Ben Foster, star of The Messenger and 3:10 to Yuma, has been tapped to replace Shia LaBeouf in a Broadway production of the play Orphans after LaBeouf departed on Tuesday over creative clashes with Tony-winning director Daniel Sullivan and co-star Alec Baldwin. The announcement was made on Thursday by the play's producers.
One day after he left the play, the Transformers franchise star tweeted an audition video and several screenshots of email exchanges between himself and various members of the creative team.
In one email directed at Sullivan, he apologized to Baldwin "for my part of a dis-agreeable [sic] situation." Sullivan responded, "I'm too old for disagreeable situations. You're one hell of a great actor. Alec is who he is. You are who you are. You two are incompatible. I should have known it. This one will haunt me. You tried to warn me. You said you were a different breed. I didn't get it."
Baldwin demonstrated support for LaBeouf, writing in one email to LaBeouf: "[W]hat we all do now is critical. Perhaps especially for you. When the change comes, how do we handle it, whether it be good or bad? What do we learn? I don't have an unkind word to say about you. You have my word."
According to The New York Times, one red flag arose when LaBeouf, new to the Broadway stage, punched his fist through a door while in character as Treat. After that incident, LaBeouf sent an email of apology to Orphans playwright Lyle Kessler, admitting, "I'm a child."
The play, which premiered in 1983, is about two grown orphan brothers in Philadelphia who kidnap an older man, played on Broadway by Baldwin. Tom Sturridge remains in the production playing Philip, younger brother to Treat.
Previews begin as scheduled on March 19 and opening night is April 7 at the Schoenfeld Theatre.