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SYFY WIRE Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

What happened to Mutt? James Mangold says 'Dial of Destiny' will tell us what happened to Indy's son

Indiana Jones' long-lost son is once again lost, but we'll at least get a reason for that.

By Matthew Jackson
Indiana Jones 4 (2008)

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will be the last ride for Harrison Ford in the title role, and that means the film has an opportunity to tie up various loose ends of Indy's decades-long mythology. So ... remember that time Indy had a son?

In 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Indy creators Steven Spielberg and George Lucas revealed that Dr. Jones and his old lover, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), had a son together who Indy never knew about it until the young man, Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), rode into his life on his motorcycle and joined in the fourth Indiana Jones film adventure. Like much of Crystal Skull, Mutt's presence in the film was divisive, but it did add yet another piece of intriguing detail to Indy's life, and changed what might happen to our favorite archaeologist going forward.

So, where is Mutt now? Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about Dial of Destiny, director James Mangold confirmed that LaBeouf and Mutt will not make any major appearance in the film, but we will "find out what happened" to Indy's son after all these years. 

That's all the director was willing to reveal about that particular mystery, and he's remained tight-lipped on others as well, including what exactly the Dial of Destiny is and what it does. Every Indy movie has a MacGuffin, and this one is of course no different, so according to Mangold we can expect the Dial to do ... well, what Indy movie artifacts always do, in one way or another.

We can also expect Mangold's own spin on that classic Indy balance between humor, adventure and drama. Though Mangold is perhaps best-known among genre fans for films like Logan, a dark meditation on the end of another famous character's life, the director assures Indy lovers that he's not out to turn Dr. Jones into a grimdark hero on a march to his death. If you want classic Indy vibes, you're going to get them.

"I am under no illusions that my job making an Indiana Jones film was to suddenly beat the humor out of it and turn it into some kind of dirge," he says. "I think that what we're trying to do is balance both an accurate and realistic appraisal of where this character would be at this time in his life, and do that honestly, and at the same time, try and carry forward what the very title of our movie promises, which is a romp and a wonderful adventure with action and chivalry and escapes by the skin of your nose and ingenious solutions to diabolical problems. This is an Indiana Jones film."

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is in theaters June 30, 2023.

Can't wait for Dial of Destiny to arrive? Get your action-adventure fix now by streaming Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jumanji, and Jurassic World Dominion on Peacock.