After first bursting onto our screens back in 1981, the adventures have shown no sign of letting up for Indiana Jones; and in 2020 he'll be back once again for the fifth installment in the franchise.
But while Harrison Ford is still willing and able to don Indy's famous fedora almost 40 years on, it looks like Shia LeBeouf — the actor who was once primed to take over the franchise — has been cut from the series altogether.
Introduced in 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, LeBeouf played the role of Indy's son, Mutt Williams (a.k.a Henry Jones III). It was widely speculated that the character of Mutt would eventually become the focus of the franchise, something that was teased at the conclusion of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull when Jones's famous hat fell at Mutt's feet, before his father swiftly took it from his hands and placed it on his own head.
But nine years later it seems as though Mutt has been written out of the series altogether. Speaking to EW, screenwriter David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Spider-Man) has confirmed that while Harrison Ford will once again be part of the franchise, LeBeouf and his character will not:
"Harrison plays Indiana Jones, that I can certainly say. And the Shia LaBeouf character is not in the film."
And although Mutt has been seemingly discarded from the franchise, Spielberg is reportedly satisfied with the script so far and the film may even be his next project after he finishes up work on upcoming historical drama The Post. Koepp said:
“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.
Although Mutt being written out of future Indiana Jones films may present an interesting challenge for the script of the fifth movie, it also shouldn't come as a total surprise given LeBeouf's previous comments.
In 2011, LeBeouf revealed that he felt he "dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished" in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a comment that resulted in Ford calling his former co-star "a fucking idiot." But far from learning from his mistakes, in 2016 LeBeouf told Variety "I don’t like the movies that I made with Spielberg." Yikes.
A Shia LeBeouf-less Indiana Jones 5 is scheduled to hit theaters on July 10, 2020.