Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a 2008 American action adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and the fourth installment in the Indiana Jones series. Released nineteen years after the previous film, the film is set in 1957, pitting Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) against Soviet agents—led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett)—searching for a telepathic crystal skull. Jones is aided by his former lover, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), and her son, Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf). Ray Winstone, John Hurt and Jim Broadbent are also part of the supporting cast.
Screenwriters Jeb Stuart, Jeffrey Boam, Frank Darabont, and Jeff Nathanson wrote drafts before David Koepp's script satisfied the producers. The filmmakers intended to pay tribute to the science fiction B-movies of the 1950s era. Shooting began on June 18, 2007, at various locations in New Mexico; New Haven, Connecticut; Hawaii; and Fresno, California, as well as on sound stages in Los Angeles. To maintain 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.
The film premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2008, and was released worldwide on May 22, 2008 to generally positive reviews from critics, although audience reception was more mixed. There was significant praise for the performances, action scenes, John Williams' musical score, and the costume design. Criticism, however, focused on the dialogue, storyline, pacing, and overuse of CGI. It was also a financial success like the previous three films in the series, grossing over $786 million worldwide, becoming the franchise's highest-grossing film when not adjusted for inflation, and the second highest-grossing film of 2008. The film will be followed by an untitled fifth film planned for release on July 10, 2020, in which both Spielberg and Ford will return.