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Why Is Shia LaBeouf Not in ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’? Mutt Williams’ Fate Revealed

Why Is Shia LaBeouf Not In Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Shia LaBeouf arrives for the premiere of ‘Honey Boy’ Chris Chew/UPI/Shutterstock

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny does not feature Indy’s son, Mutt Williams, but his absence doesn’t go unexplained. [Spoilers ahead!]

Mutt, played by Shia LaBeouf, was introduced in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as a 1950s greaser who was looking for his abducted mother and turned to everyone’s favorite archaeologist for help. Indiana (Harrison Ford) helped reunite Mutt with his mom  — only to realize that she is his ex-girlfriend Marion Ravenswood (Karen Allen), who never told her former flame that they were expecting a child.

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Despite making Mutt such a pivotal character in Crystal Skull, the 2023 sequel doesn’t include LaBeouf’s character, despite taking place 12 years after they first met. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny  — which takes place 12 years after the father-son pair met — reveals that Mutt died.

When Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) asks Indiana where he would go if  used Archimedes’ dial, which is believed to take people through time, the explorer says he’d prevent Mutt from enlisting in the military. He voluntarily served in Vietnam, which Indiana claims was just a move to irritate him. Mutt’s death was the beginning of the end of Indiana and Marion’s marriage.

Prior to the movie hitting theaters on June 30, director James Mangold promised Entertainment Weekly in December 2022 that viewers would “find out what happened” to Mutt. (News broke five years prior that LaBeouf would not reprise his role.)

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Earlier this month, Mangold, 59, explained that he was more interested in giving Indiana a female companion, who arrives in the form of his goddaughter, Helena.

“I think the point I had was that when I came on, I wanted to capture that wonderful energy between Indy and an intrepid female character,” Mangold told Variety ahead of the film’s release. “So that was my first goal, and there’s only so many people you can edge into a picture.”

Why Is Shia LaBeouf Not In Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Harrison Ford and Shia Labeouf in ‘Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull’ Lucasfilm/Paramount Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

It may not have been a surprise to diehard fans that LaBeouf, now 37, was not invited to return after he criticized his installment of the franchise in a 2010 interview with the Los Angeles Times.

“I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished,” LaBeouf said at the time. “If I was going to do it twice, my career was over. So this was fight-or-flight for me. The actor’s job is to make it come alive and make it work, and I couldn’t do it.”

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He added: “I’ll probably get a call. But he needs to hear this. I love him. I love Steven [Spielberg, director of Crystal Skull]. I have a relationship with Steven that supersedes our business work. And believe me, I talk to him often enough to know that I’m not out of line. And I would never disrespect the man. I think he’s a genius, and he’s given me my whole life. He’s done so much great work that there’s no need for him to feel vulnerable about one film. But when you drop the ball you drop the ball.”

Ford, now 80, famously slammed LaBeouf for openly taking shots at their movie. “I think I told him he was a f–king idiot,” the Star Wars actor said during a 2011 appearance on Today. “As an actor, I think it’s my obligation to support the film without making a complete ass of myself. Shia is ambitious, attentive and talented — and he’s learning how to deal with a situation which is very unique and difficult.”

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is in theaters now.

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