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With anticipation-levels for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull hovering somewhere around those of that other long-awaited sequel, Jesus Christ and the Second Coming, Paramount has arranged for the latest chapter of Steven Spielberg's adventure serial to get a suitably overblown premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18. Reports Variety:

That's four days before "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" opens day-and-date worldwide May 22.

The cast, which includes Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf and Cate Blanchett, have already been notified to pack their black-tie outfits for the French Riviera's red carpet unspooling even though the fest has yet to confirm its official lineup. That won't happen until April.

If Paramount expects their release to incite the kind of mouth-foaming, Da Vinci Code-mania that sent millions of Frenchmen storming the Louvre in search of mysterious Sudoko puzzles printed on the back of priceless canvases, they'll have to up the ante. Perhaps their stars can board a Skull-branded Eurostar train at Waterloo station, an atrophied Ford thrilling thousands on the journey to Cannes as he grunts his way onto the roof of a moving diner car for a whip demonstration.