Sun Wukong and Indiana Jones

Did you know that Sun Wukong almost appeared in an Indiana Jones film? George Lucas wrote a brief eight page treatment as early as September 1984 (during the theatrical run of Temple of Doom), and later brought on Chris Columbus to flesh the story out. Columbus’ script sees Jones racing against the Nazis to find a fountain of youth in Africa, located in the lost city of the Monkey King (Jones, 2016, p. 368). Titled Indiana Jones and the Monkey King, a second draft depicts Wukong as an evil immortal who forces Jones to play a game of human chess, killing those living pieces taken from the board (Indiana Jones and the Monkey King, n.d.). A full version of the supposed script, incorrectly titled “Indiana Jones IV”, is available online. The end sees a benevolent Great Sage giving Jones his magic staff, telling him, “The Golden Hooped Rod will be a faithful friend. It is capable of one hundred transformations…and will always remain by your side” (Columbus, n.d.).

The script was eventually scrapped in favor of what would become Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) (Indiana Jones and the Monkey King, n.d.).


Columbus, C. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2017, from…JONES_4_2.html

Indiana Jones and the Monkey King. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2017, from…he_Monkey_King

Jones, B. J. (2016). George Lucas: A life. New York: Little, Brown and Company.