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It was a creative decision that damn near sank the Indiana Jones franchise. When Harrison Ford returned to his iconic role for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, he was given a son. And that son was played by Shia LaBeouf. Now, maybe Mutt Williams was a non-starter no matter WHO played him. But the good news is, the lesson seems to have been learned, as Mutt will NOT be back for the in-development Indiana Jones 5. Current screenwriter David Koepp, who also penned Crystal Skull, updated the status of the sequel and said:
Harrison plays Indiana Jones, that I can certainly say. And the Shia LaBeouf character is not in the film.
Well, that gives us a lot to unpack. If you step back, you can see the final moments of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as a sort of baton-pass from Indy to Mutt, with the famed archeologist's hat blowing down a church aisle, and the son picking it up and almost putting it on. Indy grabs it back, with a "Not yet, kid" nod, and we all laugh... because no one wants to come watch the Mutt Williams Adventures on screen.
So now, it appears that the statement made by David Koepp to EW confirms that the sequel -- as little as we know about it -- will avoid fitting Mutt Williams into the story. That makes us wonder, WHEN will Indiana Jones 5 be set? The movie has to accommodate for Harrison Ford's advanced age, so I'm guessing the story will be set in the 1960s, though Koepp is tight on details. He does suggest that Indy 5 could come together rather quickly, stating:
I know we've got a script we're mostly happy with. Work will be endless, of course, and ongoing, and Steven just finished shooting The Post.... If the stars align, hopefully it'll be his next film.
Adjusted for inflation, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has the lowest-grossing total of any film in the franchise, according to BoxOfficeMojo. The movie wasn't well-received, and now it appears that Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford are chasing after something that they already delivered in The Last Crusade: a perfect ending. We'll know soon enough if they are able to deliver.
As for Harrison Ford, he continues a streak of revisiting old projects. After dipping his feet back into Star Wars territory, Ford is preparing to rekindle a beloved franchise for Blade Runner 2049. Indiana Jones 5 could tie a bow around a once-adored series. Let's se what the brain trust has in store.