend' style comments). The review also comes a few days after Variety's best columnist Anne Thompson wrote an article which indicates that the first screenings for the film will be both at Cannes and for press in the US on May 18th.
Also reports of a 140 minute runtime for "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" are now said to be in error. Producer Frank Marshall confirmed to Paramount publicity (via HE) that the film is just a tad over two hours - making it about equal with the 127 minute runtime of 'The Last Crusade'.
Finally comes all the new photos. Just click on the thumbnails below: