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Weeks before previews are to begin, Shia LaBeouf has dropped out of his planned Broadway debut in the play Orphans because of “creative differences.”
“Due to creative differences, the producers of Orphans and Shia LaBeouf will be parting ways, and he will not be continuing with the production. An announcement on the replacement for the role of ‘Treat’ will be made shortly,” the production announced Wednesday.
The 26-year-old actor was to star opposite Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge in the revival of Lyle Kessler‘s 1983 play, which follows two orphaned brothers living off the proceeds of petty theft in a run-down North Philadelphia row house. LaBeouf’s role was the the elder brother who supports his simple-minded younger sibling (Sturridge). One night he kidnaps an enigmatic rich man, played by Baldwin, who becomes the kind of father figure the boys have always longed for.
So far, Orphans will continue on schedule, with previews set to begin March 19 and an opening date set for April 7 at the Schoenfeld Theatre.
Rehearsals started Feb. 11. According to The New York Times, which cited a pair of unnamed theater execs close to the situation, Orphans producers decided to drop LaBeouf on Tuesday night after the director, Daniel Sullivan, “became worried” about the actor and “his performance choices.” Sullivan had discussed his issues with LaBeouf and the producing team, but ultimately, he made an exit while it wasn’t too late.
Reps for LaBeouf and Baldwin declined comment.
The unfiltered ex-child star known for his roles in the Transformers movies and the latest Indiana Jones installment has traded standard studio fare for indie films.
“I’m done,” he vented to The Hollywood Reporter last summer. “There’s no room for being a visionary in the studio system. It literally cannot exist. You give Terrence Malick a movie like Transformers, and he’s f—ed. There’s no way for him to exist in that world.”
His recent film credits include Lawless, the Robert Redford-directed The Company You Keep, and The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, in which he stars opposite Evan Rachel Wood and Melissa Leo. He also has a racy role in Lars von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac, co-starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stellan Skarsgard.
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