The Crazy Raiders of the Lost Ark Remake That Inspired an Upcoming Movie

Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 15 2013 3:40 PM

The Crazy Raiders of the Lost Ark Remake That Inspired an Upcoming Movie

raiders_remake
Chris Strompolos plays Indiana Jones in the shot-for-shot remake of the Spielberg/Lucas classic.

Yesterday afternoon, Deadline reported that Jeremy Coon, a producer on Napoleon Dynamite, had optioned Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made. Coon hopes to produce both a documentary and a feature film about the mind-boggling shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark that Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, and Jayson Lamb took a considerable portion of their 1980s childhoods to make. (They began when they were 10 and 11 years old, and shot their movie over the course of seven summers.) The producer Scott Rudin previously hoped to turn their story into a film, with Daniel Clowes writing the screenplay.

For decades, Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation circulated only on a few VHS tapes, and it became something of a minor cinematic legend. (Given that Strompolos, Zala, and Lamb had no rights to the original material, screening the movie was complicated. Spielberg has seen the movie and loved it; they have apparently not heard from George Lucas or Lawrence Kasdan.) But for the last year it’s been available on YouTube. So when you next have a couple hours free, hit the full screen option, forgive the poor video quality, and enjoy.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

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