Henry "Mutt" Williams, born Henry Walton Jones III, was the illegitimate son of Marion Ravenwood and Indiana Jones. His stepfather was Colin Williams, who was killed during World War II. He had one sibling, a sister.
In 1957, Mutt accompanied his estranged parents, along with mentor Harold Oxley and George McHale on a quest to return a fabled Crystal Skull to Akator. Following this adventure, during which he proved his fencing skills in a sword-duel with the Soviet Special Forces colonel Irina Spalko, he was present as his mother and father wed after years of separation.
A boy named Henry Jones III had already been envisaged by Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr.'s high-school girlfriend Nancy Stratemeyer in 1916 as being their first common child. However, it was not to be. Jones went to fight in the Mexican Revolution then World War I just a month later. By the time he had returned to Princeton three years later, Stratemeyer had moved on and settled down by marrying Jones' high school rival Butch, giving him a son in the form of Butch junior.
Decades later, in 1937, Jones and Marion Ravenwood were to wed but Jones disappeared from her life a week before the nuptials under the impression that he would make a poor husband due to the long periods of time he would spend away from home for his job. He left unaware that Ravenwood did not mind his being absent for extended periods, and, more importantly, did not realize that she was pregnant with his child.
Marion eventually gave birth to a son without alerting Jones the child's existence. She named the boy Henry Jones III, a name that would not stay for long and would not be revealed to the child until years later.
Three months into her son's life, Marion began dating RAF pilot Colin Williams, and would soon marry the man as well. Growing up, Henry was led to believe that Williams was his biological father. Therefore, the boy considered his last name to be "Williams."
At an early age, Henry befriended Professor Harold Oxley, a former student (alongside Jones) at the University of Chicago, under Marion's father Abner Ravenwood. Oxley, affectionately nicknamed "Ox" by his friends, became a surrogate father to Henry when Colin was unexpectedly killed during World War II. Still a child when the event happened, Henry would grow to call himself "Mutt".
As he matured, Mutt was forced by his mother to attend multiple schools, in order to teach him the skills and knowledge that he would need the day he finally was alone in the world. Among the skills he (reluctantly) showed proficiency at were fencing, reading and mechanics. This made Mutt bitter at being hindered from his one true love: motorcycles, which were also his profession as he fixed them. He managed to either quit or be kicked out of every school he attended, which considerably annoyed his mother.
In 1957, Mutt and Marion received contact from Oxley, who claimed to have found a crystal skull and was on his way to a place called "Akator" with it. His enthusiasm convinced Marion that her old pal was mentally ill, and this seemed to be confirmed when, some time later, Ox mailed a letter composed of incomprehensible symbols and drawings. This worried Marion so much that she left for Peru, hoping to find Oxley and see if he was all right.
Time went by without word from Mutt's mother. Eventually, Mutt received a phone call from Marion, who claimed that both she and Ox had been kidnapped by Russian secret agents, and that she had managed to escape. Marion was able to pass on the information that she was sending him Oxley's letter so that he could enlist the help of Indiana Jones to translate it. At that point, the line went dead as Marion was re-captured.
Deeply worried, Mutt soon received the letter, and quickly embarked to find Jones. He had been told that Indiana was some type of professional "grave robber." Arriving on his motorcycle at Bedford's train station just in time to see Jones boarding a train to leave the USA, Mutt shouted to the man outside the compartment window, calling him 'old man.' With mere seconds before the train would pass through a tunnel and prevent Mutt from keeping up, he desperately shouted that someone was going to kill Harold Oxley, Indy's old colleague.
The pair went to Arnie's, a local diner. There, Mutt introduced himself, and took offense at Jones' remark concerning his name, saying it was "the one [he] picked." Mutt claimed that Oxley had helped raise him after the death of his "father," and was close friends with his mother, whom the boy referred to as Mary Williams, a name Jones did not recognize. When Indy made an off-hand remark about how he knew "a lot of Marys..." Williams reacted with fury, bolting from his seat and defending his mother, showing the deep concern and love he had for her.
After cooling off, Mutt returned to his story. He related how Mary had traveled to Peru to find Oxley, who was going to the lost city of Akator to return a crystal skull. When Indiana explained the legend of Akator and the crystal skull, Mutt became fascinated, convinced that Ox had been on to something huge. He then pulled out the letter written by Oxley, and handed it to an equally bemused Jones.
It was at this moment that two Russian KGB agents, who had been spying on Mutt and Indy for the last few hours, noticed the letter (their primary objective) and approached the table, demanding that Jones give them the letter. When the men threatened, "or else," Mutt took out his switchblade and challenged the agents to try anything. Unfortunately for him, the KGB had guns on their person, and Mutt and Jones had no choice but to be led out the door to avoid a public shooting.
As they neared the exit, Jones whispered to Mutt to create a diversion by punching an innocent socialite. This triggered the desired chaos, a fight between Mutt's fellow greasers and the socialites, which Mutt and Jones used to flee their pursuers on Williams' beloved, customized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. During the hectic chase through the Marshall College campus, Mutt watched with amazement as Jones fought off the agents, surprised by the man's excellent fighting skills despite his age.
Williams drove right through an anti-Communist rally taking place on the grounds of the school, and tricked one of the Russian-driven sedans into crashing directly into a statue memorial of Marcus Brody, which caused the head to break off and fly through the windshield. Mutt displayed pride at his ingenuity, but when he turned to Jones to share his moment of glee, he found the professor stone-faced with disapproval.
The second sedan then caught up to them, forcing Mutt to gun his engine once again. Jones advised that they drive right into the school, which would force the KGB to abandon their car in an on-foot chase. This worked, but as Mutt recklessly careened through the school library, Indiana chastised him for moving too fast. Mutt merely replied that it was a matter of opinion…before nearly colliding with a hapless student carrying a stack of books.
Skidding to avoid the boy, Mutt sent the motorcycle onto its side, and the pair slid under multiple rows of benches before stopping before a student. There, another student tried to ask his teacher a question while he was there. Jones quickly gave him some advice about archaeology as a career as Mutt restarted his bike and they drove off again. They had lost the Russians.
Search for Oxley
Back at Jones' home, Mutt stood around while Jones solved the riddles from the letter. When they flew to Nazca in Peru, Mutt took his motorcycle with him in the airplane. He learned to know a quite different side of Jones, no longer in his professor's garb, but as a Quechua-speaking former rider with Pancho Villa. After Jones learned that Oxley had been taken to the Nazca sanatorium, the two visited Oxley's old cell, where Williams was stricken with how broken Oxley's mind had become. Jones discovered that the cell floor hid a secret, and Williams was tasked to sweep the floor clean, which revealed a map of the Chauchilla Cemetery. After finding its whereabouts, the pair drove up to the graveyard, and Williams hid his motorcycle.
As they searched the cemetery, the pair came under attack by some masked cemetery guardians, but Jones defeated them, using Williams as bait. Impressed by Jones' actions, Williams reassessed Jones as merely a teacher. As they discovered the entrance to an older tomb, Williams lost his cool after being stung by a scorpion and then encountering several skeletons with elongated skulls. After reaching Francisco de Orellana's grave, Williams helped to spot the wrapped corpse of the conquistador, and got stuck holding the body while Jones unveiled a crystal skull that Oxley had taken, and then returned to this spot.
As they were leaving the tomb, a group of Russian agents captured them. The agents took them to their South American camp, where Mutt was reunited with Marion. Oxley was also at the camp, and had been driven insane from the Skull's mystical powers. He only was able to communicate in riddles.
Quest to Akator
Mutt later created a diversion for the group to attempt an escape, but this failed. Afterwards, his mother told him that Indiana was his real father, much to his denial. The group later made another escape attempt as the convoy of soldiers ventured through the Amazon, during which Mutt fought Irina Spalko in a sword-duel atop speeding vehicles through the virgin jungle. During this duel, he received a slash below his right eye.
After fleeing the Russians, the group came to the Temple of Akator. When the Crystal Skull's power was activated and a portal to an alternate dimension began destroying the city, the group fled, surviving the temple's destruction and were the only ones to witness a flying saucer lift off from beneath the ruins, disappearing without a trace.
Following his endeavor with his parents and Oxley involving the Crystal Skull of Akator, Mutt would then go sometimes with his father to help him out on searching treasures. Eventually, Williams became an older brother to his sister, fathered by Indiana in his later life, and would have nieces and nephews.
Personality and traits
Preferring his motorcycle to his classical education, Mutt Williams never much cared for prep school life. He always turned down every school he ever attended, and sought to spend his time fixing motorcycles, combing his hair, and playing with his switchblade.
Though he showed no interest, Mutt was known to be highly skilled in the courses he'd taken at school, notably fencing, as seen during his duel with Irina Spalko. He was also an excellent reader, as a love of books had been instilled in him by his surrogate father, Oxley.
Even the son of Indiana Jones did not see eye-to-eye with his own father. When first introduced, the relationship between Indy and Mutt was rather strained; such as the time when Mutt paid no attention to Jones' snake phobia while attempting to rescue him from a pit of sinking sand. At one point, Indy jokingly called him "Junior", which was what Indiana had been called by his father.
Mutt tended to carry a switchblade and a comb with him at all times, he also drove a customized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He was very protective of all these items. While he was adept with flicking the switchblade around, he had never used it as an actual weapon in a fight until the attack in the Chauchilla cememtery.
Mutt used the motorcycle, switchblade, perfect hair, and quick temper as a cover-up of his own personal insecurities. He was a boy, not quite sure of himself, trying to be a man; and he felt it necessary to prove his toughness by showing off what he believed made him a man. For this reason, Mutt constantly fixed his hair, and reacted so badly to losing his bike in Peru. He would give in to his temper and make a fuss, such as when he perceived an insult to his mother from Jones at Arnie's Diner. Mutt needed everyone to know he was capable of anything; even if he was not. Such was the case with his first switchblade fight, and his first exploration with Indiana; both events which visibly terrified him, and forced him to rely on Indiana Jones, the "old man".
Although slightly trepid in some new situations, such as the investigation of the Chauchilla graveyard, he retained an adventurous spirit, and was not afraid to take the first step to lead the way, even if he wasn't quite sure which way to go. At one point, Mutt initiated a half-baked scheme to escape the clutches of the Russians at the camp, only to end up recaptured. Mutt went from cowering in the cemetary to taking the first steps to Akator after the group falls into the temple of Akator.
Around 1957, Mutt was not on the best terms with his mother. However, he was still highly protective of her, both against verbal attacks and physical dangers. This was exemplified in such situations as when Mutt jumped up angrily at Indy for insulting his mother at the cafe, and when Mutt ducked over Marion to protect her while their car was being shot at during the jungle chase.
Behind the scenes
The concept of Indiana Jones having offspring was introduced in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. In the episode "Princeton, February 1916", Nancy Stratemeyer and Indy discuss having a child and naming him "Henry Jones III" (this scene was deleted for the VHS and DVD releases). Additionally, in several episodes, Old Indy is shown to have an adult daughter and he mentions having children in "Vienna, November 1908". During development of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Frank Darabont's script, Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods, involved Indy and Marion having a 13-year-old daughter. However, director Steven Spielberg objected to the idea, finding it too similar to his previous The Lost World: Jurassic Park. According to Crystal Skull screenwriter David Koepp, Mutt Williams was developed by Jeff Nathanson and George Lucas.
Koepp wanted to make Mutt into a nerd, but Lucas refused, explaining he had to resemble the late Marlon Brando in The Wild One; "he needs to be what Indiana Jones' father thought of [him] – the curse returns in the form of his own son – he's everything a father can't stand". Producer Frank Marshall felt Mutt brings humor to the story because of his youthful arrogance, causing banter with the older and wiser Jones. It was long-rumored that Mutt was Indiana's son, however Spielberg dodged the idea up until the film's release, saying: "I wouldn't say it's a father-son story. The new Indy movie is about a great quest, an amazing quest — and that's all I'm gonna say."
The clothing Mutt wore was also selected to make him appear like Marlon Brando in The Wild One: T-shirt, black leather motorcycle jacket, gloves, and boots, dark blue jeans cuffed almost to the top of his boots, and - at his first appearance on his motorcycle - a classical motorcycle cap tilted in the same way as Brando wore it in the movie. Authentic 1950s jackets were found for his costume, while Harley-Davidson provided his motorcycle.
Mutt was played by Shia LaBeouf in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. LaBeouf was Spielberg's first and only choice for the role. Excited at the prospect of being in an Indiana Jones film, LaBeouf signed on without reading the script and did not know what character he would play. He worked out and gained fifteen pounds of muscle for the role, and also repeatedly watched the other films to get into character. LaBeouf also watched Rebel Without a Cause, Blackboard Jungle and The Wild One to get into his character's mindset, copying mannerisms and words from characters in those films, such as the use of a switchblade as a weapon. Lucas also consulted on the greaser look, joking that LaBeouf was "sent to the American Graffiti school of greaserland". LaBeouf also took to playing with the character's switchblade both on and offset.
The character is generally disliked by both fans and critics, drawing unfavorable comparisons to and often considered the "Jar Jar Binks" of the Indiana Jones franchise. Much criticism of the character was weighed at the performance and acting skill of LaBeouf, who apologized for "dropping the ball" in an interview while promoting another sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps at Cannes Film Festival in 2010.
In some action sequences, LaBeouf was doubled by stuntmen. Lee Morrison was his stunt double for some motorcycle scenes, Colin Follenweider for the Jungle Chase, and also Casey O'Neill doubled him in some scenes. However, LaBeouf also acted some stunt scenes himself. When filming his duel with Cate Blanchett's Spalko character, LaBeouf pulled his hip's rotator cuff which was his first injury in his career. The injury got worse throughout filming until it pulled his groin.
Two 3 ¾" figures of Mutt, a deluxe figure of him on his motorcycle, an Adventures Heroes figurine, and a 12" figure were released in 2008. Mutt is available in three Lego sets based on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
George Lucas had considered the possiblity of producing a fifth Indiana Jones film starring Mutt on his own adventures with the title character in a supporting role similar to the one Sean Connery had played as Henry Jones, Sr. in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. However, Lucas later changed his mind, stating that only Indiana Jones would be the center of an Indy picture and jokingly dismissed a Mutt feature as a spinoff entitled Mutt Williams and the Search for Elvis.
Harrison Ford is forty-four years older than Shia LaBeouf, who was twenty-one to Ford's sixty-five. There is a difference of approximately 39 years between Indy and Mutt. Indy is fifty-eight in the film, Mutt is nineteen.
That the filmmakers chose the nickname of Indiana's son to be Mutt — a term for a mixed-breed dog — is likely a nod to Jones taking the name of his dog, Indiana, over his real name of Henry Walton Jones, Junior. Mutt's name also follows the precedent of the franchise's characters having canine related names. Like Indiana, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom's Willie Scott and Short Round share their names with real-world dogs: Willie and Short Round were the respective pets of Spielberg and writers Gloria Katz & Willard Huyck.
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Princeton, February 1916" (First mentioned) (Indirect mention) (As "Henry Jones III")
- Race to Danger (Indirect mention) (As "Henry Jones III")
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull novel
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull junior novel
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull game (First appearance)
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull comic
- Indiana Jones
- Meet Indy
- Meet Mutt
- Indiana Jones: The Search For Buried Treasure
- LEGO Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick
- LEGO Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Hidden Temple!
- LEGO Indiana Jones: Escape from the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!
- LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues
- The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones
- Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide
- Indiana Jones Activity Annual
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Annual 2009
- The Greatest Adventures of Indiana Jones
- Indiana Jones Annual 2010
- The Diaries of Indiana Jones
Notes and references
- Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide
- Race to Danger
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Young Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Jackal"
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Young Indiana Jones: Travels with Father" → Winds of Change
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
- Indiana Jones: The Search For Buried Treasure
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Ireland, April 1916"
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull novel
- Shawn Adler. "‘Indiana Jones 5’ Won’t Center on Shia LaBeouf, Insists George Lucas", MTV Movies Blog, 2008-08-05. Retrieved on 2008-08-05.