In a surprise to probably no one, Indiana Jones 5 will not be Indiana Jones and the Adventures of Indy and Mutt. Indeed, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford’s return to the franchise with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull introduced Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt as Indy’s long-lost son, conceived with Karen Allen’s Marion Ravenwood, and the film’s ending even had a nod towards Mutt picking up the whip and hat if/when Indy decides to retire. But in speaking with EW, writer David Koepp—who’s penning the screenplay for Indiana Jones 5—confirms that LaBeouf’s character is not involved in the sequel.
Again, this isn’t terribly surprising. Not only was Crystal Skull divisive to the point that Spielberg and Co. likely don’t want to include any specific threads in Indy 5 calling audiences’ attention to Crystal Skull, but LaBeouf famously got pretty publicly candid with his thoughts on the film, which Spielberg was none too pleased to hear. At one point in time Spielberg somewhat mentored LaBeouf as a young talent, backing him as the star of Disturbia and Transformers, but the two seemed to have had a falling out after Crystal Skull.
No matter, Indiana Jones 5 is moving right along, and LaBeouf isn’t the only Indy veteran not involved in the sequel. Koepp previously revealed to us that George Lucas, who famously dictated the story ideas for all four other Indiana Jones movies, isn’t involved in Indiana Jones 5, making it the first sequel where Lucas didn’t originate the story.
As for when Indiana Jones 5 gets off the ground, the film has a July 10, 2020 release date set, and Koepp hopes it will be Spielberg’s next film after he releases his drama The Post this December:
“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.”
Spielberg has another film on his docket, the religious historical drama The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, which was supposed to start filming this year before Indy, but The Post happened very quickly and took that movie’s place. He’s also finishing up post-production on Ready Player One, so it does sound like Edgardo Mortara may be pushed once again in favor of Indy 5 hitting its release date. If that’s the case, the sequel would probably start shooting sometime next year. Or, since Spielberg works so quickly, it’s also possible Edgardo Mortara still happens first and the filmmaker does Mortara and Indy 5 back-to-back. It wouldn’t be the first time—he shot Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List back to back and released them in the same year. The guy’s practically a magician.