It Cool News’ Drew McWeeny is reporting that he has reliable sources telling him that Shia LaBeouf is going to be starring in Indiana Jones IV as the son of Indy. I can’t tell you if he’s playing Indy’s son or just the new Short Round, but I can tell you that I have heard this exact same thing, and from a source that’s pretty impeccable. As far as I am concerned, this is not a rumor but the truth.

Is it a good idea? Hell no. I like Shia LaBeouf, for real. I have interviewed him a couple of times, and recently I had a good talk with him at a dinner after a screening of his upcoming teenage version of Rear Window, Disturbia, and he’s a genuinely nice, funny guy who doesn’t have some kind of inflated sense of himself. And he’s serious about being more than just the kid from Even Stevens – LaBeouf wants to be a real actor, even if he knows he has to spend time in movies like Transformers to make a name and give himself the opportunity to do meatier things.

But Spielberg isn’t bringing LaBeouf on to play a meaty role. Whether he’s just the kid sidekick or Indy’s son, LaBeouf is going to be doing a lot of comic relief in this movie. Having a young sidekick also indicates to me that this is going to be tonally more juvenile than I would like it to be (although technically I would rather this movie not get made at all). LaBeouf’s screen presence is inherently light hearted, quite unlike that of River Phoenix, the last young actor to play a role in these films. If there is an Indy Jr in Indy IV, I’d rather be played by a Phoenix type, someone with some danger, than the more genial LaBeouf.