Indiana Jones Wiki
Advertisement
Mutt redirects here. You may be looking for the goddess Mut.

"Mutt can be a little impetuous..."
Marion Ravenwood[src]

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 at least one sibling through his father, a sister named Sophie.

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.

However, a later conflict between Mutt and Indiana Jones led to the younger man enlisting in the Marines specifically to annoy his father. Mutt was killed in action in Vietnam and Jones' grief almost led to Marion leaving him until Helena Shaw managed to help bring him back in both body and spirit.

Biography[]

Prehistory[]

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.[5] However, it was not to be. Jones went to fight in the Mexican Revolution then World War I just a month later.[6] 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.[7]

Decades later, in 1937, Jones and Marion Ravenwood were to wed but Jones disappeared from her life a week before the wedding 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.[1]

Early life[]

Marion eventually gave birth to a son[1] in July 1938[2] without alerting Jones the child's existence. She named the boy Henry Jones III, after his unknowing father and paternal grandfather, a name that would not stay for long and would not be revealed to the child until years later.[1]

Three months into her son's life, Marion began dating RAF pilot Colin Williams, a man previously introduced by Indiana, 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."[1]

Muttox

A young Mutt with Prof. Harold Oxley.

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".[1] He always thought of him as his uncle, even though he wasn't.[8] At some point during the late 1940s[9] they two had a photo together.[1]

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.[1] Particularly, fencing was one of Mutt's better subjects, but got kicked out from the class once it was discovered he was betting on the matches.[10] 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.[1]

Meeting Jones[]

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.[1]

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.[1]

MuttBike3

Mutt on his motorcycle looking for Jones.

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.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]

MuttBike2

Mutt and Jones on their flight through the library.

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.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]

Shovelwear

Mutt in the cemetery.

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.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1] 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.[1]

Mutt later attended his parents' wedding. At one point he attempted to try on Indy's fedora, but his father snatched it back just as it reached Mutt's head. He then departed the church with his parents and the guests.[1]

Death and legacy[]

MuttPhoto

A photo of Mutt in uniform was kept next to an image of his grandfather.

Following his endeavor with his parents and Oxley involving the Crystal Skull of Akator, Mutt would occasionally join his father to help him out on searching for treasures.[11] Mutt enlisted in the US Marine Corps during the Vietnam War to annoy his father,[3] following a similar path to his once-believed father Colin,[1] but was killed overseas[3] in Vietnam[4] around 1969. The death devastated both of his parents, but Indiana Jones, losing himself to his grief led Marion to consider a separation until his goddaughter, Helena Shaw, helped the man find a way back. When asked what he would do if he could go back in time, rather than indulge his archaeological interests, Jones emotionally admitted to Helena that he'd tell Mutt not to enlist so that his son would survive. A picture of Mutt in his military uniform with a folded flag were kept in his father's apartment in the time after his death.[3]

In addition to Mutt, Indiana had apparently fathered more children at some point in his life, including Mutt's sister Sophie,[12][13] through whom Mutt had a number of nieces and nephews.[14]

Personality and traits[]

"You don't have to get all sore all the time just to prove how tough you are."
Indiana Jones[src]
MuttBike5

Mutt Williams on his motorcycle

A young and rebellious teenager[15] who preferred his motorcycle to his classical education, Mutt Williams never much cared for prep school life, pushing against every school he ever attended, and sought to spend his time fixing motorcycles, combing his hair, and playing with his switchblade.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]

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 cemetery.[16]

MuttSword

Mutt Williams sword fighting.

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".[1]

Although somewhat intimidated by unfamiliar 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 cemetery to taking the first steps to Akator after the group falls into the temple of Akator.[1]

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.[1]

Mutt joined the US Marine Corps to annoy his father Indiana Jones, but died overseas, devastating his parents. Indiana admitted that if he could go back in time and change one thing, it would be Mutt's fate, showing just how much his son meant to him.[3]

Behind the scenes[]

Mutt Williams was portrayed by Shia LaBeouf in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.[1] 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 Nicholas Ray's film Rebel Without a Cause, Richard Brooks' film Blackboard Jungle and Benedek's 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.

Mutt

Shia LaBeouf as Mutt Williams.

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 other episodes, Old Indy is shown to have an adult daughter and he mentions having children (plural) in "Vienna, November 1908". During the development of the fourth Indiana Jones film, Frank Darabont's script Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods reintroduced Indy and Marion Ravenwood as a romantic pairing which seeded the idea of them having a child together for other writers' attempts at Indy IV scripts. A 13-year-old daughter was considered; however, director Steven Spielberg objected to the idea, finding it too familiar an area to what he had covered with his earlier film 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 László Benedek's film 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".

MarlonBrando

Late actor Marlon Brando was a model for Mutt's physical appearance.

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.

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 Indiana Jones and Mutt Williams. Indy is fifty-eight in the film, Mutt is nineteen.[1]

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 Irina 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.

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 Oliver Stone's film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, another sequel, at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010.

12inchMuttJacket

12" figure of Mutt Williams by Hasbro.

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.

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 adopting 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. As with 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 and Willard Huyck.

George Lucas had considered the possibility 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 spin-off entitled Mutt Williams and the Search for Elvis.[17] In September 2017, Koepp confirmed that LaBeouf would not return as Williams for the fifth Indy film,[18] with LaBeouf indicating in February 2020 that he hadn't heard anything about the film and didn't expect to be involved in it due to ill feeling in regards to him from the production side.[19] Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny director James Mangold explained in December 2022 that while LaBeouf would not return for the role, Mutt's absence would be addressed in the film.[20]

Mutt's absence in the Dial of Destiny story was ultimately confirmed by the film itself as Mutt having been killed off during the Vietnam War.[3] Mangold did consider other options as having Mutt still alive while busy offscreen, but ultimately felt "sad" mentioning a character not relevant to the picture by the protagonists, so he decided to make Mutt a "story point" to generate some drama within the present characters.[21] In spite of LaBeouf's known animosity towards Spielberg and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Mangold didn't kill the character off because of "past studio, political intrigue" but because of his feelings that for Indy, losing his son and wife would be provide him an emotional reason to wish to stay in the past during the climax, aside that he didn't feel like the Mutt/Indy dynamic worked well before.[22] He also wanted to replicate Indy's wonderful dynamic with intrepid female characters from pre-Kingdom of the Crystal Skull films in the form of Helena Shaw, something that he felt to work better without Williams around.[23]

Appearances[]

Mutt promo2

Mutt in a promotional picture for the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie

Non-canon appearances[]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  2. 2.0 2.1 Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Making of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  5. Race to Danger
  6. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Young Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Jackal"
  7. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Young Indiana Jones: Travels with Father" Winds of Change
  8. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Annual 2009
  9. In the novelization Oxley is described as been in his midfifties in the photo alongside Mutt. Counting that he was born in 1887, the photo would had been taken in 1942, when Mutt would had been only four. As Mutt was shown to be much older, the photo was likely taken much later in the decade.
  10. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull comic
  11. Indiana Jones: The Search For Buried Treasure
  12. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Vienna, November 1908"
  13. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Peking, March 1910" teleplay
  14. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Ireland, April 1916"
  15. Top Trumps Specials: Indiana Jones (Card: Mutt Williams)
  16. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull novel
  17. ‘Indiana Jones 5’ Won’t Center on Shia LaBeouf, Insists George Lucas at MTV Movies Blog
  18. Indiana Jones 5 won't feature Shia LaBeouf's character at Entertainment Weekly
  19. Exclusive: Shia LaBeouf Is Fairly Certain He Won't Return for "Indiana Jones 5": "Those people really didn't like me" at Showbiz 411
  20. Director James Mangold teases a 'hero at sunset' in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny at Entertainment Weekly
  21. James Mangold On ‘Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny’ And Why He Could Use A Glass Of Scotch Right Now at Uproxx
  22. ‘Indiana Jones 5’ Director James Mangold Explains the Fate of Shia LaBeouf’s Character and the ‘Wild Swing’ Ending at Variety
  23. @Variety Variety on Twitter

External links[]

Advertisement