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Harrison Ford filming new ‘Indiana Jones’ adventure

For the first time since 1989, Harrison Ford dons the familiar costume last month  as the upcoming
For the first time since 1989, Harrison Ford dons the familiar costume last month as the upcoming "Indiana Jones" adventure begins production under the direction of Steven Spielberg. Business Wire (Business Wire / The Spokesman-Review)
Jaymes Song Associated Press

HILO, Hawaii – He may be 65, but Harrison Ford still fits into Indiana Jones’ tight trousers.

Many fans are curious to see if, 18 years after “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” Ford can live up to the physical rigors of the globe-trotting archaeologist in the long-awaited fourth installment of the epic series.

Producers of the adventure, currently being filmed on Hawaii’s Big Island, say there’s no need to worry. Ford is as fit as ever.

“I have to say, he looks amazing,” says Kathleen Kennedy, the film’s co-executive producer along with George Lucas. “He looks fantastic in the outfit.”

Actually, Ford knew the hat would still fit but wondered if he could still squeeze into the pants. He did.

The action star, who first introduced the fedora-wearing, bullwhip-cracking Indiana Jones in the 1981 classic “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” is doing many of his own stunts in the new film.

“He’s doing them; he just has a few more ice packs and a few more massages,” Kennedy says.

“And a lot of Celebrex,” adds producer Frank Marshall.

The movie just completed the first of three weeks of filming in Hawaii after spending a week each in New Mexico and Connecticut. The lush areas surrounding Hilo are filling in as a South American rain forest.

Lucas and director Steven Spielberg have not released the title of the film, scheduled for release May 22, 2008.

The filming has created a buzz on this normally sleepy island, known for macadamia nuts and premium Kona coffee. It’s the most action since nearby Kilauea volcano rumbled to life in 1983.

The film’s biggest action sequences are being filmed in Hawaii. Marshall compared one scene to the thrilling, white-knuckled truck chase in the desert in “Raiders.”

“It’s that level,” he says.

Hawaii, which also was the backdrop for portions of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” will be featured in about 20 percent of the film. About half will be from sets in Los Angeles.

Ford, Lucas, Spielberg, Kennedy and Marshall all worked together on the first three films, so this latest is a homecoming of sorts.

“We’re having a great time. It’s so much fun being together,” says Marshall, who has produced more than 50 films, including “Poltergeist,” “Gremlins,” “The Goonies,” “The Color Purple,” “Back to the Future” trilogy, “The Sixth Sense” and the “Bourne” trilogy.

“Nobody’s worried about their careers anymore,” he adds.

The new Indy adventure is set in the 1950s and, in addition to Ford, stars Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone and Jim Broadbent.

One popular character not in the lineup is Sean Connery, who played Indy’s father.

“We would’ve loved to have Sean do a cameo-type part in this, but he’s very much enjoying retirement,” Kennedy says.

She promises that movie fans, who have patiently waited since the 1989 “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” will get the same level of excitement as the previous three films.

“The cleverness, the humor and the tone of Indiana Jones are very much alive and well in this movie,” Kennedy says.

The producers are being very tightlipped about the movie, and the remote sets are well guarded, leading to rampant rumors on blogs and chat sites.

It took some time to get to the fourth film, partly because of the schedules of Spielberg, Lucas and Ford. Plus, they knew they had to deliver another hit.

“The bar was pretty high,” Kennedy says.

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