After 15 years away from our screens the one and only Indiana Jones finally returns in the fifth movie outing for the immortal archaeologist, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. As well as being the first film in the franchise not to have Steven Spielberg at the helm, with Logan‘s James Mangold instead slipping into his enormous shoes, Dial of Destiny also has the misfortune of steering the series back on the right track after 2008’s infamous Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
On top of the off-putting CGI, the inclusion of aliens, and that dang “surviving a nuclear bomb in a fridge” sequence, one element of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that has long been disliked is the character of Mutt Williams, as played by Shia LaBeouf, who is memorably outed as Henry Jones III over the course of the movie’s story, making him the long-lost son of Indy and Marion Ravenwood. While Karen Allen reprises her role as Indy’s wife in Dial, is LaBeouf also back in action?
Is Shia LeBeouf back as Mutt Williams in Indiana Jones 5?
To put it simply, no, LaBeouf does not reprise his role as Mutt/Henry the Third in Dial of Destiny. You may think this might have something to do with the actor’s problematic behavior in recent years and allegations that have been made against him, but actually there has been no intention for the Indy franchise to bring Mutt back in any form for many years now.
In 2017, screenwriter David Koepp, who worked on an earlier version of the film, confirmed LaBeouf would not be asked back. As well as Mutt’s poor reception with audiences, this decision was likely at least partially informed by a falling out between LaBeouf and his on-screen father Ford. In 2010, LeBeouf publicly bad-mouthed Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which lead Ford to brand him “a [expletive] idiot.”
For confirmation that this casting decision wasn’t reversed once Mangold came aboard, the director reaffirmed in December 2022 that Mutt will not feature in the movie, but protectors of Indy canon don’t need to worry about him being awkwardly wiped from existence as he will be referenced:
“LaBeouf and his character will not be in Dial of Destiny but we will find out what happened to him.”
As his only child (unless you count The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles as part of continuity), Mutt is obviously a major part of Indy’s life, so it’s only right that Mutt’s whereabouts will be explained in the film, even if it was the right decision to leave LaBeouf out of this already very busy movie.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny opens in theaters on June 30.