“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” executive producer George Lucas confirms to TV Guide that with Sean Connery not returning as Indy’s father, the role has been re-written for another character.
Lucas says “It’s just a completely different character, so you’re not invested in him in any way. The fact that that character, after the first part of the movie, isn’t needed doesn’t become a problem. Whereas I think with the scene we had, where [Indy] says goodbye to his dad, everybody was, “Wait a minute! Isn’t he coming back?” So in the end, I think it turned out for the best. Sean just retired and he wants to stay retired, and I understand that. [Laughs] I think he just said, “Look, I’ve done it, I’ve done it.” He was very tempted, you know, and we talked for a long time. But in the end, he just said, “Eh, I’m playing golf.”
Meanwhile an extra on-set in early September revealed to The Edmonton Sun some big SPOILERS about what they saw being shot:
“Indiana Jones is blackmailed by the Russian Army as they are both searching for a crucifix skull in the jungles of South America. They threaten to kill Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) take Indy hostage and find the skull. The Russian soldiers celebrate by dancing to balalaika folk music next to a campfire. Indiana is being interrogated inside a tent, where he is strapped to a chair. Cate Blanchett is also now confirmed to play the Russian interrogator.”