Indiana Jones' son Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) isn't going to be in the upcoming Indiana Jones 5, according to screenwriter David Koepp. This news doesn't exactly come as a surprise, given that critics and general audiences weren't exactly enthralled by either the Mutt character or LaBeouf's performance as "Henry Jones III" during his appearance in 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. LaBeouf went on to publicly dismiss Indiana Jones director Steven Spielberg as being "less a director [than a] company" in 2016, though the actor later expressed regret over his choice of words.
Mutt won't be the first main character featured in an Indiana Jones movie to not return in a subsequent sequel. Most notably, the characters Short Round and Willie Scott have neither returned nor been referenced since the duo's appearance in 1984's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, no doubt in part due to Spielberg's publicly-admited disappointment with the film. At the same time, Indiana Jones franchise producer Frank Marshall has described Indiana Jones 5 as being a "continuation" of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull's storyline, suggesting that there will be elements carried over from the latter film besides Harrison Ford as the adventuring Dr. Jones.
Koepp, who previously collaborated as a screenwriter with Spielberg on Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, offered EW a development update on his Indiana Jones 5 script, in the process confirming that "the Shia LaBeouf character is not in the film." He went on to add that "we’ve got a script we’re mostly happy with" for the fifth Indiana Jones movie, indicating that the project shouldn't have any trouble making its current 2020 theatrical release date.
It shouldn't be too difficult for Koepp and Spielberg to explain Mutt's absence during the events of Indiana Jones 5, all things considered. Although Kingdom of the Crystal Skull briefly alluded to the idea of Mutt following in his father's footsteps during its final scene (where Mutt nearly puts on Indy's iconic hat, before his old man beats him to the punch), it doesn't require a huge leap in logic to assume that Mutt would be too busy with other things in his life - like going to school, for instance - to tag along with Indiana on his next expedition to recover some mysterious, long-lost artifact. Whether or not Mutt's mother and Indiana's now-wife, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) also won't be returning in Indiana Jones 5, is another matter altogether.
Spielberg is currently in post-production on the historical drama The Papers ahead of its theatrical release this December and has the sci-fi novel adaptation Ready Player One gearing up to hit theaters three months after that, in March of next year. It's possible that the director will tackle a smaller project (like The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara) before he returns to the world of Indiana Jones thereafter, but Koepp told EW that his screenplay for Indiana Jones 5 is far enough along that "hopefully it’ll be his next film." If so, it might not be too long before we find out which familiar characters will be coming back for the fifth Indiana Jones movie (besides its namesake), instead of simply who won't be returning.
- Indiana Jones 5 (2021) release date: Jul 09, 2021