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The Unfilmed Ark Warning Scene For Raiders Of The Lost Ark Is Quite Explanatory

After years of waiting, fans are just months away from taking one final trek with Hollywood's most unconventional archaeologist. Starring Harrison Ford once more in the leading role, "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" is due out during the very crowded summer of 2023, alongside genre beasts like "The Flash" and "Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse." In the first trailer (released at Brazil's CCXP event), it's already clear that this swan song is going to take many cues from Indy's greatest hits — which may have some fans gearing up for a marathon of the original three films (or four, if you're a masochist).

In the very first entry, "Raiders of the Lost Ark," fans can look forward to experiencing one of the most horrifying and exhilarating twist-climaxes any action movie has to offer. With Indy and the gang incapacitated and the Ark of the Covenant firmly in the hands of villainous Nazis, all hope seems lost — until Major Arnold Toht (Ronald Lacey) dares to look upon the Ark with his own eyes. Shockingly, he and his companions instantly begin to melt (with the help of some seriously convincing special effects) and burst into flame. While the scene was likely very surprising to viewers upon their first watching, a deleted scene from the film actually foreshadowed this event well before it occurred.

The original script really laid it on thick

According to TheRaider.net — a fan site that catalogs lost media relating to the "Indiana Jones" franchise — there were originally a few lines of dialogue toward the beginning of the film that very explicitly explained exactly what would happen should anyone choose to touch or look upon the Ark. When Indy and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) seek Imam's (Tutte Lemkow) help to understand Marion Ravenwood's (Karen Allen) medallion, he originally warned them of the Ark's power and the consequences of treating it improperly.

Later, when Indy and Sallah first uncover the Ark itself from the Well of Souls, another Ark-related line was cut. When Sallah excitedly attempts to touch the vessel, Indy stresses Imam's warning once more — leading to the pair using poles to transport the ancient artifact for the remainder of the film. While the inclusion of these two moments would in some ways set up the film's ending more clearly, it would have also deprived it of the shock and horror the scene achieved without prior warning.