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Raiders Adaptation

Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation is a shot-for-shot fan remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark, made in the 1980s.

Upon seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time, three 12-year-old boys from Mississippi decided to recreate the entire film, with themselves portraying the lead roles. They spent seven summers, all of their allowance, and later, paycheques (leading to a budget of approximately $5,000)[1], and nearly every waking moment restaging the over 600 individual shots in the film.[2] The only scene they did not manage to remake was the fight scene and explosions on the flying wing at Tanis -- everything else, including the rolling boulder, submarine, and car/truck chases, were successfully filmed and edited into their production.

Their movie sat on the shelf for years, before underground film critic Harry Knowles managed to unearth it. He showed it at a Texas film festival, where it was greeted with enthusiasm; a copy was then given to Steven Spielberg, who called the boys' achievement an inspiration.[3]

Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, and Jayson Lamb have appeared at film festivals and charity screenings, and have provided workshops to people in teen ages with interest in the film industry.

In 2014, a Kickstarter campaign was set up to raise money to fully complete the film by finishing a scene its crew could not recreate during its original production. This was the aforementioned scene featuring the explosion of the flying wing. This fundraiser was pledged $58,273 by 781 backers.[4]


Indiana Jones .... Chris Strompolos
Marion .... Angela Rodriguez
Dietrich .... Michael Bales
Belloq .... Eric Zala
Toht .... Ted Ross
Sallah .... Alan Stenum
Marcus Brody .... William Coon
Gobler .... Kurt Zala
Satipo .... Clay LaGrone
Barranca .... Sam Cummings
Col Musgrove .... Kurt Zala
Major Eaton .... Jason Ross
Jock .... Don Hawkins
Drinking Man .... John Brooks
2nd Nazi .... Kurt Zala
Ratty Nepalese .... Derek Paulson
Mean Mongolian .... John Brooks
Giant Sherpa .... Jason Ross
Imam .... Jayson Lamb
Abu .... Claudio Rubio
Fayah .... Rebecca Cummings
Dog Man .... Scott Lionberger & Joey Roberts
Dog .... Snickers
Arab Swordsman .... John Thompson
1st German Agent .... Russell Webb
2nd German Agent .... Chad Rush
3rd German Agent .... Brandon Morano
Katanga .... Jason Melton
Messenger Pirate .... Jim Owen
Sergeant .... Sean Cotter
Driver .... Joey Roberts
Tall Captain .... Eric Zala
Peruvian Porter .... Kurt Zala
Eyelids Girl .... Laura Harrison
Clipper Captain .... Jeff Holland
Clipper Passanger .... Alan Stenum
Sallah's Children .... Amber Stenum & Justin Suqua
Ugly Teeth Arab .... Matt Wedgeworth
Tent Soldier .... Kurt Zala
Tent Servant .... Claudio Rubio
Staff Car Driver .... Rachael Beaugez
Water Merchant .... Kurt Zala
Submarine Captain .... Michael O-Quin
Smoking Soldier .... Derek Paulson
Stand in for Brody .... Alan Stenum
Stand in for Toht .... Alan Stenum
Warehouse Man .... Chris Strompolos
Angel of Death .... Tina Pressley
Hovitos .... Hudson Wolfe IV, Glenn Keller, Scott Lionberger
Students .... Joelle Melton, Jayson Lamb, Jennifer Melton
Bar Patrons .... Walter Mullen, Jason Ross, Scott Lionberger, Kurt Zala, Derek Paulson
Street Arabs .... John Tucker, Scott Lionberger, Kurt Zala, Alan Stenum, Chuck Gibson, John Thompson, Mike Federline, Joey Roberts, Russell Webb, Brook Barkesdale, Jason Ross, Clay LaGrone, Phillip Northcut
Arab Diggers .... Matthew Turner, Russell Webb, John Tucker, Lee Tucker, Michael Federline, Joey Roberts, Bruce Duckett, Sonny Miller, Jason Ross, Alan Stenum, Kurt Zala
Nazi Soldiers .... Matthew Turner, Russell Webb, John Tucker, Lee Tucker, Michael Federline, Joey Roberts, Bruce Duckett, Duckett, Sonny Miller, Jason Ross, Alan Stenum, Kurt Zala, Jeff Holland, Derek Paulson, David Curtis, Don Hawkins, Brook Barkesdale, John Thompson, Scott Lionberger, Michael Wyatt, Lee Field, Rusty Roper, Danny Pollard, Sean Cotter, Michael O-Quin
Street People .... David Williams, John Thompson, Danny Pollard, Kurt Zala, Scott Lionberger, Sean Cotter, Jason Ross, Joey Roberts, Alan Stenum
Pirates .... Derek Paulson, Sean Cotter, Jim Owen, Alan Stenum

Film adaptation[]

In 2004, Ain't It Cool News reported that producer Scott Rudin from Paramount Pictures purchased the life rights of Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb with the goal of producing a film based on their experience making Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation.[5][6] As of 2023, however, there has been no apparent development in the project, leading to the assumption that it was cancelled long time ago.

In 2015, a documentary film titled Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made was released. It documents the production of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation and its crew members completing its unfinished scene over three decades later.


The film has shown at the following locations and times:

Vancouver, BC - Friday, May 2, 2008, Park Theatre - Chris Strompolos in attendance - benefit for the Canadian Cancer Society - hosted by Kick-Start Cardio


On film aggregation, Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation has a 100% critic rating and an 82% audience score.[7]

Notes and references[]

  1. "Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation". Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  2. Windolf, Jim (March 2004). "Raiders of the Lost Backyard". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  3. Hepola, Sarah (May 30, 2003). "'Lost Ark,' Resurrected". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  5. Sometimes, The Good Guys Win!!! RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK shot for shot filmmakers' life to be MOVIE!! at Ain't It Cool News
  6. Rudin’s on an ‘Ark’ lark at Variety
  7. Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, Rotten Tomatoes. Critical reception as of June 1, 2023.

External links[]