Warner Bros. thought Shia LaBeouf was too crazy for a movie about crazy people.
In his recent (and well worth the read) interview with Variety, Shia LaBeouf opens up about many things. One of the interesting nuggets buried in the piece is that apparently Warner Bros. thought he was too much of a risk to include in the cast of Suicide Squad, based on the DC Comics characters. The movie was directed by David Ayer who previously worked with LaBeouf on 2014’s Fury. According to LaBeouf, Ayer approached him to work together once again on Suicide Squad, but Warner Bros. decided against it. LaBeouf was set to play the role of Lieutenant GQ Edwards, the go-to man of Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), but the part ended up going to Scott Eastwood.
“The character was different initially,” LaBeouf says. “Then Will [Smith] came in, and the script changed a bit. That character and Tom [Hardy’s] character [later played by Joel Kinnaman] got written down to build Will up.” LaBeouf says the studio vetoed his casting. “I don’t think Warner Bros. wanted me. I went in to meet, and they were like, ‘Nah, you’re crazy. You’re a good actor, but not this one.’ It was a big investment for them.”
Shia LaBeouf has been known to use his own brand of method acting to prepare for roles. For Fury, he even went so far as to cut his face for authentic-looking battle wounds. It is likely this kind of “crazy” that Warner Bros. was trying to avoid. But, it should be noted that they cast Jared Leto as the Joker, and he has similar methods. Leading up to the movie, multiple reports of Leto’s method acting surfaced. He apparently never got out of character and did not interact much with his castmates, while playing somewhat twisted “pranks” on them. There have been rumors circulating that a some of the cast did not take kindly to him because of this (but take that, and any Internet rumor, with a grain of salt). The most popularly reported “prank” included his assistant walking into the rehearsal room, dropping a dead pig on the middle of the table where the cast was sitting, and walking out. So it seems Warner Bros. didn’t really avoid what they set out to in passing on LaBeouf after all.
Personally, I think Shia LaBeouf is a terrific actor enjoy most everything he has been in. Lawless is one of my most favorite recent movies, largely due to his acting in it. I would love to have seen his more in-depth take on GQ in Suicide Squad. What do you think? Did Warner Bros. made the right call with this casting decision? Let us know in the comments!