Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a 2008 adventure film. It is the fourth film in the Indiana Jones franchise, created by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg. Released nineteen years after Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the film acknowledges its star Harrison Ford's age by setting itself in 1957. It pays tribute to the science fiction B-movies of the era, pitting Indiana Jones against Soviet agents – led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) – for a psychic alien crystal skull. Indiana is aided by his former lover Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and their son Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf). Ray Winstone, John Hurt, and Jim Broadbent are also part of the supporting cast.
The film languished in development hell because Spielberg and Ford disagreed over Lucas' original concept, which featured a more overt focus on aliens. Screenwriters Jeb Stuart, Jeffrey Boam, Frank Darabont, and Jeff Nathanson wrote drafts, before David Koepp's script satisfied all three men. Shooting began on June 18, 2007, and took place in various locations: New Mexico; New Haven, Connecticut; Hawaii; Fresno, California; and on soundstages in Los Angeles. To keep aesthetic continuity with the previous films, the crew relied on traditional stunt work instead of computer-generated stunt doubles, and cinematographer Janusz Kamiński studied Douglas Slocombe's style from the previous films.
Marketing relied heavily on the public's nostalgia for the series, with products taking inspiration from all four films. Anticipation for the film was heightened by secrecy, which resulted in a legal dispute over an extra violating his non-disclosure agreement and the arrest of another man for stealing a computer containing various documents related to the production. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released worldwide on May 22, 2008, and was a financial success, grossing over $786 million worldwide, becoming the second highest grossing film of 2008. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics, as well as mixed reactions from fans.