A ‘Crystal Skull’ Character Won't Return for ‘Indiana Jones 5’

Paramount Pictures

It’s been almost a decade since Indiana Jones’s last big screen adventure, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but Indy is coming back for a still-untitled fifth movie. Unlike Crystal Skull, though, the new film won’t be a family affair, as his son, Mutt, won’t be joining pops on his next voyage.

While Steven Spielberg is occupied with Ready Player One and his historical drama The Post, screenwriter David Koepp (Jurassic Park) is hammering out the script, which he recently revealed will not feature one of the most important, and divisive, characters in the Indiana Jones mythos. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Koepp confirmed the absence of Mutt Williams/Henry Jones III, played by Shia LaBeouf. “Harrison [Ford] plays Indiana Jones, that I can certainly say,” Koepp said in an interview. “And the Shia LaBeouf character is not in the film.”

While LaBeouf didn’t receive a warm reaction from either critics or fans when Kingdom of the Crystal Skull first came out, his significance as Indy’s son was a big reveal in the film. Fatherhood has always been a big theme in the series, especially in The Last Crusade which co-starred Ford and Sean Connery as Henry Jones Sr. in a buddy-style pulp adventure. Although Crystal Skull was released two decades later, the movie still retained the theme by introducing Mutt, who was imagined as a rebellious greaser on a vintage Harley.

But Indiana Jones 5 will still be in good hands, with Spielberg looking to take the reins once he’s finished with his current projects. “I know we’ve got a script we’re mostly happy with,” Koepp said. “Work will be endless, of course, and ongoing, and Steven just finished shooting The Post,” Koepp said.…. If the stars align, hopefully, it’ll be his next film.”

Indiana Jones 5 will be released on July 10, 2020.