Indiana Jones and the Temple of Learning: Aging Action Franchise Invades the Ivy League

Paramount Pictures has taken over the campus of Yale University to film the forthcoming fourth installment of the popular Indiana Jones series. “They’ve transformed a whole block of storefronts to make them look like 1957,” reported rising senior Lauren Dunn, an English major, by phone the other day.

Construction along Chapel Street began late last week, and the production team has also set up shop in Yale’s main dining hall. “I peeked my head into Commons but I got into trouble,” Ms. Dunn said. “Someone said, ‘I’m sorry you can’t go in there; we have a confidentiality agreement.’”

Ms. Dunn, who was cast as an extra after waiting in line for four hours along with what she called “thousands” of other aspiring movie stars, is now also proudly bound by a confidentiality agreement. She did divulge that she would be playing a student, and will be wearing “period clothes.”

More details! Saybrook College master Mary Miller, an art-history professor specializing in Mesoamerican civilization, and her husband Edward Kamens, a professor of Japanese literature, have been cast as adult passers-by. “He’s got a fedora, and she’s wearing a suit, a corset and a wig,” divulged Ms. Dunn, who lopped off four inches of her hair for her own role.

Filming of the four-quel, tentatively titled Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods and directed by Steven Spielberg, begins June 28. “It’s the opening scene of the movie,” Ms. Dunn burbled excitedly. “[Harrison Ford] is teaching a class and he hears some noise outside, which turns out to be an anti-Communist rally, and he goes out to investigate and he recognizes one of his old rivals from one of the other movies and he jumps on a motorcycle and ends up being chased by some guys in a car.”

That’s not all. “I’ve heard rumors that the archeological artifact that they’re looking for is the fountain of youth,” Ms. Dunn said. “But I don’t know.”

The pretty blond student said that on Sunday she had attended a barbecue where the movie was “pretty much the only topic of conversation.” Some underclassmen callously commented the Mr. Ford was getting a bit long in the tooth for action flicks (the last Indiana Jones movie came out in 1989), but Ms. Dunn opined that even at age 64, the star, who is in a committed relationship with Calista Flockhart, 42, was still worthy of being clutched while dangling from a rope over a snake pit—or something along those lines.

Ms. Dunn, currently enrolled in a “Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior” summer course, is understandably somewhat distracted from her studies. “I have a final exam on July 6, which is a possible filming date,” she said. “School does come first, although I may be filming the day before my final.”

She added: “I was on the phone with my aunt, and she said to me, ‘Lauren, if they ask you to go to Hollywood, just say yes.’”

Mr. Spielberg’s son, Theo, is currently a rising sophomore at Yale. A Paramount publicist refused to comment on the family connection, or any aspect of the production.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Learning: Aging Action Franchise Invades the Ivy League