Indiana Jones Remake Documentary ‘Raiders!’ Coming To Theaters

raiders of the lost ark indiana jones
You should see how this shot in Raiders of the Lost Ark looks with a teenager. Paramount Pictures

The story told in the documentary Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made captured the hearts of movie-lovers everywhere: a handful of 80’s teens made a shot-for-shot fan remake of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now Drafthouse Films—the eccentric label that brought us Dangerous Men, Roar, The Visitor, and Miami Connection—has picked up Raiders! for distribution and theatrical release in 2016.

One of the finest entertainments ever created, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost  Ark, has inspired uncountable thousands of filmmakers and artists. But friends Chris Stompolos, Eric Zala, and Jayson Lamb took fandom to the next level, painstakingly recreating Raiders of the Lost Ark over seven summer breaks. 

‘Raiders!’ Documentary Trailer

That would have been the end of the story had Eli Roth not come across a copy of their finished Indiana Jones remake in high school and passed it on to legendary movie nerd Harry Knowles, who screened the fan film at his Butt-Numb-a-Thon film festival. 

Now we’ll get to see the story behind the story, when Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made hits theaters and VOD.

Here’s the full announcement from Drafthouse Films:

“DRAFTHOUSE FILMS DISCOVERS “RAIDERS!: THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE”Festival sensation about a 30-year journey to complete a reenactment of Spielberg’s adventure film to hit theaters and On Demand in 2016

AUSTIN, TEXAS- Wednesday, January 6, 2016— Drafthouse Films has acquired the worldwide rights to Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen’s Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, a documentary about two friends’ lifelong journey to complete their passion project: a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark. An inspiring testament to creative passion and the powerful role of cinema, Raiders! has been a hit on the festival circuit, screening at such festivals as SXSW, DOC NYC, Fantasia International Film Festival and more.

After Steven Spielberg's classic film was released almost 35 years ago, three 11-year-old boys from Mississippi set out on what would become a 7-year-long labor of love and tribute to their favorite film: a faithful, shot-for-shot adaptation of the action adventure film. They finished every scene...except one; the film's explosive airplane setpiece.

Over two decades later, the trio reunited with the original cast members from their childhood in order to complete their masterpiece. Featuring interviews with John Rhys Davies, Eli Roth and more, Raiders! is the story of the project’s culmination, chronicling the friends' dedication to their artistic vision—mixed in with some movie magic—to create the greatest fan film ever made.Raiders! is a perfect brand fit for us,” said Drafthouse Films COO James Emanuel Shapiro. “And we’re proud to continue the legacy of the truly greatest fan film ever made!”

"We couldn't be happier in partnering with a bunch of true film fans like Drafthouse Films to release Raiders!.” said director Tim Skousen. “It's the perfect match for our story about three film crazed kids spending their entire childhood recreating the all-time classic, Raiders of the Lost Ark.""Alamo Drafthouse and Tim League were instrumental in these kids' adaptation being discovered over a decade ago,” said director Jeremy Coon, “And they have been so supportive as we made our documentary over the last two years. It's great to keep it in the family with a Drafthouse Films release. We couldn't be more thrilled.”

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made will see a limited theatrical release across North America in the summer of 2016, alongside a variety of VOD and digital platforms, with a Blu-ray/DVD release to follow later in the year.

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is a production of Jeremy Coon Productions, and was produced by Coon and Skousen. Kyle Newman executive produced. The documentary’s main subjects are Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb. The deal was negotiated by James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Linzee Troubh on behalf of Cinetic Media.”

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