Actress Karen Allen, who plays Marion Ravenwood in the Indiana Jones franchise, recently shared she was disappointed with many of the plot points of James Mangold’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
In an interview with Variety, Allen was asked by Adam B. Vary, “So when you learned that that the new script had Indy and Marion separated, very much on the way to divorce, and also that Mutt had been killed in Vietnam, what was your reaction?”
Allen responded, “Well, I was disappointed, of course.”
She went on to elaborate, “I knew that there had been talk that they did not want to go forward with Shia, so I knew that something in the story had to create the potential for him to not be there in a way that made sense.”
“I didn’t know that he was going to die in Vietnam until I read the script, oh gosh, maybe just it was maybe six months before they were going to start shooting,” she added.
Allen did reveal she was happy that Marion got to return at the end of the film, “I was deeply happy that Marion came back at least the end of their story. If this is indeed truly the last film of this particular group of films — if this is the last story with Harrison as Indy and me as Marion — I was profoundly happy that it didn’t end without them coming back together.”
She concluded, “That meant a lot to me, to feel like they were going to ride off in the sunset together.”
Allen would also be asked by The Hollywood Reporter’s Brian Davids, “Was it heartbreaking to read what happened to Indy and Marion’s family in the intervening years?”
She answered, “Well, it was. When Steven was still going to direct the film, I didn’t have the opportunity to read any of those scripts, although I know that Marion was much more involved in the story at that juncture.
“Steven and I had spoken after he decided he was going to step down as director, and he said to me, ‘You’re going to love working with James Mangold.’ And I said, ‘Oh, great.’ So I knew James had hired new writers and that there was going to be a whole new approach with a new director and new writers, but I was really going into the unknown,” she explained.
Allen then reiterated her disappointment at the way the film depicted the relationships between Marion, Indy, and Mutt, “And the next thing I knew, I was reading a script that told [Dial of Destiny’s] story, and of course, I was disappointed.”
She explained, “I had thought that I would be majorly a part of the film, and that was just not the direction they decided to go. I think they had some problems to solve with the story in terms of Shia LaBeouf not coming back, and they chose to create this story that Mutt had been killed in the war and that it put a wedge between Marion and Indy.”
“I mean, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I read it. (Laughs.) But I was really happy that they came back together in the end,” she concluded.
Allen would also share her own head canon for what Marion was doing while she and Indy were separated to Variety, ” I wasn’t given a lot of information in the script. We know Mutt has been killed; we know it drove a wedge between them. But we don’t know much else. So I usually sit down and write a little bit of history and think it through.”
She continued, “It was just a sense that they had not seen each other for a while and that there was a real sense of them grieving in very different ways, as I know people do when they lose a child.”
“I liked the thought of coming into that room without really knowing what I was gonna find or whether it was the right thing to do. But I think Marion at that point maybe has come to some decisions herself about whether or not she wants this to be the end of the relationship,” Allen relayed.
Allen is not the only who was disappointed with how Lucasfilm treated the relationships between Indy, Marion, and Mutt.
Film critic Gary Buechler at Nerdrotic shared his thoughts during his review of the film.
Specifically discussing Indy’s relationship with Mutt he says, “We find out that Indiana Jones if he could go back in time would try to keep his son Mutt from enlisting because he enlisted into the Vietnam War to piss Indiana Jones off and that’s where he died. So Mutt died pissed at his father. F**k this movie.”
Speaking specifically to the ending of the film when Karen Allen’s Marion return, Buechler remarks, “All to bring us to a very contrived ending and the return of Karen Allen’s Marion where they reverse and repurpose a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark and this is supposed to be the happy ending.”
“Of course, you’ll have to forget it completely destroys the one good thing about Crystal Skull, the ending, where Indy and Marion get married in front of their son,” he added.
What do you make of Karen Allen’s disappointment in how the film handled the relationships between Indy, Marion, and Mutt?