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Will an Indiana Jones protege soon snatch the iconic wide-brimmed fedora from atop Harrison Ford’s head? Perhaps, but it won’t be Mutt Williams — a.k.a. Indy’s son, Henry Jones III — the character Shia LaBeouf played in 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
“Harrison plays Indiana Jones, that I can certainly say,” screenwriter David Koepp, who has penned a script for the fifth film in the storied Indiana Jones franchise, tells EW. “And the Shia LaBeouf character is not in the film.”
Koepp’s confirmation follows wide speculation that Ford, who originated the role of the globetrotting adventurer in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, would eventually abdicate his throne to a younger actor as the series progressed under Steven Spielberg’s direction. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull‘s ending even teased LaBeouf’s character’s potential future in the series, with a closing scene that saw the iconic headpiece ride a breeze and land at the Even Stevens actor’s feet, before Ford swooped in to grab it out of his hands and place it back on his own head.
While Mutt won’t be embarking on any perilous journeys alongside his father any time soon, Koepp says he and Spielberg are largely satisfied with the current version of the screenplay, and production could begin in the near future.
“We’re plugging away at it. In terms of when we would start, I think that’s up to Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Ford,” he continues, playfully teasing that the plot will involve “some precious artifact that they’re all looking for” throughout the film. “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.”
After appearing in Crystal Skull, LaBeouf, whose representatives did not return EW’s request for comment, criticized the production in a 2010 interview with the Los Angeles Times. He told the paper he felt as if he “dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished,” and that Ford wasn’t happy with the film either. Ford later responded by calling his costar a “f—g idiot” for his comments.