It seems there will be one mystery Indiana Jones will never solve: the whereabouts of his son Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf).
David Koepp, screenwriter of Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and the developing fifth Jones film, recently told Entertainment Weekly that the poorly received character will not return when Harrison Ford puts on the fedora again. “The Shia LaBeouf character is not in the film,” Koepp said bluntly.
LaBeouf’s appearance coincided with his ascent as director Steve Spielberg’s new protege and the media taking him to task for bizarre twenty-something behavior. To many, the character of Mutt Williams felt like The Simpsons parody character Poochie: a “cool” guy with “youth appeal” meant to breathe new life into an aging series. Stealing the imagery of Marlon Brando from The Wild One, Williams took Indy on a bike chase through his university — admittedly, one of the better sequences in the film — and fought Soviets in a CGI jungle; one of the film’s worst moments.
The actor’s behavior following the release of the film saw him falling out of favor with Spielberg and losing his starring role in The Transformers series. Apparently, his Sam Witwicky character in that series was killed off screen. It is unclear if Mutt Williams will suffer a similar fate, but his once promising future in the Jones world appears to be at an end.
Koepp also said the new script is something he, Spielberg and Ford are “mostly happy with,” and hopes it will be the director’s next project.